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New Hanover Co. commissioners call Chemours’ plan “grossly inadequate” in letter to NCDEQ

The New Hanover County Board of Commissioners says it believes that Chemours’ proposed plan to...
The New Hanover County Board of Commissioners says it believes that Chemours’ proposed plan to sample drinking water in the county is “grossly inadequate” in a letter to the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ).
Published: Feb. 21, 2022 at 3:55 PM EST
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - The New Hanover County Board of Commissioners says it believes that Chemours’ proposed plan to sample drinking water in the county is “grossly inadequate” in a letter to the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ).

“On February 1, as required by NCDEQ, Chemours sent its plan to your office, proposing to test private wells that are the primary source of drinking water on properties that are within half a mile of the Cape Fear River,” the commissioners state in a letter to NCDEQ Secretary Elizabeth S. Biser. “We have each received a copy of this proposed plan, and believe it is grossly inadequate and does not come close to extending the protections of the consent order to our residents. We request that your office carefully review Chemours’ plan, and offer a counter plan or directives that ensure New Hanover County’s residents are provided with the same level of protection that others nearby the plant receive.”

New Hanover County Public Health Director David Howard also sent a letter to Biser stating that Chemours’ proposed plan falls well short especially when compared to the company’s response in counties adjacent to the Chemours Fayetteville Works plant. He also took issue with the timing of when sampling would begin.

“With respect to the timing of this plan, our residents have been exposed to these harmful chemicals at unknown and possibly very high levels, for decades, yet Chemours proposes to wait another six months after the plan approval to begin sampling and testing well water in New Hanover County,” Howard said in the letter. “This is an insult and a blatant disregard for the health and welfare of our residents and visitors. Sampling should begin within two months, as happened for the other counties where sampling began within approximately two months after the discovery of PFAS in groundwater near the plant.”

The commissioners’ and Howard’s letters can be seen in full below:

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