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The Mysterious

NC DEQ 15-year Cover-up


Why?


Wilmington to Fayetteville Drinking Water Crisis

Chemours and Dupont Fayetteville Works


(PFAS, GenX, PFAAs, PFOA, etc.)



Chemours GenX, Dupont Fayetteville PFAS, NC DEQ cover-up 2019



North Carolina DEQ Cover-up

(2005 - 2019)

Wilmington to Fayetteville Drinking Water Crisis

(updated by T. McKinney on October 4, 2019)

Surprisingly, North Carolina has never conducted a thorough, open, and honest investigation of what went wrong in state government with the Wilmington to Fayetteville Drinking Water Crisis. The drinking water crisis was caused by Dupont (Chemours) Fayetteville Works' decades-long discharge of PFAS and GenX chemicals (PFAAs, PFOA, GenX, fluorocarbons, acid fluorides, etc.) into the Cape Fear River. However, there is a considerable amount of evidence that the management of the North Carolina DEQ Division of Air Quality is in the 15th year of an ongoing cover-up of its knowledge and concealment of Dupont (Chemours) Fayetteville Works' discharge of untreated wastewater contaminated with PFAS and GenX chemicals (via the scrubbers) from its large Fluorochemicals Plant into the Cape Fear River, a source of drinking water for downstream communities. It is important to note that scrubbers are air pollution control equipment regulated by the agency's Division of Air Quality. Why is the state environmental agency still engaged in concealment and cover-up in 2019?

A review of Dupont Fayetteville Work's annual reports to the state environmental agency over a period of many years, in combination with other evidence presented below, reveals the DEQ's 15-year concealment and cover-up of essential information about PFAS and GenX chemicals in the wastewater from scrubbers that was discharged to the Cape Fear River. The evidence reveals that the NC DEQ has experienced, in essence, a disastrous airplane crash. It should be noted that this multi-year concealment, cover-up, and failure in state government took place during both democratic and republican administrations. Instead of investigating the underlying problems and root causes, the agency has frequently promoted a misleading public narrative that the Cape Fear River Drinking Water Crisis was due to the agency not having adequate staff and funding. Also, the agency has self-protectively pointed the blame at other government entities. However, a review of the evidence reveals many years of concealment and cover-up by North Carolina's environmental agency. Why? When is North Carolina state government going to conduct an independent, bipartisan, and transparent investigation of what went wrong at the DEQ, and how to prevent it from ever happening again?

Many of the DEQ Division of Air Quality documents that would help shed light on what went wrong continue to be hidden from public view. Why? Where are the documents, emails, and notes associated with the false and misleading DEQ Air Quality "2012 Memo & Report?" Where is the list of DEQ and EPA employees who have visited the Fayetteville Works site during the past 15 years? And, just as important, where is the list of DEQ supervisors and managers who, in years prior to the investigative news reports of 2017, attended meetings to discuss Dupont (Chemours) Fayetteville Works?

There is a considerable amount of evidence over a 15-year period that the DEQ's silence, inaction, concealment, dishonesty, denial, indifference, and ineptitude have resulted to a large extent from its outdated and impenetrable, 1970s-like, rigid agency silos and sub-silos, layers upon layers of entrenched state government supervisors, weak to non-existent organizational controls for agency field offices, disconnection between agency inspectors in the field and entitled, "lifetime" government supervisors, outdated and bureaucratic processes and procedures, antiquated seniority system, talented but underutilized staff, and penchant for institutional protection including secrecy, cover-up, retaliation, and blaming other entities, all of which interfere with the flow of essential information needed for science-based, public agency problem-solving. Yet, the DEQ continues with its tendency to point the blaming finger at other easy targets, such as the previous administrations, the General Assembly, the agency funding levels, the U.S. Congress, the "regulatory framework," the "emerging contaminants," the U.S. EPA, or perhaps some hapless staff person or retiree. Clearly, there is a need for an independent, bipartisan, and transparent investigation of the evidence.

NC DEQ Mission Statement for 2019-2021:
Providing science-based environmental stewardship for the health and prosperity of all North Carolinians.

