You may contact the Settlement Administrator by toll-free and telephone at 1-800-345-0837 or 205-716-3000.
You may also contact toe Settlement Administrator by mail at:
501 Riverchase Parkway East, Suite 100
Hoover, Alabama 35244
I. TOWN HALL MEETINGS
1. What did I get in the mail?
? a. A notice of town hall meetings:
i. You can come to any meeting and ask questions and receive help with your registration form. It does not matter what letter your last name begins with, you can come to any meeting.
b. A registration form:
i. This form allows you to apply to be a member of the medical monitoring class. Note: Section IV of the form, where you can recommend a doctor or a medical clinic to participate in the program, and can list people you know who used to live in the Class Area, is optional.
ii. You may register for the class, and receive a $200 dollar payment simply for registering, whether you want testing or not. Participation is voluntary for both registration and testing.
iii. You must prove that you lived in the Class Area for the appropriate amount of time to be a member of the medical monitoring class and receive your cash payment and be eligible for testing. (1 year in Zone 1, 3 years in Zone 2. 5 years in Zone 3 – See Map). You may use any type of documents that prove that you lived in the Class Area, such as tax returns, leases, deeds, utility bills, school report cards, medical bills, old checks with an address, & etc.
iv. Each individual person, including children, must fill out their own medical monitoring registration form.
2. What are the Town Hall Meetings for?
a. To help you fill out your registration forms for Medical Monitoring and answer your questions about Medical Monitoring.
b. To listen to your ideas about the property cleanup. Judge Bedell is still in charge of the Settlement, and he has not made a final decision as to what to do with the property cleanup. We want your feedback at the Town Hall Meetings to help us decide what to do with the cleanup money.
c. To answer any questions you have about the Settlement.
3. You can come to the Settlement Claims Office in Spelter, located in the Volunteer Fire Department, from 9-5 weekdays. The phone number is 304-622-7443.
4. We will help you fill out registration forms at the Town Hall Meetings or the Settlement Claims Office in Spelter.
II. MEDICAL MONITORING
1. What is medical monitoring?
A: Medical Monitoring provides a voluntary physical screening exam to qualifying class members that will be available this year to everyone who signs up. Additionally, every two years after this year, for a total time period of thirty years, qualifying class members who decide to participate will have a similar follow up exam.
2. Who is eligible for medical monitoring? Am I a class member?
A: Eligibility is based on where you lived since 1966. If you lived in Zone 1 for at least one year since 1966, you are eligible. If you lived in Zone 2 for at least three years since 1966, you are eligible. If you lived in Zone 3 for at least five years since 1966, you are eligible. The Zones are marked on the map that accompanies the registration form. The map is on the website at www.perrinedupont.com, and available at our office in Spelter upon request.
3. What type of exam?
A: The exam will consist primarily of blood and urine tests for people over 15 years of age. Children under 15 years of age will only have a blood test. People over the age of 35 may be prescribed a CT exam if a doctor believes it is necessary to check for respiratory problems.
4. What are the exams looking for?
A: Lead poisoning, cancer, gastrointestinal problems, and in some cases, respiratory problems.
5. What does medical monitoring cost me?
A: Nothing. Medical Monitoring exams will not cost you any money. As part of the Settlement, DuPont has agreed to pay for the medical monitoring exams for the next 30 years.
6. Can I sell out my medical benefits for cash?
A: NO. There is no cash buyout of the monitoring benefits. You can either use the testing, every 2 years for the next 30 years, or you get nothing but the initial cash payment for registering and proving that you are a qualifying class member.
7. Who will do the medical monitoring exams?
A: We will work with area doctors, medical clinics and hospitals. We want your optional recommendation on the registration form of any doctor or clinic that you trust to conduct the exams.
8. I used to live in the area. What do I have to do to prove my eligibility?
A: We want documents that have your name, physical address, and dates that prove that you lived in the class area for at least the minimum period mentioned above. For example, adults can use real estate tax documents, driver’s licenses, other Department of Motor Vehicle records, passports, employment rolls, utility bills, insurance records, medical records, government benefit records, public assistance documents, deeds, lease agreements, tax records like tax returns, church enrollment records, bank records, DHR or other government documents, gym memberships, police records, court records, voter’s registration cards & etc.For children: birth certificates, school records, day care records, medical records, parent or guardian tax records listing children as dependents, lease agreements listing children as occupants, government benefit records, public assistance documents, insurance documents, medical records, guardianship or other court documents showing residency, church enrollment records, passports, and or documents related to extracurricular activities.
