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Following Governor’s Advocacy, EPA Reverses Approval of Plan to Import Chemours Waste

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rescinded its approval for imports of waste material containing GenX from a Chemours facility in the Netherlands to the Chemours Fayetteville Works Plant in North Carolina. The EPA notified Governor Cooper by letter today of the decision. Governor Cooper strongly urged the EPA to reverse the original approval in a November 3 letter to the EPA Administrator.

“It’s good that the EPA reversed this decision and I’m grateful for their quick response," said Governor Cooper. “We have been working for years in North Carolina to force the cleanup of forever chemicals to help ensure clean water, and companies like Chemours have made this effort more difficult.”

“We appreciate that the EPA heard the concerns shared by the Governor and the residents directly affected by PFAS contamination from Chemours,” said DEQ Secretary Elizabeth S. Biser. “North Carolina is committed to reducing PFAS pollution and today’s reversal aligns with that goal.”

EPA indicated that information provided to the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality led to today’s decision. On November 1, DEQ sent Chemours detailed questions about the potential imports to better understand how the additional material could impact the environment. In a November 13 response, Chemours indicated that there were errors in the export volume requested and that the plant was not capable of processing the amount of waste containing GenX as listed on the original approval.

DEQ continues to hold Chemours accountable for addressing the impacts to residents in at least eight counties and providing alternate water supplies for affected private well owners.

Read Governor Cooper’s November 3, 2023 Letter to the EPA here.

Read the EPA’s November 29, 2023 Letter to Governor Cooper here.

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