From: Associated Press
Published April 11, 2005 12:00 AM

DuPont Shareholder Seeks Disclosure of Expenses on Chemical Being Studied by EPA

CHARLESTON, W. VA. — A DuPont Co. shareholder wants the chemical maker to disclose legal fees and other expenses for a chemical that is used to make the nonstick substance Teflon and is being studied by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a possible carcinogen.


Company management opposes the proposal, which will be voted on later this month at the company's annual meeting in Wilmington, Del., where it is based.


If approved, DuPont would be forced to disclose fees paid to attorneys and experts, and costs for lobbying and public relations related to the health and environmental consequences of perfluorooctanoic acid or PFOA. The chemical also is known as C8.


Shareholder John D. Kimmerle of Kenmore, N.Y., wants DuPont to disclose the financial information for every year from 1981 to 2004. "While DuPont has disclosed some information, we believe more transparency of the costs associated with the company's use of PFOA would promote sound corporate governance," his proposal says.


DuPont's board of directors advised shareholders to reject the financial disclosure, saying the information "would be confusing" and "would not significantly enhance the extensive current information that is available to shareholders."


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In February, a judge approved the settlement of a class-action lawsuit in which DuPont agreed to pay at least $107.6 million to settle claims from residents in West Virginia and Ohio who said their drinking water had been contaminated with PFOA.


A pending lawsuit filed by the EPA alleges DuPont hid information about the dangers of PFOA. The lawsuit accused DuPont of causing "widespread contamination" of drinking water supplies near its Washington Works plant on the Ohio River.


Source: Associated Press


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