NC attorney general announces formal investigation into PFAS contamination

NC attorney general announces formal investigation into PFAS contamination
Chemours constructed the thermal oxidizer at its Fayetteville Works site as part of its effort to comply with its consent order with the state of North Carolina and Cape Fear River Watch. (Source: The Chemours Company)

RALEIGH, N.C. (WECT) - Attorney General Josh Stein on Monday announced that his office has launched a formal investigation into the manufacturers and other entities responsible for the per- or polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination in North Carolina.

PFAS, including GenX which was discovered in the Cape Fear River in 2017, are man-made chemicals produced by Dupont/Chemours and used for the manufacture of nonstick coatings, fire suppression foams, and for many other purposes in industrial processes and commercial products. They’re also known as “forever chemicals” because they don’t break down in the environment or in the human body.

“North Carolinians expect and deserve clean water to drink,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “The emergence of forever chemicals like PFAS has led to significant and dangerous pollution – and we must hold those responsible accountable. This investigation is about protecting people from current and future PFAS contamination and restoring North Carolina’s damaged natural resources. My office will not hesitate to bring legal action against any polluters if that’s what it takes to keep the people of North Carolina safe.”

Stein said the investigation will look into the PFAS contamination to understand the extent of the damages to the state’s natural resources and to further evaluate contamination elsewhere in the surface waters, soils, and groundwaters in North Carolina.

Monday’s announcement comes nearly three months after a federal grand jury declined to bring charges against Chemours over possible violations of the Clean Water Act.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most Americans have been exposed to PFAS and have PFAS in their blood.

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