DEQ asks court to require Chemours to control air emissions of GenX

RALEIGH – The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality on Monday filed an amended complaint and motion for preliminary injunctive relief against the Chemours Company in Bladen County Superior Court.

With the legal action, the state aims to require Chemours to control air emissions of GenX compounds; remove, treat or control all other sources of GenX compounds; and provide a full accounting of any process wastewater discharge through a drainage ditch at the site. The action expands the scope of a Sept. 7 complaint filed by the agency alleging multiple violations of North Carolina environmental laws at the company’s Fayetteville Works facility.

“It’s time for Chemours to own up to the level of contamination they have caused to the environment in and around their Fayetteville Works facility,” said DEQ Secretary Michael Regan. “DEQ is using every tool available to require Chemours to clean up and stop further GenX contamination.”

As part of the state’s investigation into GenX contamination at the Bladen County facility and surrounding areas, DEQ scientists have discovered evidence that air emissions from the Chemours plant are causing widespread groundwater contamination. The evidence led DEQ to amend the legal complaint against the company to address air emissions that are the cause of the groundwater contamination.

The previous legal complaint filed by DEQ on Sept. 7 cited violation of state groundwater rules, misrepresentation and violation of wastewater permitting disclosure requirements, and unpermitted discharge.

Monday’s court action follows a 60-day notice of intent issued by the N.C. Division of Air Quality to Chemours on Friday. The notice gave the company three weeks to demonstrate that air emissions at the Fayetteville Works facility can be controlled at a level that will stop contributions to groundwater pollution or the division will prohibit all GenX emissions by modifying the company’s air permit to.

For additional information on the state’s investigation of GenX and other emerging compounds, visit https://deq.nc.gov/news/hot-topics/genx-investigation.