DEQ files amended complaint against Chemours over GenX air emissions

DEQ files amended complaint against Chemours over GenX air emissions
(Source: NCDEQ)

RALEIGH, NC (WECT) - The NC Department of Environmental Quality on Monday expanded the scope of a complaint it filed in September against Chemours, the chemical company in Bladen County that dumped GenX into the Cape Fear River.

A DEQ news release said an amended complaint and motion for preliminary injunctive relief has been filed against the Chemours Company in Bladen County Superior Court.

The stated aim of the amendment is "to require Chemours to control air emissions of GenX compounds; remove, treat or control all other sources of GenX compounds; and provide a full accounting of any process wastewater discharge through a drainage ditch at the site."

A Sept. 7 complaint filed by DEQ alleges multiple violations of North Carolina environmental laws at the Chemours' Fayetteville Works facility.

"It's time for Chemours to own up to the level of contamination they have caused to the environment in and around their Fayetteville Works facility," DEQ Secretary Michael Regan said in the news release. "DEQ is using every tool available to require Chemours to clean up and stop further GenX contamination."

As part of the state's investigation into GenX contamination at the Bladen County facility and surrounding areas, DEQ scientists have discovered evidence that air emissions from the Chemours plant are causing widespread groundwater contamination. The evidence led DEQ to amend the legal complaint against the company to address air emissions that are the cause of the groundwater contamination.

The previous legal complaint filed by DEQ on Sept. 7 cited violation of state groundwater rules, misrepresentation and violation of wastewater permitting disclosure requirements, and unpermitted discharge.

Monday's court action follows a 60-day notice of intent issued by the N.C. Division of Air Quality to Chemours on Friday. The notice gave the company three weeks to demonstrate that air emissions at the Fayetteville Works facility can be controlled at a level that will stop contributions to groundwater pollution or the division will prohibit all GenX emissions by modifying the company's air permit.

For more information on DEQ's GenX investigation, click here.

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