WILMINGTON, Del, Feb 28 (Reuters) – DuPont Co. (nyse: DD – news – people), the No. 2 U.S. chemical company, on Friday said it agreed to a $1.1 million settlement with the U.S. government over a hydrogen fluoride leak from its Kentucky plant in 1997.
About 11,500 pounds of hydrogen fluoride, a gas with a pungent, irritating odor, leaked from DuPont’s plant in Louisville, Kentucky, the company said. The gas is a byproduct of coal burning and is used to make hydrofluoric acid, a chemical used in steel production and etching circuit boards.
DuPont, based in Wilmington, Delaware, has concluded that inadequate value stem design contributed to the release, which lasted 40 minutes but caused no injuries on-site.
Half the settlement is a cash penalty. The remaining portion will fund environmental agencies in Louisville. The settlement is between DuPont, the U.S. Department of Justice and Environmental Protection Agency.
DuPont is still reviewing the settlement, which could be finalized in the second quarter of 2003.