NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Chemours declined a public meeting and instead offered local leaders a tour of its Fayetteville Works plant, Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo and New Hanover Co. Board Chairman Woody White said Monday.
"We believe this company is not forthcoming, and we know that the community expresses their concerns to us, and its our job to get answers," said White.
In a letter sent to Chemours product sustainability director Kathleen O'Keefe last month, Saffo and White asked the company "to meet directly with our citizens, in our community, to discuss progress made and future strategies to clean up our drinking water supply."
In letters sent to Saffo and White last week, O'Keefe invited the two local leaders to visit the Fayetteville Works plant "to see first-hand the steps we are taking to reduce our environmental footprint."
Saffo and White released the following joint statement Monday morning:
"On July 19, 2018, we sent a joint letter to Chemours requesting that the company hold a meeting with local citizens to discuss the 'progress made and future strategies to clean up our drinking water supply.' We were disappointed to learn on Friday, August 3 that Chemours declined our request.
"We still believe that it is important for Chemours officials to come to the Lower Cape Fear Region to share with our citizens what is being done to rid our water supply of these harmful compounds and to answer questions directly from our citizens on this very important matter.
"Chemours did invite us to tour the Fayetteville Works facility; however, we are not interested in a tour. We are interested in having the questions on the minds of our citizens responded to directly."
In an interview Monday, White said, "We need answers, and Chemours doesn't have to hide behind lawsuits, you can come to the community with your hat in your hand and say hey we are sorry for what we did, here is the evidence we have for the past 30 to 40 years and here is what we are doing now."
The letters sent to Saffo and White can be seen below:"
Here is the letter sent to Chemours last month:
"We just get the sense the company sits at its corporate headquaters and looks at its balance sheet, and wonders how much its going to cost us and effect shareholders, and that is not how our community looks at this," stated White.