Friday, February 3, 2023

Pender, Brunswick County call on DEQ to hold Chemours accountable

Pender and Brunswick County have joined the growing list of municipalities aligning with Wilmington's CFPUA. CFPUA is in the middle of litigation against Chemours for contaminating the region's water supply.

Several municipalities in southeastern North Carolina have passed resolutions in solidarity with CFPUA to ask NCDEQ to hold Fayetteville Works accountable. (Port City Daily photo /COURTESY GOOGLE MAPS)
Several municipalities in southeastern North Carolina have passed resolutions in solidarity with CFPUA to ask NCDEQ to hold Fayetteville Works accountable. (Port City Daily photo /COURTESY GOOGLE MAPS)

SOUTHEASTERN, N.C.—Several municipalities are putting political pressure on the state’s Department of Environmental Quality.

Cape Fear Public Utility Authority(CFPUA) passed a resolution last month asking the NCDEQ to put a stop to potentially harmful chemical production at Fayetteville Works, the plant that serves Chemours and DuPont.

RELATED: After months of threats, DEQ will suspend Chemours’ wastewater discharge permit

Legal standing

CFPUA is still in the middle of litigation against DuPont and Chemours. In court filings, it alleges the companies knowingly contaminated the water supply with chemicals that cause adverse health effects in humans.

Last month CFPUA passed a resolution that asks NCDEQ to take action.

The resolution asks DEQ to “immediately require all tenants of the Fayetteville Works site to cease operations that result in the production of fluorochemical compounds, due to their inability to operate without discharging fluorochemical compounds into the Cape Fear River.”

Peg Hall-Williams, spokesperson for CFPUA, said NCDEQ’s intervention would be the “next logical step in its actions to prevent unregulated, per-fluorinated compounds from entering our source water.”

Hall-Williams said Chemours has shown an inability to control the source of the compounds in question.

“With this resolution, CFPUA is simply asking the State to enforce what it has stated many times—that these compounds do not belong in the Cape Fear River,” Hall-Williams wrote in an email.

All aboard

CFPUA sent its resolution to five municipalities. As of this week, each one has a passed resolution to show political solidarity.

New Hanover County adopted its own resolution Feb. 19. On March 6, Wilmington passed its own version, with an amendment to widen NCDEQ’s potential ban on Fayetville Works’ chemical production.

Wilmington’s resolution asks DEQ to enforce its power over “any chemical that may be harmful to the health of the water supply.”

Lower Cape Fear Water & Sewer Authority in Leland passed its resolution directed to NCDEQ March 12.

Brunswick and Pender County both passed their own resolutions March 19, applying added pressure to the state.

Pender County’s Chairman George Brown said the ongoing contamination is just a matter of people not doing their jobs.

“For the governor, do your job, DEQ to do your job, make sure these companies are not polluting our river,” Brown said during Pender County’s March 19 meeting.

A representative for NCDEQ could not immediately provide a comment.

Pender’s Chemours Resolution by Johanna Ferebee on Scribd

Wilmington’s resolution by Johanna Ferebee on Scribd

Brunswick’s Resolution by Johanna Ferebee on Scribd


Johanna Ferebee can be reached at johanna@localvoicemedia.com or @j__ferebee on Twitter

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