9. How long do I have to submit my form?
A: We will accept new forms until August 31, 2011. After that date you may not submit a form. If you do not submit a form before August 31, 2011, you will forever waive your right to receive the benefits related to the medical monitoring aspect of the Settlement.
10. Who do I contact to get forms, fill out forms, or ask questions?
A: The Perrine DuPont Settlement Claims Office, which is located inside the Spelter Volunteer Fire Department at 55 B Street, Spelter. You may also contact us via mail at P.O. Box 257, Spelter, WV, 26438. You may contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. There is an informational website about this Settlement at www.perrinedupont.com. You may also download the forms from the website.
11. Please explain the signature and witness requirement on page 4 of the form.
A: If you are a competent adult, sign on the left hand side where it says “Signature of Claimant”. If you are completing the form for a child as his parent or guardian or for an incompetent person as his guardian, please sign for them. Please have your signature witnessed by a competent adult who knows you or for whom you show identification, and have the witness put his name and address.
12. Do I have to attend the Town Hall Meetings to register?
A: No, the meetings are optional, not mandatory. You may register by mail or email or by bringing the forms to our office in the Spelter Volunteer Fire Department.
13. Why does each person have to fill out their own form?
A: Because each person has their own individual right to the cash payments for registering and qualifying as a class member, and their own right to medical monitoring. For example, if you have 5 family members, each family member will receive their own cash payment as long as each family member individually proves their residency requirements.
14. Why is there no treatment for the diseases or medical conditions, if any, found by the medical monitoring?
A: Because this lawsuit did not allege that the Defendants caused any personal injuries to anyone. The Settlement only provides for diagnostic testing because that is all medical monitoring provides, and that is what the lawsuit alleged and the Settlement provides. Additionally, as part of the medical monitoring program, the Settlement will provide you with a visit to a health care provider to discuss and review the results of your medical monitoring examination.
15. Who fills out the form for a child or an incompetent person and who gets the cash for them?
A: The parent or legal guardian of the child can fill out and sign the form for them, the guardian of an incompetent person can do the same. The parent of guardian of the child or guardian for an incompetent gets their cash, but can only use it for the Class Member.
16. Medical Monitoring Class Payments (No testing required).a. How much money do I get?A: The first payment will be two hundred dollars ($200). If 15,000 people sign up and prove that they lived in the Class Area, that is the only payment you will receive. If 7,500 people sign up, you will get a second payment of approximately two hundred dollars ($200). This is because we will equally divide the three million dollars available for registration payments amongst the people who sign up and prove that they lived in the Class Area for the required amount of time. Therefore, the amount of cash depends on how many register.b. Do I have to sign up for testing to get the money?
A: No. You will receive the same amount of money whether or not you participate in the medical monitoring, as long as you qualify as a class member. You still have to prove that you are eligible for the medical monitoring by being a class member to receive the money.
III. PROPERTY REMEDIATION
1. What is the first step in the property cleanup process?
A: The first step in the process is the Town Hall Meetings, which will take place over the next two weeks, from February 28, 2011, to March 11, 2011, on each week day at 9:00am and at 2:00pm. Immediately after the Meetings, we will design and send out a survey to everyone which will request your opinions on the cleanup. We want to use a survey to allow people who are not at these meetings to have their voices heard, and to poll the community on key cleanup issues. The surveys will also allow people who are not comfortable speaking in public to have their voices heard. After tabulating the survey results, we will schedule a Fairness Hearing before Judge Bedell at the Courthouse, where any Class Members who want to speak to the Judge about the property cleanup will have their voices heard. After that, the Court will be asked to issue an Order on the design of the cleanup.
2. What is the next step in the process?
A: The next step is to test your homes for contamination, because only contaminated homes will be cleaned. If you live in Zone 1A, which is right next to the Smelter site in Spelter, we may also test the soil in your yard for contamination.
