Brunswick County Democratic Party Announces Its Opposition
To Chemours’ Proposed Expansion of PFAS Production
Chemours, whose current plant in Bladen County has been producing PFAS (per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances) for some 30 years, announced that it would hold an information meeting Wednesday night, September 21, at 5:00 p.m. in the Leland Cultural Arts Center to discuss its plans to expand production of PFAS related products.
The Brunswick County Democratic Party (BCDP) strongly opposes any expansion of operations by Chemours that will create more PFAS, which are a group of chemical compounds linked to various diseases including cancer. PFAS contamination has been found locally in the river, wells, and our tap water.
“To seek to produce more PFAS and risk further fouling our region’s drinking water, while we are still attempting to learn about the damage already done, is outrageous,” said Shelley Allen, BCDP acting Chair.
Having drinking water free of PFAS contamination is already one of the largest environmental challenges residents in Brunswick County and the rest of the Cape Fear River basin face. PFAS wastes were dumped into the ground and thus into the Cape Fear River by Chemours--and Dupont which previously owned the plant--for more than 30 years. However, their existence in our river, wells and drinking water was only discovered and made known in 2017 through some diligent reporting in the StarNews.
Since that time the State has taken both companies to court and won concessions forcing them to address their disposal methods and to pay at least some of the costs of clean-up and other reparations. But the health costs to residents here who have been drinking PFAS-contaminated water for years are not yet fully known, just as the full cost of the clean-up is not yet known.
According to the NC Department of Health and Human Services, “The potential for health effects in humans is still being studied…. Although more research is needed, some studies of people have shown that certain PFAS may:
affect growth, learning, and behavior of infants and older children;
lower a woman’s chances of getting pregnant;
interfere with the body’s natural hormones;
increase cholesterol levels;
affect the immune system;
increase the risk of cancer.”
“However, we do know who will bear the brunt of these effects and clean-up costs: our residents,” Allen continued. “Brunswick County residents are already on the hook for the cost of a major reverse-osmosis water treatment plant to remove the PFAS from our drinking water.”
“Until we better understand the totality of the damages caused by 30 years of PFAS dumping, we will strongly oppose any approval for expanded production of these very toxic, cancer-causing chemical compounds,” Allen noted. “And we urge all residents in the region to similarly oppose Chemours proposed expansion. We encourage concerned citizens to turn out at the information session on Wednesday night to send Chemours a strong message.”
The Cultural Arts Center is located at 1212 Magnolia Way, Leland.