Amid Chemours’ expansion plans, North Carolinians and activists demand accountability

Amid Chemours’ expansion plans, North Carolinians and activists demand accountability

Last week, Chemours Co., a DuPont spin-off, announced plans to expand its Fayetteville Works plant in Bladen County. The expansion move from the notorious chemical company, who has made headlines surrounding the release of toxic chemicals into the Cape Fear River, alarmed communities and activists in the area.

Since 2019, Chemours has been under a consent order to address the release of per- and polyfluoroalkyl contamination – known as PFAS or forever chemicals – that have been emitted from the Fayetteville Works plant, into the Cape Fear River and local communities. 

  • “Chemours’ decision to propose this plan when so many still lack safe drinking water due to its reckless handling of toxic chemicals shows where its priorities lie,” stated Geoff Gisler, a senior attorney for the Southern Environmental Law Center.
  • In 2017, the Cape Fear Public Water Utility Authority filed a federal lawsuit against the chemical giants DuPont and Chemours, accusing the companies of “a conscious disregard of and indifference to the rights and safety of others” by polluting the local water, soil, and air.
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, exposure to PFAS can hinder development in children and infants, decrease fertility in women, affect the immune system, and raise the risk of cancer, among many other health risks.

For decades, Chemours has released PFAS into the air and water of communities from Cumberland County down to the coast. According to The New York Times, instead of finding solutions that would have protected the environment, the chemical giant downplayed the dangers of their chemicals – resulting in the contamination of 500,000 North Carolinians’ drinking water.

As Chemours holds a public session for its expansion plans in the coming day, we hope the chemical giant listens to the North Carolinians who have been impacted by its negligence, rather than offer piecemeal fixes in order to dodge accountability once again.

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Alanna Joyner

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