NCDPA and Chemours reach partial consent
By: Charlotte Smith
The State of North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality representatives and attorneys for The Chemours Company, LLC spent the majority of the afternoon Friday, September 8th, 2017 behind close doors at the Bladen County Courthouse. Judge Douglas Sasser encouraged the two parties to meet together to work on a resolution before calling court into session.
The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality called for the company to stop discharging GenX, Nafion byproducts and their related chemicals into the river no later than Friday, Sept. 8. According to officials the State of NC wanted to request a temporary restraining order against Chemours on Friday afternoon to immediately stop the company’s waste management permits, which would cause the Fayetteville Works plant to stop production.
The state representatives and Chemours’ representatives were in a meeting from about 1 p.m. until about 5:15 p.m. in Elizabethtown on Friday. The Bladen County Board of Commissioners Chairman, Charles Ray Peterson and Bladen County Attorney, Leslie Johnson were present and waiting on the decision.
During the wait local representatives voiced concerns about the health of citizens, citing health of citizens as top priority. Another important factor to the case is the effect that a temporary restraining order would have on the employees at the plant located at the Bladen and Cumberland County line.
Health is top priority, but if there is no proof of waste management by Chemours causing health violations then the plant employing about 500 citizens should not be forced to stop operating Peterson explained. “It could be detrimental to our local families if they lose their jobs,” he stated.
The Bladen County Board of Commissioners gave authorization to the County Manager, Greg Martin, County Attorney, Leslie Johnson and Chairman Peterson to seek legal action against the state.
The two parties were in a meeting from about 1 p.m. until about 5:15 p.m. in Elizabethtown on Friday; however, the State and Chemours’ attorneys were able to reach a partial consent. Judge Sasser noted he had never called court to session at such a late hour to his recollection, but he was pleased to be able to work with the two parties on a resolution. Read the partial consent below:
– Chemours will continue the measures it has implemented to prevent the discharge of the process wastewater containing GenX into waters of the State and immediately prevent the discharge of PFESA compounds referenced in the complaint.
– Chemours will also give immediate permission to EPA for DEQ to review confidential business information. Chemours has agreed to make good faith efforts to respond to information requests by DEQ.
Judge Sasser agreed to preside over the case if both the NCDEQ and The Chemours Company were in agreement. Both parties said they would like to have Judge Sasser continue presiding over the case as it proceeds.
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