MARIETTA, Ohio, — Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has filed a lawsuit against DuPont alleging the company has been releasing perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) into the Ohio River for decades.
According to the lawsuit, DuPont has been releasing PFOA into the river from its Washington Works Plant despite knowing the risks to residents and natural resources, which was found through the company's own internal research. The suit also says rather than putting notices out to the community or trying to reduce the chemical release, DuPont has increased its use of PFOA causing damage to air, water and soil contamination around the area of the plant.
“We believe the evidence shows that DuPont kept releasing this chemical even though it knew about the harm it could cause,” DeWine said in a news release. “We believe DuPont should pay for any damage it caused, and we’re taking this action to protect Ohio, its citizens and its natural resources."
According to the Attorney General's Office, a 2017 study done by the University of Cincinnati, which analyzed blood samples collected from 1991 to 2012 from residents in the Mid-Ohio River Valley, found elevated levels of PFOA in their blood.
In the lawsuit, the attorney general seeks restitution and damages. He says DuPont should pay for the investigation and cleanup of the PFOA, from which the company used to make Teflon products from the 1950s through 2013.