Officials exchange invitations with Chemours to address ongoing GenX concerns

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In an effort to address ongoing concerns regarding the Chemours Fayetteville Works plant and the release of GenX and other compounds into the local water supply, a series of letters was exchanged last month by local government officials and representatives of the company.

On July 19, City of Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo and New Hanover County Commission Chairman Woody White sent a joint letter to Chemours requesting a public meeting. On Friday, August 3, Chemours denied that request.

In their request dated July 11, Saffo and White highlighted their concern with water quality in the lower Cape Fear River. While expressing their desire to continue dialogue and outreach to Chemours officials regarding the company’s efforts to remove GenX and related per-fluorinated compounds from the river, an opportunity was presented by the government leaders to discuss progress made and future strategies to clean up the drinking water supply including direct involvement from area citizens at the meeting.

Chemours Product Sustainability Director Kathleen O’Keefe responded on July 26, inviting Saffo and White to tour the Fayetteville Works facility as representatives of constituents, stating that such a visit would provide a valuable opportunity to engage in constructive dialogue about the company’s current progress and future plans. Chemours has offered tours to other regional and state officials previously.

Citing a target goal of 99-percent reduction of GenX and other PFAS chemical compound emissions into the air and water, through plans submitted to the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, Chemours claims to have taken numerous steps and made significant progress in its emission reduction efforts. This includes $100 million in investments to at the Fayetteville Works plant, which include the installation of specialized state-of-the-art emission control technology, making the site a best-in-class chemical manufacturing facility for air and wastewater emission control.

A joint statement was issued on Monday, August 6 by Mayor Saffo and Chairman White regarding the Chemours response and expressing disappointment.

“We still believe that it is important for Chemours officials to come to the Lower Cape Fear Region to share with our citizens what is being done to rid our water supply of these harmful compounds and to answer questions directly from our citizens on this very important matter,” said the leaders in their joint statement.

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