475 Acres of Wetlands Preserved in Perpetuity, Proposed Restoration Plan for Dupont Beaumont Works West Marsh Site in Texas
January 14, 2021
Per a Federal Register Notice on January 14, 2021, the Department of Justice announced that a consent decree was lodged in the hazardous waste case of DuPont Beaumont Works West Marsh in Jefferson County, Texas to compensate the public for injuries to natural resources at the Beaumont Works Industrial Complex.
Under the proposed settlement, two responsible parties, E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company and the Chemours Company will implement a restoration project to preserve a 475-acre tract of habitat.
The proposed area includes tidal intermediate wetlands, expanses of open water, and bands of upland forested habitat in Orange County, Texas. The conservation area will provide important habitats for many species of fish, migratory birds, and waterfowl. These habitats would be preserved in perpetuity via a conservation easement to be held by the Big Thicket Natural Heritage Trust, a local conservation group. This action will be implemented with Trustee oversight.
Both parties will also reimburse State and Federal trustees for past and future assessment costs, including costs to oversee and monitor the restoration project. This will ensure that the 475 acres will be monitored and maintained for years to come.
Injuries to natural resources stemmed from the DuPont Beaumont Works Industrial Park Complex which began operations in 1954. The 751-acre complex borders the Neches River and the West Marsh, which support a variety of fish and wildlife. Historical operations at the site resulted in the disposal of hazardous substances, including chlorinated organic compounds and heavy metals, into the surrounding environment.
The proposed restoration project will preserve 475 acres of habitat in perpetuity, meaning they will remain a refuge for fish and wildlife forever. This remarkable accomplishment will be made possible with the help of the Big Thicket Natural Heritage Trust, who ensured the proposed project best fits the needs of the local community.
NOAA worked alongside our co-trustees, the U.S Department of the Interior, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and the Texas General Land Office, to assess environmental impacts and develop the restoration plan.
The public can view and comment on the consent decree on the Department of Justice website through February 13, 2021.