(Natural News) The U.S. Attorney for North Carolina’s Eastern District has launched an investigation into alleged GenX contamination at the Fayetteville Works. The feds have served subpoenas to DuPont and its Chemours spinoff. They are also seeking information from the state Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).
Chemours indicated in its 2017 annual report released in February that it is cooperating with regulators at the federal, state, and local level as well as reponding to subpoenas from three federal grand juries. Several class action lawsuits have also been filed in the situation.
StarNewsOnline explains the background on this controversy.
A sprawling facility about 100 miles up the Cape Fear River from Wilmington, Fayetteville Works was the property of DuPont until 2015, when it created Chemours as a separate company. Since then, Chemours has owned the industrial site and chemical manufacturing lines blamed for contamination by GenX and related substances in the river, downstream drinking water, nearby private wells and the air.
The Cape Fear River provides much of the drinking water for southeastern North Carolina. According to the News&Observer, North Carolina officials suspect that the facility secretly dumped GenX into the river for many years. In addition to the DEQ, agencies participating in the probe include the EPA, the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority, and North Carolina’s Bureau of Investigation.
GenX (which has nothing whatsoever to do with the Generation X demographic cohort) is a compound used in the manufacture of nonstick cookware such as Teflon. Although intended to replace PFOA or PFOS, the chemical process has reportedly been identified as a carcinogen in several animal studies. Its exact effects on humans have yet to be determined, however as Natural News previously explained.
Tests conducted by Chemours itself have reportedly revealed that approximately two-thirds of the wells in the area near the plant tested positive for GenX and one-third of them allegedly contained unsafe levels of the chemical. Last November, the DEQ pulled Chemours’ permit to discharge wastewater into the Cape Fear River.
Legislation is pending in the state legislature to address the GenX pollution issue, although it is subject to partisan squabbling over its funding mechanism and other concerns. (Read more about water pollution-related developments at WaterWars.news.)
Chemours is complying with an EPA request to test water for GenX in Ohio and West Virginia. “The tests are occurring within the same waterways that had been polluted during past decades by a carcinogenic GenX precursor chemical, called PFOA,” DelawareOnline explained.
Check Pollution.news for further news on the GenX pollution controversy.