“RALEIGH – After a late-March legislative tour of the Department of Environmental Quality Reedy Creek laboratories, DEQ Secretary Michael Regan was clear that action over air emissions at the Chemours Co. plant in Bladen County was coming.

Regan said DEQ was working methodically to make as solid a case as possible. ‘We are building a case to take the necessary next steps to prevent Genx from entering the atmosphere and contribute to an ongoing violation of well water,’ he said in an interview after the tour.

Regan, a specialist in air quality when he was an Environmental Protection Agency administrator, said the department would seek to shut down emissions of GenX, even if the result is a decision by the company to close the plant.

‘We’ll do what we’ll need to do, and the company will do what it needs to do,’ he said.

This month, in a series of enforcement actions, DEQ began to lay out that case, starting with actions that are likely to result in the shutdown of all GenX emissions.

Last Friday, the state’s Division of Air Quality gave Delaware-based Chemours notice that is has three weeks to prove that it can reduce emissions to ‘a level that will stop contributing to groundwater violations’ or the company will no longer be permitted to discharge GenX emissions. On Monday, DEQ amended a previous complaint filed in Bladen County Superior Court asking for a preliminary injunction against Chemours. The move followed an announcement by DEQ that estimates of annual GenX emissions were 40 times higher than originally reported by the company and four times higher than a revised estimate last fall…

Since the initial public reports of the presence of GenX in treated drinking water drawn from the Cape Fear River last summer, scientists and policy makers have stressed that the issue of emerging compounds is far broader than GenX and by no means isolated to the lower Cape Fear basin.”

Read the full article by Kirk Ross.