The North Carolina DEQ has many wonderful and talented people. However, a review of the evidence from the past two decades indicates that the NC DEQ is organized and operated in a manner that makes it unable to adequately address the movement of pollutants between air, water, and land until there is a crisis situation and public outrage. The evidence reveals that the DEQ's 1970s-style bureaucracy has very little self-awareness or self-reflection, resulting in both a lack of concern and a poor understanding of the important interplay between the various "siloed" environmental programs and the resulting impact on local communities. The evidence suggests that North Carolina's environmental agency, despite having numerous employees with strong backgrounds in environmental science and related areas of expertise, appears unable as an organization to do basic environmental science 101 for pollutants that move between air, water, and land. In other words, the North Carolina DEQ, as it is currently organized and operated, is not capable of carrying out its mission of science-based environmental stewardship. The NC DEQ concealment and cover-up is now entering its 15th year. It is time for an independent, bipartisan, and transparent investigation of what went wrong at the North Carolina DEQ, and how to prevent it from ever happening again.




Twelve of many Missed Opportunities

to end the NC DEQ Cover-up

(updated on October 16, 2019)


2005 September

Almost 17 years ago, the North Carolina DEQ (formerly DENR or DEHNR) Division of Air Quality was notified of Dupont Fayetteville Works' significant emissions of HFPO (hexafluoropropylene oxide) and HFP (hexafluoropropylene) to the air, along with a list of chemicals associated with the VOC (volatile organic compound) emissions from their large Fluorochemicals Plant adjacent to the Cape Fear River. During that same time period, Dupont notified the agency's Division of Water Quality that it was considering efforts to identify and quantify the numerous fluorocarbon chemicals associated with the wastewater from their Fluorochemicals Plant. Dupont reported PFOA groundwater contamination to the DEQ Division of Waste Management in 2003. One year later in 2004, DEQ Air Quality became aware of Dupont Fayetteville Works' untreated wastewater (via the scrubbers) with PFAS and GenX chemicals (acid fluorides, PFAAs, fluorocarbons) which could not be broken down by microorganisms and remained unchanged as they were discharged into the Cape Fear River, a source of drinking water for downstream communities. Surprisingly, Dupont Fayetteville Works did not have an advanced wastewater treatment system. The evidence shows that the North Carolina environmental agency's cover-up was in full force in 2005.

NC DEQ Director of Air Quality

Why did the DEQ management team engage in the Dupont Fayetteville "communication lockdown" in 2005? Why was there so much internal secrecy and restrictions on communicating basic information about Dupont Fayetteville Works within the agency?

Why did the most important information included in the 2004 Dupont inspection report (untreated PFAS chemicals discharged into the Cape Fear River) disappear from the Dupont inspection report in 2005, which was written one week after the Dupont and DEQ meeting on September 23, 2005? Why was this essential information concealed?

The evidence suggests that the DEQ Air management team hid from the DEQ Water team the important information about Dupont's air pollution control scrubbers at its large Fluorochemicals Plant and the persistent, untreated PFAS chemicals in the wastewater (via the scrubbers) discharged into the Cape Fear River? Why did the DEQ Air management team hide this essential information from the DEQ Water management team?

Why was the DEQ Air Quality management team going to such great lengths to silence and remove the DEQ inspector who reported the problem of Dupont's wastewater containing PFAS chemicals (PFAAs, PFOA, GenX, fluorocarbons, acid fluorides, etc.) which could not be broken down by microorganisms and remained unchanged as they were discharged into the Cape Fear River?

In 2005, who in the DEQ management team was looking at the big picture of Dupont's chemical pollutants in air, water, land, and waste, with a close eye on the well-publicized developments at a similar Dupont facility in West Virginia?



2009 April


Dupont Fayetteville Works

In 2009, DEQ Air Quality received a notification from Dupont Fayetteville Works reporting they had discovered another significant source of HFPO and fluorocarbon emissions at their Fluorochemicals Plant on the Cape Fear River. While the DEQ fined Dupont $3,285 for not having the emissions source listed on their permit, this should have served as another "reminder" to DEQ Air Quality of the persistent PFAS chemicals tranferred from air to wastewater (via the scrubbers) and discharged untreated into the Cape Fear River. However, one can not help but wonder why DEQ Air Quality would need another reminder. After all, Dupont had been submitting an annual emissions report for many years with each report providing an estimate of the percentage of chemical pollutants that the Fluorochemicals Plant air pollution control equipment transferred from air to water (via the scrubbers), to Dupont's wastewater system and discharged into the Cape Fear River.

