Dupont Workers Say Their Plant Isn't Polluting The Community

In a parking lot outside the DuPont plant, Jimbo Perkins and 12 co-workers backed their company's safety record.

"What we're doing to this community is being good neighbors and trying our best to do our jobs as safely as possible," Perkins said.

The workers said they drink DuPont's water. And they use the water to wash their hands. So in their opinions, a recent protest about DuPont pollutants making people sick had no merit.

According to DuPont worker Kevin Gallagher, "With the procedures we have in place right now, there's no way that we're doing anything wrong, everything is safe, or my family and my children wouldn't live one mile from this plant."

Mike Fenasci is one of the attorneys who's fighting DuPont. He told WLOX News he's heard from 2,000 people in Pass Christian, Bay St. Louis and Delisle who claim their illnesses were caused by dioxins made here at the plant.

"This is a message about health, about cancer, about diabetes," Fenasci said, "about people in the community being harmed by what these guys do to make a profit."

Rick Collins didn't agree with that statement. The DuPont worker said, "For somebody to come in and attack us and try to ruin my life, my family's life, the economy of the coast, it angers us."

A Thursday editorial pointed out what Newswatch This Week reported last week - that some DuPont protesters were paid to picket. That fact didn't sit well with the DuPont group. The editorial didn't sit well with attorney Fenasci either, for a much different reason.

"That's taking the messenger and attacking the message," Fenasci said, "because you can't defend what's going on out there."

On Friday, DuPont employees like Rick Collins took responsibility for the plant's defense.

"We just do too many things around here to make sure that we're doing the right thing," Collins said.

The 13 employees got permission from DuPont's management before talking with WLOX News.

Mike Fenasci said the first lawsuits against DuPont and the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality should be filed in mid-June.