CFPUA proposes water and sewer rate increase to cover PFAS removal as Chemours lawsuit continues

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wednesday morning, Cape Fear Public Utility Authority will hold a public hearing for its budget this year.

Included in that budget a $5.39 increase in customers’ monthly bills for water and sewer that could be approved. More than 70 percent of that budget increase will go to address PFAS released in the water by Chemours.

Additional funds would cover operational costs for CFPUA’s new granular activated carbon filters, which filter most PFAS’s. They come online starting this summer.

According to CFPUA’s Vaughn Hagerty, the Utility Authority wants Chemours to pay for PFAS removal, but is having to sue the company for that to happen. There’s no way to know then the lawsuit will finish, but PFAS removal is too important to put off until the end of the suit.

“Keep in mind that CFPUA is a public entity,” said Hagerty. ‘And it’s funded by rate payers and it operates without any profit. That means whatever award might be received from the lawsuit would be used to benefit our customers.”

We asked if that meant customers would be reimbursed for the rate increase or if they would see lower rates in the future after the suit. Hagerty explained with so much uncertainty about the lawsuit, there’s not way to know yet.

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