RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper (D) is strongly urging the Environmental Protection Agency to reverse the decision to allow the import of certain waste materials intended for disposal in the state.
According to the governor’s office, he sent a letter on Nov. 3 to EPA Administrator Michael Regan concerning the ruling to let waste material containing GenX to the Chemours facility in Cumberland County.
“North Carolina has been at the forefront of PFAS [Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances] issues for the past seven years and worked relentlessly to mitigate the health risks posed by these chemicals,” Gov. Cooper said in a press release.
“It is unacceptable for North Carolinians to bear the risks associated with importing millions of pounds of GenX from other countries for disposal in our air, land and water,” he added. “Under the Biden Administration, the EPA has been a vital partner in our efforts to learn more about these chemicals and protect the health of our communities and we will continue to encourage them to take action.”
The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality “expressed concerns and objections” regarding the decision to allow Chemours to import 4.4 million pounds of PFAS-containing material over the next 12 months from the Netherlands to the Chemours Fayetteville Works Facility, the governor’s office said.
“North Carolina has been a leader in identifying health risks of emerging compounds known as ‘forever chemicals’ that have been discharged into North Carolina’s air and waterways by manufacturers, including Chemours,” the press release said.
The Department of Environmental Quality has told federal officials that allowing the import of these materials “does not align with the goals of EPA’s Strategic Roadmap for PFAS or with the state’s ongoing work to address the contamination of the Cape Fear River and the surrounding communities,” according to the governor’s office.
State officials said the Department of Environmental Quality remains invested in the continued reduction and remediation of GenX and related compounds in North Carolina and the Cape Fear River basin.