A DuPont logo is pictured on the research center in Meyrin near Geneva
DuPont cut its full-year 2011 profit outlook Friday, citing weak electronic demand and weak housing and construction markets. Reuters

Wilmington, Delaware-based chemical manufacturer DuPont has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $3.3 million for violating the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

According to the EPA, DuPont had violated TSCA Section 8(e), which provides that Any person who manufactures, processes, or distributes in commerce a chemical substance or mixture and who obtains information which reasonably supports the conclusion that such substance or mixture presents a substantial risk of injury to health or the environment shall immediately inform the Administrator of such information unless such person has actual knowledge that the Administrator has been adequately informed of such information.

In a letter dated May 5, 2006, DuPont had informed the EPA that it had performed inhalation toxicity studies but had not reported the same to the EPA as required pursuant to TSCA S.8(e).

Subsequently, on July 12, 2006, DuPont submitted 109 studies that contained reports of acute inhalation toxicity in rats. For the next 11 months, the company submitted additional studies to the EPA. In all, 176 studies were submitted.

All studies contained information on chemical toxicity when certain chemicals are inhaled and the reports were on inhalation toxicity studies performed on rats exposed to the test substances in an aerosol or particular form.

The EPA determined that 57 studies met the reporting criteria under TSCA S.8(e).

However, as DuPont had failed to report them immediately, it had violated the TSCA and was liable to pay civil penalty.

DuPont failed to comply with the law and notify EPA that it had information on chemicals that could pose a risk to human health and the environment, said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance.

EPA is serious about making companies follow our nation’s laws and protecting public health, Giles said.

As per the consent agreement, DuPont will pay $3.3 million to the EPA within 30 days after the effective date of the Final Order, failing which the company shall pay an additional stipulated penalty of $1,000 per calendar day, plus interest.

This is not the first time that DuPont has been asked to pay a massive fine. In 2005, the company settled another claim by the EPA that it had hidden the toxic effects of a chemical. That settlement, totaling $10.25 million, was at the time the largest administrative penalty ever secured by the EPA.