Wilmington-area officials demand answers, action during invitation-only meeting with company
WILMINGTON — A former DuPont plant has been discharging an unregulated toxic chemical into the Cape Fear River since 1980, company officials revealed Thursday at a meeting with local and state officials.
The revelation came during the same meeting where officials from DuPont-spinoff Chemours Co. admitted the GenX found in some North Carolina public water supplies is likely coming from the Fayetteville Works site, about 100 miles up the Cape Fear River from Wilmington.
Chemours wouldn’t commit to immediately stopping the discharge, although company officials did say they are exploring several avenues — including tweaking the manufacturing process they believe is resulting in the GenX found in the Cape Fear. The company demurred when pressed to stop that process until they are certain the chemical is no longer leaking into the river.
“We are asking this company to cease discharging this toxin into our water until we get more answers,” said Frank Williams, the chairman of Brunswick County Commissioners. “At this point, we don’t have answers.”
Chemours manufactures GenX at Fayetteville Works, but believes that process is not resulting in any discharge — thereby adhering to the 99 percent capture-limit set out in a 2009 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) consent order allowing the company to sell the chemical.
Instead, Chemours officials said, the GenX found in the river is likely the product of a vinyl ether process that takes elsewhere on the…
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