The Wilmington StarNews, and other media, have been reporting on the potential that the Cape Fear River below the Cumberland County area, was contaminated regularly and repeatedly beginning in as early as 2000, first with the chemical C8 and more recently with a chemical known as GenX. These toxic chemicals are by-products released from the manufacturing processes at the Fayetteville Works plant, formerly owned by DuPont and presently owned by its spin-off company Chemours.
The StarNews also reported that this information was revealed during a meeting held Thursday, June 15, 2017, between Chemours company representatives and officials from North Carolina local and state government.
Officials asked the company to immediately stop discharging GenX into the public water supply, but according to the news reports, the company would not agree initially to stop but instead claimed it was “exploring several avenues.” Chemours finally agreed to stop discharging GenX into the Cape Fear River, and inspectors with the Department of Environmental Quality confirmed June 27 that the discharge has stopped.
The Fayetteville Works plant was opened by DuPont in the early 1970s and is located adjacent to the Cape Fear River about 100 miles north of Wilmington.
In 2004, DuPont settled a class action lawsuit filed by residents of West Virginia whose water supply was contaminated by C8 for in excess of $70 million. In 2005, the EPA levied a record $10.25 million penalty against DuPont related to the harms caused by C8. In 2009, DuPont began producing GenX at the Fayetteville Works as a substitute for C8 but continued to produce C8 as well until 2014. Unfortunately, both chemicals have contaminated the water supply.
In 2011, a science panel created to oversee medical screening reported adverse health effects linked to C8 exposure, including kidney cancer and testicular cancer. Shortly thereafter, in 2012, EPA scientists found GenX in the Cape Fear River downstream from the Fayetteville Works while none was found upstream. In early 2017, DuPont and its spinoff Chemours, agreed to pay $671 million to settle thousands of individual lawsuits filed by residents of Ohio and West Virginia related to cancers and other ailments related to C8 exposure in drinking water.
Martin & Jones attorneys will be investigating claims on behalf of residents and business owners affected by the possible contamination. If you or someone you know lives or works in the Cape Fear River basin south of the Fayetteville Works plant, and have developed kidney or testicular cancer, please call attorneys Forest Horne, Carrie Guest or Karl Amelchenko toll-free at 1.800.662.1234 for a free consultation or reach us by email by completing the contact us form. Our firm has decades of experience representing toxic exposure victims and their families. Our attorneys have represented clients in cases against some of the largest corporations in America.