Riverkeeper wants chemical companies to be held accountable

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - While a researcher with extensive knowledge of GenX contamination said Wednesday night that reverse osmosis can effectively filter out perfluorinated compounds, the Cape Fear Riverkeeper says buying those water treatment systems should not be required.

Kemp Burdette of Cape Fear River Watch was clear about who should shoulder the blame, and the cost, of GenX, an unregulated chemical, being discharged into the Cape Fear River by the Chemours Company in Fayetteville.

"We should not have to buy expensive water treatment systems to filter out toxic pollutants from industrial discharges that are in our drinking water," Burdette said Thursday on WECT's First at Four. "No industry has a right to rake in profits by willfully neglecting to treat their waste stream. Putting the cost of treating industrial waste on the backs of citizens is 100 percent wrong, every time. Further, there are many people in our community who do not have the ability to buy additional water treatment systems. This is environmental injustice."

Burdette described Chemours discharging GenX into the Cape Fear as "gaming the system because they are powerful and they have an army of attorneys looking for ways to increase profits no matter the consequences for the rest of us."

Chemours meeting state health guidelines about how much GenX was leaked into the river may be legal, but Burdette said laws have little to do with doing what is right and wrong in this case.

"Dupont and their spinoff, Chemours, have proven that morality and ethics do not guide their actions," Burdette said. "Rather, they are motivated by profits. Yet another story of polluters over people."

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