3. Can I perform the cleaning myself?
A: This is strongly not recommended. Cleaning using normal household methods may increase exposure to dust in short term by stirring it up and it is very difficult to achieve long-term benefits without professional cleaning.
4. Will I have to leave my home during cleaning?
A: You may have to, but will not always need to leave your home. This will depend on level of cleaning by zone and phase of cleaning. For soil excavation, if any, you would not need to leave your home. For attic cleaning it is unlikely that you would need to leave your home. For interior living spaces, interruptions should be limited to a day or two during cleaning.
5. What if I don’t have my soil or home cleaned, and my home and/or my soil has been tested and contamination has been found?
A: There will be an increased risk for adverse health effects and any contaminated soil or dust will remain as a source to contaminate other cleaned areas.
6. What if I elect to have my contaminated soil cleaned up, but my neighbor does not clean up their contaminated soil?
A: There is a reasonable likelihood that your neighbor’s property may serve as a source for future contamination of your property.
7. If the soil is contaminated around my home, can I drink the water?
A: Potable use water (taps/spigots/faucets) within the homes and buildings is generally supplied by the Public Service District and is normally called “city water” and tested frequently for metals and is safe to drink. If you have a well, it should be investigated periodically as with any otherwise un-tested water supply.
8. Can I grow my garden after soil cleanup is complete?
A: We hope so – soil contamination for most areas in Zone 1A is generally limited to the upper soil layers and should be recovered through replacement of 6” topsoil, or other remedies to clean up the soil.
9. How do I know if my home or structure is affected by contamination?
A: Individual sampling or testing has not been performed for every structure. However, based on sampling results of many structures over a wide area and historical weather patterns, it is believed that many of the structures may be affected to the extent indicated by the different class zones. Generally, the closer that your property is to the former smelter, the greater the risk to you for adverse health effects from the contamination.
10. Is the Smelter site still a concern for contamination to my property?
A: Remedial activities were completed at the smelter site under supervision of the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection and the Environmental Protection Agency. These activities consisted of removing presumably contaminated structures and equipment, consolidation and capping of the waste tailings pile, and installation of surface water drainage features/structures to prevent precipitation from travelling through the tailings and transporting to other locations. The remedial solutions are believed to be functioning as designed and should not be contaminating your property at this time.
11. Why can’t I just have money instead of cleanup?
A: The decision between cash and cleanup is up to Judge Bedell. We will listen to all of you, and tabulate the survey results from the questionnaires about the cleanup process and report to Judge Bedell. Judge Bedell will make the final decision.
12. How will this affect my property’s value?
A. We believe that cleanup will improve your property’s value.
13. How can I prove that my property is clean to a potential buyer?
A. If you participate in the cleanup, we will be able to provide you with a certificate.
14. What if I have a new home or if I have remodeled my home recently?
A: We will not do any unnecessary cleanup.
15. Will you force a clean-up of my soil or home if I don’t want it?
A: Judge Bedell will make all final decisions about the cleanup.
16. Who is in charge of the cleanup?
A: Judge Bedell will make all final decisions about the cleanup. These meetings are designed to allow you to tell us about the most important aspects of the cleanup to you, and for you to help design the cleanup.
17. I used to own property in the Class Area but I sold it… do I get anything?
A: No, only current owners are eligible for the cleanup.
18. My Mom died and she had three children who all own the property together – who will decide about cleaning up the property?
A: The current owners will be asked to come to a consensus and agree about what to do with the property.
19. Who decides whether a contaminated property will be cleaned up?
A: The current owner as long as the Court approves.
The following Questions and Answers (##20-40) were updated on April 27, 2012. If any of the prior Questions and Answers conflict or contract these updated Questions and Answers, the updated Questions and Answers control.
20. I OWN PROPERTY IN ZONE 1A. HOW MANY SOIL SAMPLES WERE COLLECTED FROM MY YARD?
A: 2 composite samples were collected on average size lots, which is any lot smaller than one half acre. Each sample consisted of 5 separate sub-samples, blended together. So, for each sample, 5 locations in your yard had dirt removed. The amount of dirt removed at each location was very small. Approximately 6 inches of soil below the grass roots was used, with a 1 or 2 inch diameter hole being taken away, and the grass was replaced over the hole.
