By Erin Smith
All of the gates accessing the Chemours Fayetteville Works plant were closed on Friday afternoon following an attempt to conduct a protest at the plant by a group of citizens from New Hanover County. Also, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality was served with a subpoena on Friday morning ordering officials to appear before a federal grand jury regarding the department’s investigation into Chemours.
The Department of Environmental Quality opened up an investigation into Chemours after it was learned they were the suspected source of the chemical GenX which was found in the Cape Fear River. According to WECT, the subpoena requests DEQ officials to provide a federal grand jury in Wilmington with documents and records, including permits, compliance information, reports and other items related to the department’s investigation of Chemours by Tuesday, August 22.
The Department of Environmental Quality and the NC Department of Health and Human Services launched a joint investigation regarding the presence of GenX in the river. In July, Gov. RoyCooper asked the State Bureau of Investigation to conduct an investigation into whether or not Chemours had violated its discharge permits.
The chemical GenX is used in the manufacture of Teflon. It is alleged GenX can cause kidney and testicular cancers as well as possible liver damage.
New Hanover, Pender and Brunswick countries take their drinking water from the Cape Fear River. The Cape Fear Public Utility Authority in Wilmington has announced plans to file a lawsuit against Chemours.