This past June, the public was informed that DuPont’s spin off company, Chemours, has been dumping toxic chemical GenX into the Cape Fear river since as early as 1980. This chemical is extremely similar to C8, a chemical that is known to cause kidney, testicular, and pancreatic cancer.
Since the news broke, various agencies have launched investigations in order to learn more about GenX, its detrimental health and environmental effects, and exactly how much is in the water.
For example, a civil investigative demand was issued by Attorney General Josh Stein in order to compel Chemours to produce various documents concerning “how Chemours markets GenX, its risks and its environmental sustainability.”
Investigations have also been launched regarding Chemours’ compliance with various regulations. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has started investigating Chemours’ compliance with the 2009 Toxic Substances Control Act consent order allowing it to manufacture GenX. The EPA is also analyzing additional toxicity data in order to reevaluate its risk assessment regarding GenX.
Additionally, a joint-investigation into Chemours’ activities has been launched by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and N.C. Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).
U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina issued a subpoena to DEQ for documents.
Governor Roy Cooper has also asked the State Bureau of Investigation’s Diversion and Environmental Crime division to determine if a criminal investigation is warranted.
Other officials, such as Environmental Quality Secretary Michael Regan and Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen, have written lawmakers seeking $2.6 million combined. Such funds would be used for water testing and water quality units in the Division of Public Health, as well as increased scientists and technology within the Division of Water Resources.
In addition to the multiple investigations that have been launched, several groups have already notified Chemours of their intent to sue. One such organization is Civitas, described as a nonpartisan, nonprofit conservative public policy organization.
The Cape Fear Public Utility Authority (CFPUA) is also planning to sue Chemours concerning violations of the Clean Water Act and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.
We will continue to monitor the current regulatory events regarding GenX, and report significant developments.
- GenX Cancers Overview
- Summary of Information
- Timeline: GenX Contamination of the Cape Fear River
- Timeline: GenX Study Results
- GenX: Cancer Case Evaluation Form
Written by: Heather Helmendach, Legal Assistant
Law Offices of Thomas J. Lamb, P.A.