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PA DUPONT ORDERED TO PAY LARGEST ADMINISTRATIVE PENALTY IN EPA HISTORY

Release Date: 05/08/98
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FOR RELEASE: FRIDAY, MAY 8, 1998

DUPONT ORDERED TO PAY LARGEST ADMINISTRATIVE PENALTY
IN EPA HISTORY

In a landmark decision made on April 30, an EPA judge imposed the largest administrative penalty in the Agency’s history against DuPont. EPA Administrative Law Judge Edward J. Kuhlmann ordered DuPont to pay $1.89 million for ignoring EPA orders to stop shipping pesticides with labels that did not adequately state that protective eyewear is required when using the product to protect against the risk of accident or injury. DuPont shipped pesticides on about 380 occasions with labels that omitted the protective eyewear warnings required by the Worker Protection Standard rule, which was enacted under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act in August 1992. This is the first case to be tried under the rule. EPA charged DuPont with improperly labeling four herbicides sold and distributed under DuPont’s Bladex and Extrazine II product lines. Based on information obtained from DuPont, EPA calculated that the company made more than $9.4 million from the sale of its mislabelled pesticides. The worker protection rule requires that all pesticide products sold and distributed after April 21, 1994 display proper warning labels. The rule, which covers more than 3.5 million farm workers and other pesticide handlers, is designed to limit workers’ exposure to pesticides, reduce adverse health effects when exposure occurs, and inform and educate workers about hazards associated with occupational pesticide use. EPA estimated that at least tens of thousands of acute illness and injuries occur each year to agricultural workers because of occupational exposures to pesticides.

R-60 ###