WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - A film that documents a group of West Virginians' legal fight against DuPont over PFOA, a toxic chemical the company had been dumping into their drinking water supply, was screened at Thalian Hall Thursday night.
The film — The Devil We Know — was presented by Cape Fear River Watch.
The class-action lawsuit filed in the early 2000s against DuPont over PFOA contamination led to a massive $670.7 million settlement by DuPont and its spin-off Chemours last year. The chemical company used PFOA, which has been linked to cancer and other ailments, as a key ingredient in its production of Teflon.
Robert Bilott, the attorney who secured that settlement, attended the screening.
The film ends with the introduction of GenX, the chemical introduced by DuPont to replace PFOA and produced by Chemours at its Fayetteville Works site near the Bladen-Cumberland County line.
"This is not the first time that our community has been poisoned because of an industry upstream," said Madi Polera of Cape Fear River Watch. "Everybody needs to understand that what goes into the water upstream affects us downstream. There's a paradigm shift that needs to happen. Our river is not your toxic wasteland."
Cape Fear Riverkeeper Kemp Burdette and Bilott hosted a discussion following the screening.