Did the DEQ management team discuss the significance of this new information in looking at the overall PFAS chemical emissions to air and water from Dupont's large Fluorochemicals Plant on the Cape Fear River?

Did the DEQ Air management team "remember" to share with the DEQ Water team the information about the air pollution control scrubbers' wastewater discharge of PFAS chemicals to the Dupont wastewater system? Why was this essential information concealed from DEQ Water?

In 2009, did the management teams of DEQ Air, DEQ Water, and DEQ Waste get together to discuss Dupont's large Fluorochemicals Plant and its discharge of PFAS chemicals (PFAAs, PFOA, GenX, fluorocarbons, acid fluorides, etc.) to both air and water (via the scrubbers)? What did they talk about? If they did not get together to discuss Dupont's Fluorochemicals Plant and its emissions to air and water, why not?

In 2009, who in the DEQ management team was looking at the "big picture" of Dupont's chemical pollutants in air, water, land, and waste?



2010


DEQ Director and Dupont Fayetteville

2010: The DEQ Director of the Division of Air Quality, Keith Overcash, retired and left the agency in 2010. The evidence suggests that the early years of the agency cover-up centered around the DEQ Director of Air Quality.

Did any DEQ Air employees attempt to "come forward" and end the cover-up after the director's retirement in 2010? If so, how was the information handled by the agency, and what happened to the employees who came forward?

Did the new agency Director of Air Quality, Sheila Holman, meet with the supervisor and staff of the DEQ Air field office in Fayetteville in 2010 to discuss Dupont's large Fluorochemicals Plant and the historical information regarding air emissions and scrubber wastewater based on the company's annual reports, the annual inspections, and the numerous written communications and meetings between Dupont and the Fayetteville office? If not, why not?

Did the agency's supervisors and staff located in Raleigh, who were working with the Science Advisory Board, meet with the engineer, the chemist, and the inspectors located in the Fayetteville office to discuss the historical information they had regarding air emissions and scrubber wastewater based on the company's annual reports, the annual inspections, and the numerous written communications and meetings? If not, why not?

In 2010, did the management teams of DEQ Air, DEQ Water, and DEQ Waste get together to discuss Dupont's large Fluorochemicals Plant and its discharge of PFAS chemicals (PFAAs, PFOA, GenX, fluorocarbons, acid fluorides, etc.) to both air and water (via the scrubbers)? What did they talk about? If they did not get together to discuss Dupont's Fluorochemicals Plant and its emissions to air and water, why not?

Who in the DEQ management team was looking at the "big picture" of Dupont's chemical pollutants in air, water, land, and waste?


2010 July


chemours

2010: Dupont organized and led a DEQ meeting, and "recommended" which agency groups and individuals should attend the meeting (in this case, DEQ Water and DEQ Waste). It appears that DEQ Air Quality was not "invited" even though their Fayetteville staff was much more familiar with Dupont Fayetteville Works and received an emissions report from the company every year listing estimates of chemical pollutants discharged to air and wastewater from the scrubber systems associated with the various chemical processes. Excluding DEQ Air Quality from the meeting may have provided an opportunity for the Dupont Environmental Manager to "hoodwink" the DEQ Water supervisors and managers in Raleigh.

Why was the Dupont Environmental Manager allowed to organize and lead state agency meetings?

Was anyone at the agency looking at the "big picture" regarding Dupont Fayetteville Works and the emissions to air, water, and land? Or had the agency management team delegated that responsibilty to Dupont?

Was the exclusion of the DEQ staff most familiar with Dupont Fayetteville Works from this important meeting an effort to provide the DEQ supervisors and managers in Raleigh with plausible deniability in the lead-up to the false and misleading 2012 Memo and Report?

Or was this meeting an example of DEQ supervisors and managers in Raleigh being easily hoodwinked and, lazily, getting their own talking points from the Dupont Environmental Manager?

In 2010, who in the DEQ management team was looking at the "big picture" of Dupont's chemical pollutants in air, water, land, and waste?



