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THIRTEEN YEARS AFTER the discovery that Allied Chemical, one of Virginia's major employers, had knowingly discharged the pesticide kepone into the James River, the waterway was fully reopened to fishing.

From 1966 to 1973, Allied Chemical produced kepone at a small plant converted from a gas station in Hopewell, Virginia. After 1973, the plant was operated by two former Allied employees under the name Life Science Products Company. Its sole customer was Allied; its sole product was kepone. In 1975, Virginia closed the plant after workers developed the “kepone shakes,” a characteristic tremor caused by overexposure to the chemical. Overexposure can also cause liver damage and temporary sterility. Kepone, a grayish white powder used in ant traps and to kill potato and banana plants, was banned ...

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