UPDATE: Council is now expected to vote on the resolution at the Jan. 22 meeting. The Wilmington City Council is expected to take up the Chemours – Department of Environmental Quality consent order at their meeting this week. The agreement was announced just before Thanksgiving. It requires Chemours to pay a $12 million dollar fine and $1 million in fees to cover investigative costs for DEQ. Opposition to the plan is growing.
The order, negotiated with DEQ and Cape Fear River Watch, also requires Chemours to provide clean water to those around the company’s Fayetteville facility.
Cape Fear Public Utility Authority officials expressed concerns over downstream water quality and issued a formal opposition to the order.
A proposed resolution in front of Wilmington City Council says that Council “…hereby declares their opposition to the Consent Order citing and adopting in full the CFPUA Comments, and respectfully request that the Court deny the Consent Order.”
But DEQ Secretary Michael Regan insists the order is the best way forward.
“This consent order is what I would call a very strong step forward. It's the continuation of what we've started, which was discontinuing to discharge from this facility into the Cape Fear River. In addition to that, the consent order looks at capping the air emissions from this facility by 92 percent by December, 99 percent by the following year. In addition to that, it prescribes how we want this company to go about cleaning up his mess.”
The council is expected to vote on its resolution Tuesday evening.
For WHQR News, I’m Vince Winkel
Comments to DEQ on the proposed order will be accepted until January 7. Comments can be submitted electronically to email@example.com or mailed to Assistant Secretary’s office, RE: Chemours Public Comments 1601 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1601.
A copy of the proposed order is available on DEQ’s website at: https://files.nc.gov/ncdeq/GenX/Consent-order-11212018.pdf.
More information about the state’s investigation can be found at: https://deq.nc.gov/news/hot-topics/genx-investigation.