My turn: Chemours closed-door meeting should be held in open set - WECT, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

My turn: Chemours closed-door meeting should be held in open setting

There is currently a lot of concern in our region about the safety of our drinking water.  There are a ton of questions. (Source: Pixabay) There is currently a lot of concern in our region about the safety of our drinking water.  There are a ton of questions. (Source: Pixabay)

There is currently a lot of concern in our region about the safety of our drinking water.  There are a ton of questions.  And I believe New Hanover County leaders are working hard to find answers for us. 

They have successfully convinced the leaders of the chemical company that is believed to be responsible for the presence of the toxin in our water supply to speak with them and answer some of those questions. And that’s a good thing.

I am told Chemours has no legal obligation to do this.  So, I appreciate that they are going to make themselves available.  But this needs to be done in an OPEN setting. A closed-door meeting for this is unacceptable. 

After negotiations, the company said it would allow one independent journalist in the room but no recording devices.

In my opinion, that will not be enough to lift the cloud of suspicion about what is taking place here. Plus, the county runs the risk of becoming complicit in this situation if it does not demand full and open transparency.  

There needs to be a record of what these folks say…audio and video.  We need to see and hear how they’re answering the questions. A transcript does not give us the same full meaning of these answers. 

Bottom line - the people of this community who drink the water deserve better.   

That’s my turn. Now it’s your turn. To comment on this segment, or anything else, email me at

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Emailed comments from viewers:

Thank you Gary for your common sense opinion.
Mr. McNair: I fully agree with your opinion. If it were up to the Board of Commissioners, we would have this meeting in the open, for the public and the press to attend. However, we were stuck with the options of either having the meeting or not having the meeting. The company offered to meet (which we quickly accepted) but then declined to allow media in the room. I personally talked with their designee about this issue and insisted that they re-consider their decision; I stated that this needed to be an open meeting; I implored them to consider the hysteria and mania that has gripped our community since last Thursday, and reconsider having the media in the room; and I stated in unequivocal terms that it was in the public interest for this process to be transparent. They finally agreed - on the 3rd request - to allow one reporter via the pool method. And since the Star News (a print publication) broke the story, we believed they were the obvious choice to be in the room. 
There will be multiple public figures present, including the state secretary for DEQ. The purpose of the meeting is not for us to get information for ourselves; it is for us to get whatever information we can - for the public. There will be nothing discussed off the record, or pursuant to a non-disclosure agreement. EVERYTHING said will be disclosed. There will be no private pre-meeting. 
I realize this is not the preferred method of gaining information that is so important to our community. But when faced with the choice of getting some information or none, we opted for the former. In any event, thank you for continuing to shine light on this issue.


Ask if home carbon units will remove Gen 5 from the water. If not what will remove it.
Is it in the drinking water enough to measure or is it just suspected?
Some chemicals can not be removed from water by filtration. More complicated processes are required.
This chemical could be bad for your health but not be on EPA'S list.


Thanks for your commentary on the transparency of the GenX meeting. 
Well said.


What kind of country A-- Town is this that the people we trust to act on our behalf permits a company to sell me water which is poison and I pay for it?  I had water from my well but the county was not satisfied permitting me to continue using it.  And they forced me to tap into CFPUA's faulty water supply.  The Nerve of the City of Wilmington knowing since 2012 that there was a problem with the water but not sending everyone who drinks CFPUA's water a notice that something might be wrong with the drinking water.  That will not happen because the CFPUA was destined to be approved.  I understand an Authority as I am familiar with the idea from another place.  Once you get an Authority one can never get rid of it due to its composition.   First, the State should hold GENX responsible monetarily and shut them down.  New Hanover and Wilmington should hold CFPUA responsible and the Residents of the effective locales should stop using the drinking water  and refuse to pay CFPUA.  But not only that, the nerve of Mr. Coudriet and the Company not permitting the news outlets in this country A-- town the ability to record the hearing and report back to its residents of the city and county.  I am wondering whom I can contact to help these administrators down here to get their rear ends on the ball.  


Thank you Gary for bringing the attention about this morning's your turn. You are right on with the way the meeting should be run now let's see if we can get it done in an open forum! I also agree with the audio recording rather than just transcripts. 


So we have potentially bad drinking water. Nothing proved for sure yet. Sooo are we - Wilmington - gonna do the right thing and alert our visitors, tourist, that come to Wilmington or planning on coming to Wilmington, these safety alerts. Put up signs and website alerts to at least the potential and let them make the decision as to drink or not to drink the water. The correct humane thing to do is at least inform them. But I seriously doubt they will because money is more important. And that is SAD.


Thank you for WECT's ongoing coverage of the GenX issue.

Please don't let up, this is the MOST important story in our community by far and will continue to be until the pollution stops.

Please don't allow your station to be influenced by business, local/state/federal agencies or politicians who would like to see this story downplayed or to go away when it begins to affect our local economy.

Regulated, unregulated, blatant disregard for public safety or an industrial or regulatory oversight, whatever the reason, it has to stop. And we need increased focus and awareness about the chemical's being discharged into our local waterways and aquifers from regional industry. This threat affects 100% of the viewing area 100% of the time. There is really no bigger news story.


Thank you for your thought provoking opinion regarding Chemours/DuPont.

I agree with you.  I would also like to see a bold step taken by our regulatory agency to pull their expired permit so they cannot continue.

Perhaps more pressure needs to be applied with our swift and loud voices! Keep it up WECT.

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