Jackson Co. supervisors call for public hearing on new process at DuPont

Published 7:08 pm Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Jackson County supervisors have asked state regulators to conduct a public hearing on plans by DuPont to process a chemical through its First Chemical Corp. site near Pascagoula.

The process would pass a chemical called perfluorooctanoic, or PFOA, as waste through the city sewage lines to the area’s sewage treatment plant and out to the Pascagoula River. DuPont expects to release about two pounds of PFOA a year.

The chemical is found in nonstick surfaces like stain-free clothing, microwave popcorn bags and Teflon pans.

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On Sept. 5, the Pascagoula City Council asked the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality to hold a hearing and to provide more scientific data regarding PFOA because the city has no expert who could study the issue.

Residents opposed to DuPont’s plan are hoping the city of Pascagoula will amend a local ordinance to ban PFOA from flowing through sewage lines crossing into city limits. The city already bans certain chemicals like benzene from its sewers.

First Chemical plant manager James Freeman said Monday that the company is in agreement to the public hearing requests.