Chemours’ public information session on production expansion draws large crowd

LELAND, NC (WWAY)– Chemours held a public information session to explain the company’s planned expansion of production in Bladen County to area residents.  The meeting was held at the Leland Cultural Arts Center from 5pm to 7pm.

An environment protection organization and area residents gathered at the meeting in protest of Chemour’s expansion.

At least one hundred people were standing in front of the building before the meeting started at 5 this evening.

Groups of ten people were allowed to enter the Chemours public information session at the Leland Cultural Arts Center at a time.

Once inside, attendees were able to walk in their groups to 5 tables where information would be presented, and people could ask questions

Many people were not pleased with presentations given during the information session.

“They didn’t want us to ask questions, they wanted to gloss over it, they wanted to dominate the conversation, and they weren’t very receptive to asking questions, and they had absolutely no answers when we did ask questions,” said Gloria Clark, information session attendee.

“You know, statistics, percentages, what does the percentage mean? What is the volume, you’re putting into the environment? You’ve already put so much in nobody has spoken about taking things out,” said Jane Jones, information session attendee.

The presentations included information about the company , products made at the Fayetteville Works’s site,  emissions reduction progress to date, the permitting process, and the economic impact of the expansion plan.

Chemours says the expansion will not increase pollution.

“We are raising the bar on environmental stewardship. We have already achieved significant reduction of air emissions with fluorinated organic compounds, over 99% reduction into the water over 97% and we’re not finished. We’re again, –continuing to advance that technology. We have the state of the art technology and we’re just going, –you know, above and beyond. We will continue to do that going forward,” said Seth Bailey, Chemours Fayetteville Works technology manager.

Outside of the meeting, many people were protesting the expansion  expressing concerns about the plan and Chemours’ history of contaminating the Cape Fear River with PFAS.

“Our folks have come out strong, and it’s for a reason. They have been contaminated, they’ve been poisoned by this company and its predecessor for 40 years, and they have a lot to say,” said Dana Sargent, Cape Fear River Watch Executive Director.

“I wouldn’t let my dog drink this water, it’s so dangerous. I think Chemours should stop manufacturing. They’re supposed to be building this wall, who knows safe that wall is. Plus they’re only going to be stopping 99 point-whatever percent, there’s technology available for them to stop 100%,” said Joann Levitan, protester.

In order to comply with a 2019 settlement agreement, Chemours is required to hold these information sessions.

In the public information session, Chemours said it’s next steps will be a permit application for the expansion next month, followed by a DAQ review 6 months later, and public comment will follow.

Categories: Brunswick, Local, Top Stories