State says Chemours' filter systems offer is premature

State says Chemours' filter systems offer is premature

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - State officials say Chemours was premature with its offer to install and maintain granular activated carbon filtration systems at homes around the company's Fayetteville Works Plant in Bladen County that have tainted well systems.

Michael Scott, the director of the Division of Waste Management with the NCDEQ who wrote to residents in Bladen and Cumberland counties Tuesday regarding the company's offer, said Chemours acted before the state's study on the systems is completed.

"Our message to Chemours has been we wanted to complete the collection of private well sampling data through the month of July, hold a public meeting for those communities in Bladen and Cumberland counties and other interested communities to present the data regarding the effectiveness of these systems so that each homeowner can make an informed decision," Scott said during an interview on WECT News Now.

Chemours says it wanted to extend the offer to residents while DEQ completes its review of the testing results because it's confident the filters are removing all the unwanted compounds.

Scott said he heard back from some residents that received correspondence from Chemours. He said the residents expressed some confusion as to why the company made the offer when the state's study on the filter systems' effectiveness was not yet complete. Scott said gathering data through the end of July will give state experts confidence whether to recommend the carbon filtration systems as a longer-term solution for residents wanting to get off bottled water.

"We are seeing that the filters do filter out GenX and other perfluorinated compounds, but with any evaluation, you want to make sure you have enough data to make an informed decision and present that to the public," Scott said. "The second question is whether we know when the filters should be replaced, when do they need to be maintained so that no compounds are making their way through the filter. That's the other piece of our study that we're trying to finalize those answers."

Scott said plans are for the state to host another public meeting regarding the filtration systems once the data collection is completed, and experts can also present recommendations to residents impacted by the water contamination. He did not have a specific date for that meeting, but seemed to indicate it would be in August.

Copyright 2018 WECT. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.