21. I OWN A HOUSE IN THE CLASS AREA THAT IS NOT A GRASSELLI PROPERTY, HOW MANY SAMPLES WERE COLLECTED FROM MY HOUSE?
A: 6 samples were collected from an average house. 2 samples were taken from the floor or carpet in high traffic areas. 2 samples were taken from other hard surfaces in your house where dust might accumulate, such as walls, window sills, floors, or from the blades on a ceiling fan. The final 2 samples were taken from the attic, but only if it is accessible. If the attic was not accessible or if your house does not have an attic, we took those two 2 samples elsewhere in the house, so that there was a total of 6 samples for every house.
22. WHEN WILL I RECEIVE THE RESULTS FROM HOUSE (ALL ZONES) OR SOIL (ZONE 1A ONLY) SAMPLING?
A: We are providing all of the results that are verified by our scientific and technical consultant as accurate, during the latter part of April 2012. If your property was tested between November 2011 and March 2012, you should receive your results in April 2012. If you do not receive your results by May 1, 2012, please contact our Spelter Claims Office.
As explained by the Court in its June 27, 2011 Property Remediation (Clean-Up) Order on our website, we are to complete all property sampling before any clean-up begins. After sampling is complete, we will analyze the results and the cost of completing a clean-up, based on the test results. This will allow us to determine the contamination levels that will trigger a clean-up.
23. WHAT TYPES OF TESTS ARE BEING RUN?
A: Both house (for all Zones) and soil (in Zone 1A only) samples have been tested for lead, cadmium, arsenic, and zinc.
24. WHEN CAN I ASK QUESTIONS ABOUT THE CLEAN-UP PROGRAM?
A: We have scheduled a two-day Fairness Hearing for May 1, 2012, and May 2, 2012, at the Harrison County Courthouse, in Judge Bedell’s Courtroom on the Fourth Floor, which is in Room 321. You may come on either day of the hearing to hear our clean-up plan, discuss your opinions about the plan, meet the proposed contractor, and hear expert testimony about the clean-up standards.
25. WHEN WILL I RECEIVE THE MONEY?
A: Participating Class Members will receive a $500 annoyance and inconvenience fee for house testing and possible clean-up, in all Zones of the Class Area, and a $5,000 annoyance and inconvenience fee for soil testing and possible clean-up in Zone 1A only (large parcels in Zone 1A get more). You should have already received 1/5 of this fee ($100 for house and $1,000 for soil) as a testing annoyance and inconvenience fee on or about the time the sampling took place.
The other 4/5ths of the money ($400 for a house in all Zones or $4,000 for soil in Zone 1A only) will be paid as follows:
(i) No Clean-up. If, based on the house sampling or soil (Zone 1A only) sampling results, there will be no clean-up, or if your house is in outer Zones so we do not have enough money to clean it up, you will receive the balance with the Test Results Letter discussed in answering Question 3 above.
(ii) Clean-up. If your house or soil (Zone 1A only) will be cleaned-up based on available money and based on the test results, the balance of the annoyance and inconvenience payment will be received when your clean-up is completed.
26. IF MY PROPERTY IS CLEANED BY THE SETTLEMENT, WHO PAYS FOR IT?
A: The Settlement will pay for the Settlement clean-up. We will clean-up in the following order until the money is exhausted: (1) Zone 1A Soil, (2) Zone 1 houses, (3) Zone 2 houses, (4) Zone 3 houses. We hope that the Settlement funds will provide enough money to clean all participating houses in the Class Area that need to be cleaned, but it may not be possible. The Court has Ordered that the houses closest to the site of the former zinc smelter, in Spelter, be cleaned first, because they are the most affected. We are being frugal with Settlement moneys: Only participating Class Member Property is being tested and will be cleaned-up based on test results and available moneys.
27. WHAT IS THE TIME-LINE FOR CLEAN-UP?
A: We plan to start clean-up on May 15, 2012, in Zone 1A in Spelter, where soil remediation will occur. While the time-line for clean-up may vary, and is dependent on external factors, such as weather and scheduling issues, we will do our best to complete clean-up of Zone 1A soil and Zone 1 houses by the end of 2012. We hope to start cleaning Zone 2 houses by January 1, 2013, and Zone 3 houses by July 1, 2013.
28. HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO CLEAN-UP MY SOIL IF I LIVE IN ZONE 1A?
A: We plan on cleaning both the soil and houses in Zone 1A at the same time, which should take no more than 10 days.
29. HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO CLEAN MY HOUSE?
A: We plan on taking no more than 5 days to clean your house. This schedule is partially dependent on the condition of your house.
30. WHERE DO I LIVE WHILE MY HOUSE IS BEING CLEANED?
A: We will provide a local hotel room for you, and the Settlement will pay for it. The Settlement will also pay your family $100 per day while you are staying in the hotel, for food and other incidentals.
31. WHERE DO MY PETS STAY WHEN I HAVE TO LEAVE MY HOUSE?
A: We will attempt to provide housing for your pets while your property is being remediated, if necessary.
32. ARE EXTRA UNOCCUPIED BUILDINGS ON MY PROPERTY ELIGIBLE FOR MONEY?
A: No. Only houses or commercial structures that are fit for human occupancy and regularly occupied by people are eligible. For example, a garage or shed does not count.
33. HOW WILL YOU DISPOSE OF THE SAMPLES COLLECTED IN TESTING MY HOUSE (ALL ZONES) OR SOIL (ZONE 1A ONLY)?
A: After the laboratory completes the analysis of the samples, it will dispose of the samples.
34. IF MY SOIL (ZONE 1A ONLY) MUST BE REPLACED, WHAT IS THE SOURCE OF THE REPLACEMENT SOIL (ZONE 1A ONLY)?
A: We will provide soil that has been tested and is below recommended safety levels.
35. IF YOU HAVE DETERMINED THAT MY HOUSE NEEDS TO BE CLEANED, IS IT UNSAFE TO LIVE THERE WHILE IT IS BEING CLEANED?
A: No, but it may be inconvenient. When we determined that your home should be cleaned, we used risk-based clean-up standards of 1 in 10,000. That means that if the levels of arsenic, cadmium, lead or zinc exceeded standards that would increase your chance of contracting an illness by 1 in 10,000, we are recommending that your house be cleaned. This increased risk of 1 in 10,000 is based on thirty (30) years of exposure over a lifetime of seventy (70) years. However, we may provide for your relocation during the remediation of your soil and/or house for the sake of convenience.
36. I HAVE A LARGE LOT IN ZONE 1A FOR WHICH I GOT A SOIL TESTING ANNOYANCE AND INCONVENIENCE FEE LARGER THAN $1,000. HOW MANY SOIL SAMPLES DID YOU TAKE?
A: We will usually took 2 samples for every half acre, although unique situations may have been treated differently.
37. IF I HAVE MORE THAN ONE PROPERTY IN THE CLASS AREA THAT ARE NOT GRASSELLI PROPERTIES, ARE THEY ELIGIBLE FOR ADDITIONAL TESTING AND MONEYS?
A: Separate properties are those that are in different locations in the Class Area and do not touch each other. You may sign up separate properties separately.
38. WHY WERE YELLOW FLAGS IN MY YARD (IN ZONE 1A ONLY) BEFORE TESTING?
A: The utility company marked underground lines before we did soil testing to make sure we did not touch or disturb any lines.
39. THE PROPERTY CLEAN-UP FORM SAYS THE SIGN-UP DEADLINE IS OCTOBER 10, 2011. MAY I STILL SIGN UP?
A: No, the deadline to sign up was December 2, 2011. After that date, we will deny your claim, but you may appeal the denial to the Honorable Thomas A. Bedell, Circuit Judge of Harrison County, West Virginia, who presides over this Settlement.
40. YOU HAVEN’T ANSWERED ALL MY QUESTIONS. WHAT DO I DO?
A:. Come visit us at our Claims Office, located in the Spelter, West Virginia, Fire Station at 55 B Street in Spelter, West Virginia, which is open week days from 8:30 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. Or you can call us at 304-622-7443, or 1-800-345-0837. You can also visit our website, www.perrinedupont.com, or email us at email@example.com.