University of Delaware
delware environmental institute

News Journal: Chemours' launch spurs anxiety over pollution cleanups

Pompton Lakes, New Jersey, resident Lisa J. Riggiola wasn't among those cheering DuPont's official spinoff of the Chemours Co. this week. Riggiola, who grew up in the borough and served on its council, worries Chemours could be crippled by the weight of nationwide pollution cleanup bills the company carried away from DuPont's remaining enterprises. Those expenses, she said, might weaken Chemours' ability to follow through on a more-than-500-acre cleanup at a former DuPont explosives plant in her community.

"To me, it's a sad day because I don't know what's going to happen," said Riggiola, a member of a community advisory group. The organization recently asked federal officials to investigate the new company's ability to meet its obligations for cleaning up mercury, lead and other pollutants in soil, lake sediments and groundwater, including toxic solvent vapors surfacing under hundreds of homes.

At spots around Delaware, New Jersey and across the country, Chemours is now tied to 190 current or potential DuPont legacy cleanup sites under various programs. Chemours this week completed its spinoff from DuPont and launched as an independent, publicly traded company, with headquarters in the DuPont Building in downtown Wilmington.