Bolivia, NC (WWAY) — Brunswick County has hired a national law firm and a firm from North Carolina to represent the county against Chemours, DuPont, and Kuraray.
The county will also use the firms to recover costs required to investigate, manage, reduce and remove certain chemicals from drinking water drawn from the Cape Fear River.
Brunswick County has hired Baron & Budd, P.C. as well as Harold Seagle of Seagle Law.
“This is an important step in protecting the long-term quality of public drinking water in the Cape Fear Region,” said Brunswick County Manager Ann Hardy. “As we have said on numerous occasions, we will not stand for the discharge of perfluorinated chemicals into our public drinking water supply. We remain absolutely committed to protecting the long-term viability of the Cape Fear River.”
Brunswick County has obtained evidence that Chemours, DuPont and Kuraray, all multi-billion dollar corporations, manufacture perfluorinated chemicals (“PFCs”) at the Fayetteville Works plant in Fayetteville.
DuPont has manufactured PFC chemicals since 1980.
Brunswick County believes that as a result of PFC manufacturing, these corporations have released PFC chemicals into Cape Fear River, and thus the public drinking water systems. Recent tests show the corporations continued to deposit PFC chemicals into Cape Fear River as recently as September.
Brunswick County will explore all legal remedies on behalf of the county and its residents, including but not limited to costs of filtration and punitive damages if warranted.
“Brunswick County has retained our firms to investigate and pursue those legal remedies caused by all chemicals coming from the Fayetteville Works plant,” says Baron & Budd shareholder Scott Summy, who tried the first MTBE chemical contamination case in the United States, locally here in Wilmington.
The firms will be investigating what the corporations knew and when they knew it. Chemours, DuPont and Kuraray discharge wastewater under their National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permits, issued by the State of North Carolina.
Chemours released a statement Tuesday evening stating:
Chemours remains committed to ongoing water sampling at and near our Fayetteville, N.C. site.
Recent sampling results detected trace levels of HFPO-DA (sometimes referred to as “Gen X” or “C3 dimer) in groundwater monitoring wells within the boundaries of the Fayetteville site. Chemours is commencing a program this week to offer to sample potable (drinking water) wells at residences in the immediate vicinity of its Fayetteville Works facility. The samples will be analyzed for HFPO-DA.
Chemours has made state officials aware of this program and will continue to work closely with regulators to answer questions, provide information as needed, and determine next steps.