New Hanover Co. leaders adopt resolution requesting DEQ to stop Chemours from producing GenX

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - The New Hanover County Board of Commissioners adopted a resolution Monday asking the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality to require all tenants of the Fayetteville Works facility to immediately stop producing fluorochemical compounds.

Chemours has been under scrutiny since mid-2017 after the revelation that the compound GenX has infiltrated the water supply of thousands in southeastern North Carolina. It has been traced back to the Fayetteville Works Site of Chemours in Bladen County.

Commissioners added the last-minute agenda item to put pressure on DEQ to stop Chemours from producing these compounds, because the resolution points out the company is unable "to operate without discharging the fluorochemical compounds into the Cape Fear River." Recent test results showed levels of GenX in some areas above the state's health goal as late as last month.

The Cape Fear Public Utility Authority adopted a similar resolution Wednesday.

Here's the full resolution:

RESOLUTION REQUESTING NORTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY TO REQUIRE TENANTS OF THE FAYETTEVILLE WORKS SITE TO CEASE OPERATIONS THAT RESULT IN THE PRODUCTION OF FLUOROCHEMICAL COMPOUNDS

WHEREAS, Cape Fear Public Utility Authority ( "CFPUA ") furnishes water to the citizens of the City of Wilmington and portions of New Hanover County; and

WHEREAS, tenants of the Fayetteville Works site have released, and continue to release, GenX and other fluorochemical compounds into the Cape Fear River from the manufacturing facility located in Fayetteville, North Carolina; and

WHEREAS, the Chemours company claims it trucks wastewater containing fluorochemicals off -site, but fluorochemical compounds continue to be detected at varying levels in the Cape Fear River and in CFPUA's treated drinking water; and

WHEREAS, tenants of the Fayetteville Works site have repeatedly demonstrated that they are not capable of continuing operations at the facility in a manner that does not cause the release of GenX and other fluorochemical compounds into the Cape Fear River; and

WHEREAS, CFPUA uses the Cape Fear River as source water for the majority of its 200,000 customers; and

WHEREAS, the Sweeney Water Treatment Plant, owned and operated by CFPUA, is unable to filter certain unregulated contaminants out of the drinking water; and

WHEREAS, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality ( NCDEQ) Division of Water Resources is tasked with ensuring safe drinking water in accordance with federal requirements, issuing pollution control permits, monitoring permit compliance, evaluating environmental water quality, and carrying out enforcement actions for violations of environmental regulations.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners requests that NCDEQ 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.

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