Public comments lead to modifications in agreement stopping Chemours’ GenX pollution

In Wilmington, North Carolina, the Cape Fear River meets the Atlantic Ocean.  

Today North Carolina officials filed an updated agreement that requires the Chemours Company, LLC to stop polluting the Cape Fear River with toxic per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, including GenX. Years of air and water pollution from the Chemours plant near Fayetteville came to light in 2017 and SELC has been working tirelessly ever since with its client, Cape Fear River Watch, to stop any further pollution and work out a plan to address past pollution. 

“From the beginning, our focus has been to stop Chemours’ pollution of our air, water and soil, and to hold the company accountable for contaminating the river, groundwater, and communities,” said Senior Attorney Geoff Gisler. “This order will result in cleaner air, a cleaner Cape Fear, and cleaner drinking water for families nearby and downstream.”

An initial agreement, called a consent order, was reached in November 2018. Following a public comment period, adjustments to the agreement were made. Key changes include:

  1. a provision that gives downstream public water utilities a seat at the table to determine how Chemours can immediately reduce its pollution in the Cape Fear River, and
  2. a provision requiring Chemours to study the extent of its sediment pollution in the Cape Fear River.

“Cape Fear River Watch continues to stand up for clean water for all North Carolinians,” said Cape Fear Riverkeeper Kemp Burdette. “This consent order is an important first step in stopping pollution from leaving the Chemours site and entering the Cape Fear River, ground water, and the air. We are committed to seeing this process through until Chemours can prove that they have cleaned up the mess they have created."

Cape Fear River Watch is represented by SELC in litigation under the Clean Water Act and Toxic Substances Control Act against Chemours to stop its illegal pollution.

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