WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - New Hanover County Commissioner Woody White said commissioners and staff were notified Thursday that two additional chemicals were discovered in the Cape Fear River.
He was shocked to learn during an interview Thursday afternoon with WECT that the EPA released that information to the Department of Environmental Quality on Monday.
"That just tells me that they've had three days to politicize and figure out their statements," White said. "Enough of that."
Michael Regan, Secretary of the Department of Environmental Quality, defended his decision to hold off the release of the EPA's latest findings to the public, saying they needed to get a better understanding first.
"On Monday they sort of walked us through the process and what they've discovered and the subsequent days we've been speaking with the EPA trying to better understand the information that we got Monday," Regan said. "We got the report today and we released the report as soon as we got it. Once we got the final report we released it to the public and we continue to want to be transparent."
DEQ wrote Chemours Tuesday urging the company to stop releasing the newly identified compounds called Nafion byproducts 1 and 2.
White, who has been critical of Regan and his department for failing to revoke Chemours permits, said the use of the word "urging" is disturbing.
"He says he urges the company to do something then he wants to seek legal recourse," White said. What's he going to say in court as to urging a company? Does he have the lawful basis to take action or not? If he does take legal action, how is he going to explain to a judge that we were urging a company to do something. Evidently, they've had three days to negotiate and discuss among themselves and it just doesn't sound like they know what they're doing."