| Connect Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook
About | Subscribe | Advertise


Get Paint BidTracker's Water Facility Painting Opportunities of 2015

Paint and Coatings Industry News

Main News Page

DuPont Fined $500K for Pigment Plant

Monday, November 14, 2011

More items for Environmental Controls

Comment | More

DuPont Corp. has agreed to pay a $500,000 fine for numerous state and federal environmental violations involving pollutant discharges at a pigment plant in Delaware, under a new court settlement.

The consent decree resolves multiple violations that date to 2005 at the Edge Moor manufacturing facility in Edgemoor, DE. The violations include discharges of hydrogen chloride, titanium tetrachloride, iron chloride and wastewater treatment plant chemicals into the Delaware River.

 Tim Shaffer / Greenpeace

 Tim Shaffer / Greenpeace

An airship owned by the environmental group Greenpeace surveys the DuPont pigment plant in 2010.

DuPont’s Edge Moor White Pigment Plant is a 115-acre manufacturing facility just east of the City of Wilmington, along the western banks of the Delaware River, north of Cherry Island, where the facility’s closed solid-waste landfill is located.

On its web site, DuPont calls the Edge Moor facility a “model chemical plant.” The site does not mention the court settlement or violations.

History of Violations

Since 1935, the Edge Moor plant has manufactured titanium dioxide (TiO2), the most common pigment used in coatings. Today, the plant’s production capacity is 14 times the original capacity, according to DuPont.

 DuPont Pigment Plant


The plant, which has produced titanium dioxide along the Delaware River since 1935, has a history of environmental problems.

About 200 DuPont employees, plus 100 contractors, work at the plant, one of four DuPont manufacturing sites in Delaware.

The facility has a history of regulatory violations. The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) cited DuPont in April 2008 for numerous excessive effluent discharges and other violations of its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit.

In addition, DNREC issued an administrative consent order to the plant in 2001and required it to perform facility-wide corrective actions. In 2004, DNREC prepared a Draft Corrective Action Permit for the plant, which eventually was approved and became effective in 2006.

Other Settlement Terms

In addition to the penalty specified in the new settlement, DuPont has agreed to complete an environmental compliance assessment of the Edge Moor plant within 15 months, and then develop a plan and schedule for each corrective action to reduce the risk of future wastewater violations. EPA, in consultation with DNREC, will then review the plan for approval.

DuPont must also submit stormwater inspection reports to EPA for the duration of the consent decree.

Company Response

DuPont spokesman Rick Straitman said in a statement Monday (Nov. 14) that the “allegations” had arisen from “self-reported” sampling data between 2005 and 2011.

“DuPont has been working with the regulators and DOJ for some time to resolve these matters,” the statement said. The settlement agreement “was reached after DuPont agreed to numerous government audits and inspections and joined with DOJ in an independent review of the wastewater handling capabilities of the plant.”

Noting the requirement to study wastewater handling at the facility, Straitman said: “In fact, DuPont has already completed a number of projects at the Edge Moor plant to improve procedures related to permitted discharges from the plant. More than $14 million has been spent to date on this work and additional improvements are planned. DuPont is committed to reducing the company’s environmental footprint and ensuring the safety of our employees and neighbors.”

‘An Important Step Forward’

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Shawn M. Garvin said the settlement was of major environmental significance.

"We’re taking an important step forward in protecting and preserving the vital resources and recreational opportunities that the Delaware River provides,” Garvin said. "This settlement will improve water quality for all who enjoy and depend upon the river."

DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara said the settlement terms address past violations, “while taking steps to meet future challenges in an effort to ensure that the river’s water quality continues to improve.”

“We must be ever vigilant in protecting the Delaware River,” said O’Mara.

Discharges, Stormwater Violations

The more serious current violations include discharges of hydrogen chloride, titanium tetrachloride and iron chloride into the Delaware River. Other violations include the discharges of ores, and overflow from the plant’s neutralizers and clarifiers into the river.

Additionally, the plant’s NPDES permit violations included noncompliance with maximum concentration and loading limits for total suspended solids, pH, iron, visible foam, unpermitted discharges of “non-storm water” through storm water only outfalls, storm water best management practices, unpermitted discharges of contaminated storm water, and various violations of general permit conditions and requirements of the various outfalls.

DNREC also noted that effluent violations from this facility added excess volumes of pollutants discharged into the Delaware River in the form of solids, organics, metals, and potentially harmful pH levels to the state’s surface waters, and has contributed to impairment of the state’s waterways.

The consent decree involves DNREC, EPA, and state and federal Departments of Justice.

Earnings, Income Soar

DuPont is the world’s largest producer of titanium dioxide. In its most recent quarter, the Wilmington, DE-based chemical giant posted consolidated net sales of $9.2 billion—32 percent higher than the previous year.

The Performance Chemicals segment, which includes the titanium dioxide unit, recorded sales of $2.1 billion—a 28 percent increase over the previous year, due overwhelmingly to higher pricing.


Tagged categories: DuPont; Environmental Protection; EPA; Pigments; Protective coatings; Titanium dioxide; Toxicity

Comment from Car F., (11/15/2011, 3:18 PM)

$500.000 for polluting?,.....indeed, crime pays. Someone stealing a chunck of pizza probably gets to serve time

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

The one way to control
a tank: DRYCO

Temporary climate control equipment. Dehumidifiers,
Heaters, A/C, Power, More…
Call: 866-379-2600

SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings

Join SSPC and Enhance
Your Career !

Thermion Inc
Buy Back Program

We are offering $5,000
credit for your old Model
This drive system is
being discontinued by
the manufacturer.
More information at

Sherwin-Williams Protective & Marine Coatings

With 4,000 distribution points and 3,700+ years of experience, Sherwin-Williams delivers the products, support and expertise you need, right where you need it.

International Paint LLC
Interplan Mobile

Effective maintenance planning and corrosion control all starts with an effective asset survey.

Julbert, Inc.
Built from the ground up.

Dust Collectors Available!
We deliver to your Jobsite!
Built Tough! Priced Right!
PH: 208-437-2100

Wasser High-Tech Coatings Inc.
Wasser Coatings Protect

Wasser Coatings offer a complete range of Moisture Cure Urethane (NEPCOAT approved) systems in addition to Polyurea membranes and linings(NSF).

Built for Tough Jobs

From Epoxies to Urethanes to other high solid coatings, the new Binks Airless 75 delivers a great finish using an ergonomic design. Visit for more information.

Clemco Industries Corp.
Powerful Protection in a Small Package

Mounts inside blast helmet, alerts operator to dangerous breathing-air condition by audible, visual, and vibratory alarms. Easily calibrated, battery operated.

HoldTight Solutions Inc.

Our HoldTight®102 salt remover & flash rust preventer prevents flash
rust by removing surface contaminants. It has no equal; only wannabees.
Contact us for your
nearest distributor.
(800) 319.8802

Technology Publishing

The Technology Publishing Network

The Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings (JPCL) PaintSquare
Durability + Design Paint BidTracker

EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us

© Copyright 2000-2015, Technology Publishing / PaintSquare, All rights reserved
2100 Wharton Street, Suite 310, Pittsburgh PA 15203-1951; Tel 1-412-431-8300; Fax 1-412-431-5428; E-mail