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Chemours, DuPont Update PFAS Liability Due to EPA Advisories

Aug. 4, 2022, 5:13 PM

Financial liabilities Chemours and DuPont face from certain PFAS may increase due to drinking water health advisories the EPA issued in June, the companies told the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Chemours Co. and DuPont de Nemours Inc. updated shareholders and the commission on the potential effects of the Environmental Protection Agency’s non-regulatory advisories in 10-Q reports they filed respectively on Aug. 1 and Thursday.

Both reports discussed the implications the per- and polyfluroalkyl substances (PFAS) advisories could have on a chemical manufacturing plant in Fayetteville, N.C. Chemours now owns the site, which formerly belonged to DuPont. They share liability.

The combined impacts of the advisories and ongoing work to address PFAS at that site have increased DuPont’s liability from $205 million in Dec. 31, 2021, to $261 million as of June 30, 2022, the company said. Uncertainties include Chemours’ ongoing efforts to estimate its liabilities, DuPont said.

The Chemours Co. said: “It is reasonably possible that additional costs could be incurred in connection with EPA’s actions, however, we cannot estimate the potential impact or additional cost at this time.”

Uncertainties include additional costs EPA’s advisories may spur due additional water filtration or bottled water Chemours may have to provide local residents if the amount of HFDO-DA exceeds the advisory. Other actions the state may require also could add costs.

The new, interim health advisory levels of .004 parts per trillion (ppt) for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and .02 ppt for perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) dramatically tightened the EPA’s 2016 advisory of 70 ppt for either compound or a combination of both. The EPA also issued new, final health advisories of 10 ppt for hexafluoropropylene oxide dimer acid (HFPO-DA) and its ammonium salt—commonly referred to as “GenX chemicals” due to the technology used to produce it—and 2,000 for perfluorobutane sulfonic acid (PFBS).

The EPA announced the health advisories on June 15. They prompted North Carolina’s Department of Environmental Quality to immediately send Chemours a letter that is summarized in a July 26 presentation the state posted online.

The department directed Chemours to take additional actions as part of a consent order to which the company is subject.

Chemours said total accrued PFAS-related environmental remediation liabilities at Fayetteville increased from $359 million on Dec. 31, 2021, to $510 million as of June 30. These include constructing a barrier wall to prevent more PFAS from being discharged to the Cape Fear River and completion of a thermal oxidizer air emissions control unit.

Chemours petitioned the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in July asking it to review the HFDO-DA advisory. The American Chemistry Council petitioned the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, also in July, asking to challenge the agency’s PFOA and PFOS advisories.

To contact the reporter on this story: Pat Rizzuto in Washington at prizzuto@bloombergindustry.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Renee Schoof at rschoof@bloombergindustry.com