The Southern Environmental Law Center – or SELC -- says the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality should shut down Chemours, and they should do it now. On behalf of Cape Fear River Watch, the SELC recently told DEQ they have the power and legal authority to take that step.
In its filing with the state last week, the SELC argues that DEQ has the authority and obligation to order Chemours to discontinue immediately its discharges of toxic PFAS compounds, including GenX, because the company’s ongoing contamination of air and water is causing ‘imminent danger’ to people’s health and public safety. SELC says DEQ is required by law to act in times of emergency to protect the health and safety of the public.
“The state has 30 days to respond to our request for declaratory ruling.”
That’s Kemp Burdette, Cape Fear Riverkeeper. He says they are waiting for DEQ’s response.
“They’re required to either respond to that petition or no response indicates that they disagree, but whichever the case is, that is then an official position of the state on this issue, which is important because it kind of eliminates this issue we’ve had where the state says ‘well we don’t if we can do that’ or ‘we’re waiting on EPA’ or ‘we’re waiting for this to make its way through the court system’. What we’re saying is you don’t need a court decision, you don’t need to wait on EPA, the state itself right now has all the authority it need to act, to shut Chemours down.”
In an email to WHQR, the DEQ says that they are “reviewing SELC’s petition thoroughly and will make an appropriate decision on their request. It appears SELC’s petition is primarily based on the multiple enforcement actions DEQ has already taken against Chemours to fight the company’s emissions of GenX and protect North Carolinians’ water and air.”
More information from N.C. DEQ HERE