Feds subpoena NCDEQ in GenX investigation

SOUTHEASTERN NORTH CAROLINA (WECT) - A federal grand jury has served the NC Department of Environmental Quality with a subpoena requesting records related to an investigation into Chemours, the company that manufactures the unregulated compound GenX.

The US Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina issued the subpoena on July 28. It requests that by Aug. 22 DEQ provide to a grand jury in Wilmington records and documents, including permits, environmental compliance information, reports, emails, research and notes, related to the Chemours Company's Fayetteville Works facility, GenX and other fluorinated chemicals.

"DEQ will provide all relevant records about Chemours as part of this ongoing federal investigation," DEQ spokesman Jamie Kritzer said. "We are pleased that federal authorities are taking this matter seriously as we continue our own investigation into Chemours and the issues surrounding GenX and the other unregulated chemical compounds."

Ford Porter, spokesman for Governor Roy Cooper, released the following statement in response to the federal investigation:

"Families deserve to have confidence in their drinking water. That's why Governor Cooper directed the SBI and DEQ to investigate the discharge of GenX into the Cape Fear River by Chemours. It's encouraging that the US Attorney's office is taking steps to get answers on this matter, and DEQ will be providing documents to aid this investigation."

In June, Cooper directed DEQ and the NC Department of Health and Human Services to launch an investigation into Chemours' discharge of GenX. Cooper has also directed the State Bureau of Investigation's Diversion and Environmental Crimes Unit to assess whether a criminal investigation is warranted in this case.

NC Attorney General Josh Stein issued an "investigative demand" on July 21, requiring Chemours produce documents related to GenX, including its safety and health risks.

When asked for a comment, Chemours spokesperson Gary Cambre provided the same response the company has provided for several other inquiries: "We continue to work closely with local, state and federal officials to determine the appropriate next steps."

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