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Brunswick, New Hanover County Chairs Blame Chemours for ‘environmental’ Ads ::

Brunswick, New Hanover County Chairs Blame Chemours for ‘environmental’ Ads ::

According to an article, top officials in New Hanover County and Brunswick counties have voiced harsh criticisms of Chemours recent television advertisements praising the chemical company’s environmental record. Article in the Coastal Review.

Chemours has been airing TV ads in recent weeks that highlight the $100 million investment by the company in new technology to reduce pollution by more than 95%. In the 30-second spot, Good Neighbors Care explains that the company has set a goal to reduce pollution by 99% by 2030. The company stated that the ads were intended to keep the public informed about its progress.

Quality environment is the foundation of our quality life. Chemours has made this a commitment, as the narrator of the ads says.

Here’s a look inside the ad:

Researchers and state environmental regulators identified the company as the source for groundwater and surface contamination, and illegal air emissions of per- and polyfluoroalkyl compounds. This includes years of dumping PFAS directly into the Cape Fear River, which supplies drinking water to communities downstream, including Wilmington, Brunswick County, and Wilmington. The court has also ordered the company to reduce its PFAS emissions to 99%.

Thursday’s statements were made by Julia Olson-Boseman, Chair of New Hanover County Board of Commissioners, and Randy Thompson, Chair of Brunswick County.

Olson Boseman said that she would not knowingly put poisonous chemicals in the drinking water of our neighbors for decades, earn huge profits and refuse to pay to clean it up, and then go around telling everyone how great a neighbor she is.

She said that Chemours was forced to clean up the mess after GenX and other emerging contaminants have been discovered in our drinking waters system. This was in response to New Hanover County’s 2017 announcement. A good neighbor would do it.

She stated that Chemours is acting now only due to a consent order which forces them to provide private well testing and remediation.

A good neighbor would have paid for upgrades to our drinking water systems in order to filter out chemicals they had emitted into the environment. Instead, the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority, which has undergone upgrades totaling nearly $50 Million, is suing Chemours in an effort to recover these costs. A good neighbor would have taken the necessary steps to avoid contamination in the future. As the ads suggest, they did invest in systems to prevent pollutants from entering Cape Fear River. However, they did so only after being forced by the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality.

After the nonprofit Cape Fear River Watch sued Chemours, the consent order and enforcement action by NCDEQ was issued in November 2018.

Thompson said that the ads were deceptive and frivolous, and that the company is not a friend to Brunswick County or North Carolina.

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It would be funny to publicly praise yourself for doing something, but it wouldn’t be so serious for those living downstream. The new technologies Chemours installed only prevented more PFAS from escaping Fayetteville Works. He said that they do not address the decades-old problem of contaminants in the Cape Fear River, which is the County’s main source for water.

Thompson pointed out that Brunswick County is currently funding and building an advanced treatment facility to remove PFAS. This cost is more than $160million, with no compensation from the county. Thompson mentions the ongoing lawsuit the county has filed against the firm in 2017.

Chemours wouldn’t have spent decades intentionally putting contaminants in the environment that almost no one knew existed or how to test for if they were so concerned about being a good neighbor to North Carolinians. If Chemours had cared, they would have established safeguards decades ago to protect people from the contaminants in their plants before they were exposed through media-driven exposs or state-mandated consent orders.

If Chemours truly cared, they would pay for the costly water treatment upgrades Brunswick County needs to remove contaminants from our drinking water. This is what a neighbor would do.

Chemours made the following statement about the ads:

In the last four years, Chemours has done significant work to reduce emissions at our Fayetteville location and have completed remediation activities. These messages are intended to keep the public informed about our work. They are exactly the kind of information that communities around the plant, and downstreamincluding your viewers, have asked us about. Our goal to reduce the PFAS emissions by 99 percent is part our Corporate Responsibility Commitment. This commitment was made in 2018 to reduce fluorinated organ compound emissions from our manufacturing process. We know of no other company who has made a similar pledge. Chemours has partnered closely with the state regulatory agencies during these four years. We have even entered a Consent Order. That work sets a high bar in terms of our company and our manufacturing processes. We are currently working on a barrier wall in the ground along the Cape Fear River. The wall will be one mile long and six stories high to keep compounds from reaching it. We are one of many contributors to the Cape Fear River system, the largest state river system. Chemours has done our part to improve the river. We hope others will follow our lead.

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