DEQ gathering documents for federal investigation related to Chemours

Raleigh, NC

Staff in the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality are gathering documents for the federal government’s investigation related to Chemours, the company that manufactures the unregulated compound GenX at its Fayetteville facility.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina issued a subpoena to the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality on July 28. The subpoena requests that by Aug. 22 DEQ provide to a grand jury in Wilmington records and documents, including permits, environmental compliance information, reports, emails, research and notes, related to the Chemours Company’s Fayetteville Works facility, GenX and other fluorinated chemicals.

“DEQ will provide all relevant records about Chemours as part of this ongoing federal investigation,” said Jamie Kritzer, DEQ spokesman. “We are pleased that federal authorities are taking this matter seriously as we continue our own investigation into Chemours and the issues surrounding GenX and the other unregulated chemical compounds.”

In June, Governor Roy Cooper directed DEQ and the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services to launch an investigation into Chemours’ discharge of GenX. Then last week, Cooper directed the State Bureau of Investigation’s Diversion and Environmental Crimes Unit to assess whether a criminal investigation is warranted in this case. Governor Cooper and his administration were successful in getting Chemours to stop the release of GenX. Since then, the levels of GenX in finished drinking water from the Cape Fear River continue to be below the state’s public health goal and have been trending downward. DEQ continues to sample and test the water frequently to monitor levels of GenX.  

On Monday, Governor Cooper announced the expansion of a state science panel to help guide state officials on ways to better protect public health and the environment from new or unregulated chemicals such as GenX.

A copy of the subpoena can be found at: https://files.nc.gov/ncdeq/documents/files/DEQ%20Subpoena.pdf.

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