“Legal documents filed this week put an entirely new light on the levels of pollution pouring out of the chemical plant just south of Fayetteville, on the Cumberland-Bladen county line. It is massive…

The legal filings present lengthy evidence of the extent of the pollution coming from the property that sits between N.C. 87 and the Cape Fear River. They make it clear that we’re not just looking at a GenX problem, but rather at a broad array of chemicals within the GenX family of perfluorinated compounds that are used or created at the Fayetteville Works. The DEQ, according to the legal papers, has found at least 33 perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances — collectively referred to as PFAS — emitted or discharged from the plant.

The request for declaratory ruling observes that, ‘DEQ was alarmed to discover that GenX compounds are emitted at a rate of over 2,000 pounds a year, but other PFAS compounds are emitted at severely higher rates.’ The emissions of 2015 are cited as the highest so far, when ‘Chemours emitted over 125,000 pounds of PFAS compounds into the air.’ That’s nearly 63 tons of PFAS chemicals — all likely harmful to human health — pumped into the air and distributed for miles around the plant by the winds.

Through spills, atmospheric dispersion and dumping of effluent, the stuff has worked its way into the water table. And again, the public attention on GenX has missed the point. Some related compounds are present in the water table at far greater concentrations. The request for declaratory ruling notes that the DEQ’s complaint against Chemours, filed in Bladen County Superior Court, ‘expresses deep concern that GenX has been found in private wells at levels of 4,000 ppt, yet some PFAS compounds have been found in concentrations of several million parts per trillion — one of which has been found at levels of up to 8,174,250 ppt.’

The request concludes that, ‘The actions of DuPont and Chemours over the last four decades have put the health of hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians at risk. Chemours continues to emit hundreds of pounds of contaminating chemicals into the environment each day. Even if DEQ’s enforcement actions are successful, important sources of air and water pollution would go unaddressed.’ ”

Read the full article from the Fayetteville Observer.