Chemours

A protest sign brought by Rebekah Cain Saenz sits on a platform in front of Chemours' President of Flouroproducts Paul Kirsch during a community meeting hosted by the chemical company Chemours at Faith Tabernacle Christian Center in St. Pauls, N.C. on Tue
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

A year after news broke that Chemours had been releasing unregulated, industrial compounds into the Cape Fear River for decades, the company ended its silence with a town hall meeting Tuesday night.

Cape Fear River at Raven Rock State Park NC
Keith Weston / WUNC

  Last June, The Wilmington Star News broke news that the toxic chemical GenX was found in drinking water from the Cape Fear River.  Long before their investigative series was published, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) knew about the elevated levels of GenX.  Once the news of tainted water spread through the state, so did fears and concerns from residents, government officials and environmental groups.

A sign at the entrance of the Fayetteville Works site on N.C. 87 in Bladen County, North Carolina.
Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

Wilmington city officials have had enough. The City Council unanimously passed a resolution this week asking the state Department of Environmental Quality to order Chemours to halt the production of GenX and other unregulated perfluorinated compounds.

Cape Fear River at Raven Rock State Park NC
Keith Weston / WUNC

North Carolina environmental regulators have ordered a chemical company to take further steps to reduce emissions of chemicals that have questionable health effects.

Photo of Michael Scott at microphone
Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

Last week state officials held a public forum in Bladen County to share information and address concerns about GenX, the unregulated chemical produced by Chemours that has contaminated drinking water. Many residents said they left with more questions than answers.

Concerned residents gather during a public forum at the Bladen Community College to discuss GenX on February 1, 2018.
Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

Bladen County residents like Kellie Hair were not happy when state officials said it would take more time to figure out the health and environmental impact of GenX and other fluorinated compounds released into the atmosphere by Chemours.

An aerial picture of the Port of Wilmington
Wikimedia

Republicans and democrats in the sharply divided General Assembly might finally be able to find some common ground: Punishing Chemours, the DuPont-spinoff company that has contaminated drinking water in the Wilmington area and in residential wells in the vicinity of its Fayetteville plant.

Cape Fear River at Raven Rock State Park NC
Keith Weston / WUNC

Tests have shown a total of 85 residential wells near the Chemours plant in Fayetteville with GenX levels above the state health advisory goal--and that number could very well go up as more results come in.

Cape Fear River at Raven Rock State Park NC
Keith Weston / WUNC

Governor Roy Cooper has directed the State Bureau of Investigation to look into possible criminal charges against Chemours, the chemical company behind the release of GenX into the Cape Fear River.