chemours

Vince Winkel

Today the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority released water quality results showing an increase in PFAS compounds in the Cape Fear River.  It's the highest concentration of total PFAS measured since last September.

NC DEQ

On Thursday the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality filed a Revised Consent Order in Bladen County Superior Court. DEQ has asked the court to enter the order, initially filed in November, to hold the Chemours Company accountable for PFAS contamination, including GenX, in the Cape Fear Region. 

US EPA

The Environmental Protection Agency Thursday announced plans to regulate a set of chemicals including GenX found in the drinking water system of the Cape Fear Region, and across much of the country. 

Vince Winkel

The Fayetteville Works plant has been importing GenX waste from a Chemours plant in the Netherlands for at least five years. We learned that last Friday. The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality found out about it 13 months ago. That’s because it’s the Environmental Protection Agency that regulates the import and export of hazardous waste.  

Chemours NL

Chemours in Fayetteville is importing GenX compounds from its facility near Rotterdam in the Netherlands for recycling. And apparently, it’s been going on for several years. In an email to WHQR Friday, the company stated that “Chemours has historically recycled GenX materials from our Dordrecht facility at our Fayetteville Works plant, as well as at a contractor site in Europe, in order to reduce the quantity that is emitted or becomes waste.”

Vince Winkel

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.   

Cape Fear Public Utility Authority officials say they welcome the Environmental Protection Agency’s recent Draft Toxicity Assessment for GenX and PFBS in the Cape Fear River. But, they also say the EPA’s work doesn’t go far enough.

The Chemours Company might be buying water for families in perpetuity. That’s according to one official from the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality.  But not everyone is on board with the proposed consent order agreed to by DEQ, Chemours and Cape Fear River Watch. 

There are several major developments this month involving the Chemours Company, the Environmental Protection Agency, and a consent order that is awaiting approval by a Bladen County Court.

This week participants in a GenX exposure study began receiving their test results. Some 345 New Hanover County residents took part in the study, giving blood, urine, and tap water samples late last year.  The  North Carolina State researchers behind the study are in Wilmington this week to explain the results.

Vince Winkel

On Wednesday the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality’s public comment period on a proposed court order against Chemours will end. That order would require the company to implement measures to eliminate or reduce air emissions and water impacts caused by GenX and related compounds from their Fayetteville facility. 

Vince Winkel

Chemours, the company responsible for the unregulated, possibly dangerous, chemical compounds in this region’s water supply, held a town hall meeting for the first time.  Tuesday night in St. Pauls, near the company’s Fayetteville facility, concerned citizens gathered to hear about plans for how the chemical giant plans to clean up its operation.  

Surfrider Foundation, Cape Fear Chapter

We are now into year two of the public’s awareness of GenX and other compounds in the Cape Fear region’s water supply. Health studies are currently underway to study the impact these chemicals might have on humans. Meanwhile experts are piecing together other available data to better understand the threats. 

Vince Winkel

New Jersey decided late last year on a regulatory first:  to establish stringent standards for two types of perfluorochemicals in their environment.  According to a November press release, the state’s Department of Environmental Protection is the first to set maximum contaminant levels for perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, and perfluorononanoic acid, or PFNA.  GenX is one of more than a dozen similar compounds found in the Cape Fear River, the source of drinking water for hundreds of thousands of southeastern North Carolina residents. 

Vince Winkel / WHQR Public Radio

Chemours, the company that had been discharging GenX and other compounds into the Cape Fear River, is starting to speak. This week, WHQR’s Vince Winkel visited the Chemours facility and sat down with the Fayetteville Works Site plant manager – where he learned about Chemours’ new plan to open up to the community. 

Chemours

On Tuesday, Chemours announced that carbon adsorption bed technology has been installed at two locations on its Fayetteville Works plant on the Cape Fear River. This is supposed to reduce the emissions of GenX into the air immediately.

Vince Winkel

Two bills aimed at GenX and emerging contaminants passed their first readings in Raleigh today.  Democrats and Republicans from the Cape Fear region sponsored two different versions – both filed last Thursday. 

The Southern Environmental Law Center – or SELC -- says the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality should shut down Chemours, and they should do it now. On behalf of Cape Fear River Watch, the SELC recently told DEQ they have the power and legal authority to take that step. 

Vince Winkel / WHQR Public Radio

Residents who live near Chemours’ Bladen County plant are angry.  North Carolina state officials held their fourth community meeting last week at Bladen Community College in Dublin.  More than 150 people showed up.   

Cape Fear Public Utility officials say they can no longer trust Chemours to control discharges from its site.  

In a statement issued early Wednesday evening, officials say North Carolina’s Department of Environmental Quality informed CFPUA that as late as December, regulators measured levels of GenX in the Cape Fear River near the plant at 2,300 parts per trillion.  That’s far higher than the established human health goal of 140 parts per trillion.

Vince Winkel

ON JUNE 8, LIFE CHANGED IN WILMINGTON.

THAT’S THE DAY PAGE ONE OF THE STARNEWS DECLARED “TOXIN TAINTS CFPUA DRINKING WATER.”   

The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality announced today it has cited Chemours with violating the conditions of its wastewater discharge permit.  The move comes after the company failed to report an October 6 chemical spill at its Fayetteville Works facility on the Cape Fear River.  UPDATE: The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality began the process Nov. 16 of revoking the discharge permit for Chemours’ Fayetteville Works facility. 

Debbie Aitken

Lawsuits against Chemours and parent company DuPont are starting to roll in. Leland resident Victoria Carey filed a class action lawsuit against DuPont and Chemours last week after discovering GenX in her water heater. Chemours is the maker of GenX, the contaminant found in the Cape Fear River, which provides the raw water the CFPUA and the Brunswick County Utilities Department uses for drinking water. 

Vince Winkel / WHQR

This week Gov. Roy Cooper told the EPA to get to work. In a letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, Gov. Cooper asks the EPA to move quickly to finalize its health assessment and set a limit for the unregulated chemical GenX. Meanwhile the EPA earmarked more than $3 million for the NC DEQ to enforce the requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act. This all happened as county and city officials held a press conference on the topic of GenX.