2012 August


NC DEQ Air fales, misleading 2012 Memo and Report

2012: DEQ Air Quality released the false and misleading 2012 Memo and Report which tried to make the unbelievable argument that PFAA pollutants (PFAS, PFOA, GenX, fluorocarbons, acid fluorides, etc.) are released to the environment in other states, but not in North Carolina. This makes no sense at all, but appears to have completely misled the DEQ Water staff. The notion that fluorochemicals or fluorocarbons are used and manufactured at the Dupont Fayetteville Works site in North Carolina, but not released as pollutants into the air and water, would have been considered both false and preposterous way back in 2005, and earlier. This is astonishing and misleading to such a degree that one could be forgiven for thinking it was written by a Dupont corporate public relations person located in Delaware.

Did any DEQ employees speak up after seeing the false and misleading information in the 2012 Memo and Report. If so, what happened to those employees?

Once again, the evidence suggests that DEQ Air Quality hid from DEQ Water Quality the important information about the air pollution control scrubbers at Dupont's large Fluorochemicals Plant and the transfer of persistent PFAS chemicals from air to the Dupont wastewater system (via the scrubbers) and into the Cape Fear River? Why was this essential information concealed?

Why did the agency supervisors and staff in Raleigh, working for years on this project, appear to know very little about Dupont Fayetteville Works and its large Fluorochemicals Plant?

Why did DEQ Air Quality conceal the information that its Fayetteville office had regarding Dupont's large Fluorochemicals Plant and its air emissions, scrubber wastewater, and PFAS chemicals in wastewater discharges (via the scrubbers), gleaned from the company's annual reports, the annual inspections, and the numerous written communications and meetings between Dupont and DEQ Air Quality?

Over a time period of many years, why were the agency silos and sub-silos not communicating with each other?

Did DEQ Air Quality share the important information about the Dupont Fluorochemicals Plant annual emissions data, including chemical pollutants emitted to air and wastewater (via the scrubbers), with the outside experts on the Science Advisory Board in 2010, 2011, and 2012? If not, why not?

Where are the DEQ Air Quality files, documents, and meeting notes from the years of study leading up to the agency's false and misleading 2012 Memo and Report? Why are these important files and documents not made public?

In 2012, who in the DEQ management team was looking at the big picture of Dupont's chemical pollutants in air, water, land, and waste?

The first several pages of the 2012 Memo & Report indicate that the North Carolina environmental agency's supervisors, managers, and staff in Raleigh, working for many years on this project, knew very little about the Dupont Fayetteville Works site and/or were actively engaged in concealment and cover-up. Why? As occurred previously in 2005, were the environmental agency's Fayetteville office staff and inspectors, the individuals who conducted inspections, reviewed the annual emissions reports, and were most familiar with Dupont Fayetteville Works, still being excluded from the agency's discussions, research, reporting, and decision-making? Why?



2015 June


DEQ Water

2015: DEQ Water officials and Dupont representatives met to discuss information obtained from Mark Strynar of U.S. EPA. The available notes indicate that the meeting topics included: "EPA study that identified new perfluoronated compound in Cape Fear River ..."

Why was the new information kept hushed up? Was this a case of trying to cover up for past failures, or was it simply another example of clueless DEQ supervisors and managers being easily hoodwinked and, lazily, getting their own talking points from Dupont?

What was discussed at the subsequent DEQ Water Regional Supervisors Meeting?

Did DEQ Water officials try to learn more about Dupont's large Fluorochemicals Plant? If not, why not? Did they visit the Dupont (Chemours) Fayetteville Works site? If they never visited the site, why not?

Did DEQ Water share this information with DEQ Air and DEQ Waste?

Who in the DEQ management team was looking at the "big picture" of Dupont's chemical pollutants in air, water, land, and waste?



2015


Chemours and EPA Audit

2015: The U.S. EPA conducted an audit of Dupont's (Chemours) hazardous waste program that included multiple references to fluorocarbons (PFAS chemicals). Perhaps due to DEQ silos and sub-silos, or the numerous layers of agency hierarchy, there is no indication that DEQ Waste Management or the U.S. EPA shared and discussed this important information with DEQ Air and Water staff. For a complex chemical manufacturing facility, such as Dupont (Chemours), it would seem imperative that the DEQ silos and sub-silos come together, share information, and work collaboratively after any type of U.S. EPA audit.

