State News

Chemical maker sued over drinking water pollutant fears

Posted October 6
Updated October 11

— A North Carolina man's federal lawsuit contends chemical makers for years released little-understood compounds into the drinking water for hundreds of thousands, hurting property values while the companies profited.

Wilmington resident Brent Nix this week filed a federal lawsuit against The Chemours Co. and DuPont. He's seeking compensation for lost property values and possible health problems. Nix wants the lawsuit to include more than 200,000 people served by a Wilmington water utility as well as others in the region who consumed household water.

A Chemours spokesman did not respond Friday to an opportunity to comment.

The Wilmington, Delaware-based company has released the chemical GenX and other products into the Cape Fear River from its factory about 100 miles north of Wilmington. DuPont spun off Chemours two years ago.

Chemours stopped discharging the GenX, which is used to make Teflon and other materials, into the Cape Fear River at the request of Gov. Roy Cooper's administration, but researchers and state environmental officials say other similarly unregulated chemicals continue to flow into the river from the plant.

State and federal officials are investigating Chemours' operations, and the company and state regulators are in a legal fight over renewal of its wastewater permit.

GenX and the other chemicals haven't been studied much, so their long-term health effects aren't known, but GenX is related to a family of chemicals that has been linked to cancer.

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