On Dec. 15, 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that DuPont Chemical will pay over $50 million as part of a settlement for releasing mercury into Shenandoah Valley waterways.
The chemical company will admit no fault, yet the payment will resolve alleged violations of environmental laws, the Associated Press reports.
The payment will be the largest environmental settlement in Virginia history.
According to Harrisonburg TV station WSHV, the funds will be used for a series of proposed projects including: land protection, improvements to water quality and fish habitat, mussel propagation, recreational fishing access, migratory songbird habitat restoration and more.
The settlement follows a still-unapproved merger of Dow and DuPont, both chemical giants. The merger has been awaiting approval by European Union anti-trust regulators for months.
According to the Associated Press, cleanup will begin in February at the riverbank in Constitution Park in Waynesboro, Va. Soil with high mercury concentrations will be removed and replaced with fresh soil.
— Carl Blankenship