NC attorney general expands probe into chemical compounds

Cumberland County News

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein has launched an investigation into companies responsible for releasing “forever chemicals”  in the state.

Stein says chemicals released from the Fayetteville Works Chemours plant have contaminated the air, soil, groundwater and surface water.  

“I don’t think it’s an easy fix, I don’t think it’s a quick fix, but I think its something that should have occurred already,” said homeowner Kenneth Cannon. “I think the simplest and quickest solution would be to hook up to the public water sources.”

Cannon lives less than a mile from the Chemours plant.

He has spent thousands of dollars trying to treat his well water after learning it was contaminated.

“It’s one of those questionable things you don’t know whether to drink the water or not to drink the water,” Cannon said.

Stein says previous investigations found that the facility released GenX and PFAS chemicals into the environment.

He says once the “forever chemicals” are released, they don’t break down.

Stein says they build up in human blood and organs and could lead to cancer and high blood pressure, among other health issues.

Cannon says he’s lost four pets to cancer and tumors since living near the plant.

“Everybody wants to tell you that they’re trying to help or trying to do something, but in fact they’re just giving you lip service,” he said.

The proud veteran hopes the latest investigation is more than just that.

“I don’t feel the state has done what they should for the people living here that pay taxes and does what they’re supposed to,” Cannon said.

Stein says he’s expanding his investigation to better understand how much damage the chemicals have done in North Carolina.

“The state has an obligation to its constituents,” Cannon said. “If they can’t fulfill their own obligations based on the laws they pass, don’t pass laws.”

Chemours emailed a statement Tuesday when asked about the investigation:

“Chemours has taken numerous actions to address PFAS emissions related to its Fayetteville Works site, including a more than $100 million investment in emissions control technology that is destroying over 99% of PFAS air emissions from our site.  In addition, Chemours stopped discharging wastewater to the Cape Fear River in 2017 and is developing and implementing remediation projects to address groundwater discharge concerns. We are providing safe drinking water as provided in the Consent Order. To our knowledge, the commitments we’ve made and actions we’ve taken and continue to take are more robust than the actions of any other company in North Carolina. We would encourage the other sources of PFAS throughout the state to do the same.”


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