RALEIGH, NC (WWAY) — The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality has filed a response opposing Cape Fear Public Utility Authority’s Motion to Intervene in the state’s enforcement case against Chemours.
On Sept. 9, CFPUA filed a motion in Bladen County Superior Court to be granted “equal standing with the State and Cape Fear River Watch (CFRW) in negotiations about measures Chemours must take to address the company’s PFAS releases, including contamination in the drinking water of CFPUA’s customers.”
On Wednesday, DEQ wrote in a news release that they support CFPUA and all the downstream drinking water utilities’ efforts to be made whole for any damages they have incurred as a result of actions by Chemours and DuPont at the Fayetteville Works Facility. However, they strongly object CFPUA’s efforts to pursue those interests at the expense of all those who depend on the Cape Fear River by having the entire Consent Order between DEQ, Cape Fear River Watch, and Chemours declared unlawful.
“There are critical pollution reduction measures at stake that would benefit all communities along the Cape Fear River. We support CFPUA’s effort to further protect their customers; however, we cannot simply throw out all the progress achieved under the Consent Order,” Secretary Michael S. Regan said. “We’ve made it clear that the Consent Order is one component of the broader approach to address the PFAS contamination by Chemours. DEQ continues to support additional strategies by the drinking water utilities, the communities, and the Attorney General to fully address downstream impacts.”
DEQ has filed the proposed Addendum to the Consent Order for entry by the Court. The addendum requires significant additional actions by Chemours to reduce the PFAS entering the Cape Fear River through residual groundwater contamination at the Fayetteville Works site. These actions will improve water quality for downstream communities as the major pathways for PFAS pollution entering the Cape Fear River will be reduced by 99%.
Since 2017, DEQ actions and the Consent Order have stopped the process wastewater discharge from the facility and drastically reduced air emissions of PFAS by 99.9%. The Consent Order does not release Chemours or any other entity from any liability it may have to any third parties.