Groups Tell DEQ Chemours’ Plan Doesn’t Comply with State Law and Leaves its GenX Pollution in place for Decades
CHAPEL HILL, N.C.— A proposed plan by Chemours under a consent order does not even attempt to comply with state law and would leave highly contaminated groundwater in the ground to pollute the Cape Fear River for decades to come, the Southern Environmental Law Center and Cape Fear River Watch told the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) in comments submitted today.
“The Cape Fear River is the drinking water supply for hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians” said Kemp Burdette, the Cape Fear Riverkeeper. “Those communities shouldn’t have to wonder if ongoing pollution from Chemours is going to make them sick. Chemours plan doesn’t protect North Carolinians – all it does is protect Chemours’ bottom line. That’s shameful and illegal.”
The conservation groups asked DEQ to require that Chemours clean up its GenX and other PFAS pollution as required under state law and a consent order with the state and the conservation groups.
“Chemours polluted 45,000 acres of groundwater with toxic chemicals and contaminated the public water supplies for decades, yet now it proposes to avoid doing what’s needed to protect people and communities,” said Geoff Gisler, senior attorney at the Southern Environmental Law Center. “Chemours must put the health of North Carolinians living near the facility, the Cape Fear River, and downstream communities ahead of its bottom line—which its proposed plan fails to do.”
In its plan, Chemours proposes to leave highly contaminated groundwater onsite and do little to stop pollution from flowing offsite. But the groups said that DEQ must ensure that Chemours—not families nearby and downstream communities already burdened by exposure and health risks—pays the costs to clean up its pollution.
DEQ is accepting public comments on the Chemours’ proposal from now until April 6, 2020. Comments can be sent to [email protected]
For more than 30 years, the Southern Environmental Law Center has used the power of the law to champion the environment of the Southeast. With over 70 attorneys and nine offices across the region, SELC is widely recognized as the Southeast’s foremost environmental organization and regional leader. SELC works on a full range of environmental issues to protect our natural resources and the health and well-being of all the people in our region. www.SouthernEnvironment.org