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Ohio AG files lawsuit against DuPont over river pollution

[JURIST] Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine [official website] filed a lawsuit [complaint, PDF] in the Washington County Common Pleas Court [official website] against DuPont [corporate website] alleging that the company intentionally released perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) into the Ohio River.

The discharges are accused of occurring from the company's Washington Works facility near Parkersburg, West Virginia. Exposure to PFOA has been linked to kidney and testicular cancer, thyroid disease, pregnancy-induced hypertension and low birth weight, high cholesterol, and ulcerative colitis. The releases are claimed to have occurred between 1951 and 2013. DuPont is accused of knowingly releasing PFOA to the air, river, and land despite knowing of its toxic nature. The company is also accused of intentionally concealing the dangers of PFOA from governmental entities and the public.

DuPont is being accused of negligence, nuisance, and trespass due to the releases. The lawsuit requests that DuPont be charged for damages, including punitive damages, as well as for the cost of cleanup. The lawsuit also calls for the court to indemnify Ohio of all expenditures the State is obligated to undertake in connection with PFOA contamination in Ohio.

The UN has previously called [JURIST report] for stronger anti-pollution legislation and enforcement in February 2017. Environmentalists have previously sued [JURIST report] the Environmental Protection Agency in September 2016 stating that the agency should enact new regulations for protecting water quality standards.

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