Group files suit to stop emissions from Chemours

By: Chrysta Carroll - Bladen Journal

CHAPEL HILL — Lawsuits surrounding GenX keep piling up, as, on Friday, the Southern Environmental Law Center filed suit in New Hanover County Superior Court, arguing the Departmennt of Environmental Quality should use existing authority to require Chemours to stop discharges of harmful chemicals.

“The state needs to stop immediately Chemours’ toxic pollution of the air and water that families and communities from Fayetteville to Wilmington depend on,” said Geoff Gisler, senior attorney, Southern Environmental Law Center. “Every day that goes by, Chemours puts more toxic pollution into the air and water that accumulates in our rivers, land, and groundwater. Chemours’ harmful pollution must end now.”

The suit, filed in behalf of Cape Fear River Watch, asks the court to require DEQ to intervene and immediately require the Fayetteville Works Facility to cease emissions and discharges of GenX and chemically related compounds. SELC argues that DEQ has the obligation to stop release of PFAS because they are an imminent threat to health and safety, and stopping such a threat is the purpose of DEQ.

“The people of North Carolina depend on DEQ to protect our health and safety in times of emergency,” said Dana Sargent, president of the Cape Fear River Watch Board of Directors. “This is one of those times.”

The filing is in response to the denial of an earlier appeal. On June 15, Cape Fear River Watch received notice from DEQ that the latter agency was denying an appeal from Cape Fear River Watch to intervene and order the cessation of toxic chemicals from Chemours. Having received the denial, the group is asking for court intervention.

“Chemours and DuPont knowingly polluted North Carolina’s water resources with toxic PFAS compounds for nearly four decades, causing widespread and dangerous contamination of groundwater the surface waters,” reads a SELC press release. “After a year of investigation, Chemours continues to emit GenX and other PFAS compounds into the water, air, and soil through its stack emissions, leaking pipes, ditches, and unlined, leaking pits. Families and communities have already been exposed to decades of toxic contamination.”

According to the press release, DEQ has found GenX in 763 private drinking water wells up to 5.5 miles away from the Chemours facility, as well as in rainwater, fish, and honey surrounding the site.

Chrysta Carroll can be reached by calling 910-862-4163 or emailing ccarroll@bladenjournal.com.

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Chrysta Carroll

Bladen Journal