In 2015, did the management teams of DEQ Air, DEQ Water, and DEQ Waste get together to discuss Dupont's large Fluorochemicals Plant and its discharge of PFAS chemicals (PFAAs, PFOA, GenX, fluorocarbons, acid fluorides, etc.) to both air and water (via the scrubbers)? What did they talk about? If they did not get together to discuss Dupont's Fluorochemicals Plant and its emissions to air and water, why not?

In late 2015, who in the DEQ management team was looking at the "big picture" of Dupont's chemical pollutants in air, water, land, and waste?



2016 November


NC DEQ Water Cover-up

2016: Dr. Knappe, North Carolina State University, notified multiple DEQ Water supervisors and managers of PFAS chemicals (PFAAs, PFOA, GenX, fluorocarbons, acid fluorides, etc.) in the Cape Fear River, and in Wilmington area drinking water supplies. Surprisingly, it appears that DEQ Water stayed silent and kept the information hushed up.

Did the DEQ Water supervisors and managers attempt to better understand the Chemours Fluorochemicals Plant? Was there any communication between DEQ Water and DEQ Air about the plant's scrubber systems and their role in the transfer of PFAS chemicals from air to wastewater?

Did the DEQ Water people meet with Chemours to discuss this important information? If so, what was discussed? If not, why not?

What was discussed at the subsequent DEQ Water Regional Supervisors Meeting?

Did DEQ Water ever learn that DEQ Air received reports from Chemours (Dupont) every year with estimates of the percentage of pollutants, including PFAS chemicals, that the Fluorochemicals Plant air pollution control equipment (scrubbers) transferred from air to wastewater and discharged to the Cape Fear River?

In 2016, did the management teams of DEQ Air, DEQ Water, and DEQ Waste get together to discuss Dupont's large Fluorochemicals Plant and its discharge of PFAS chemicals (PFAAs, PFOA, GenX, fluorocarbons, acid fluorides, etc.) to both air and water (via the scrubbers)? What did they talk about? If they did not get together to discuss Dupont's Fluorochemicals Plant and its emissions to air and water, why not?

In 2016, who in the DEQ management team was looking at the "big picture" of Dupont's chemical pollutants in air, water, land, and waste?



2017 April


DEQ multimedia joint inspection program

2017: The new DEQ management team suddenly halted the multimedia joint inspection program in early 2017. Under this relatively new program, DEQ Air, DEQ Water, and DEQ Waste inspectors in the field offices had recently started conducting joint inspections for some facilities.

The joint inspection program seemed to provide a first step towards overcoming the agency's 1970s-like, rigid silos and sub-silos, and numerous layers of hierarchy, that hinder collaborative problem-solving and science-based decision-making. In addition, it appeared to be creating a new generation of agency employees with a broader understanding of the movement of pollutants between air, water, and land, and an awareness of the important interplay between the various "siloed" environmental programs and the resulting impact on local communities. Had this type of program been in place a decade ago, it could have driven efforts to inform communities down the Cape Fear River much sooner, and pushed DEQ action years ago to address Dupont's wastewater discharges of PFAS chemicals. In addition, if this type of program had been in place a decade ago, it would have been much more difficult for the Dupont (Chemours) Environmental Manager to bamboozle the many layers of entrenched, "single-silo," DEQ supervisors and managers in Raleigh.

Surprisingly, no explanation was given for halting the joint inspection program. The inspectors participating in the program were not given an opportunity to provide input to the DEQ management team's decision to halt the program.



2017 June


Chemours and NC DEQ

2017: As a result of investigative news reports, the public became aware of the Wilmington to Fayetteville Drinking Water Crisis in early June of 2017. On June 15, 2017, DEQ managers met with Chemours representatives, local government officials, and water treatment plant officials to discuss the drinking water crisis. At that meeting, Chemours reported that PFAS chemicals (PFAAs, PFOA, GenX, fluorocarbons, acid fluorides, etc.) have been discharged from their Fluorochemicals Plant, formerly Dupont Fayetteville Works, since the 1980s. They also discussed one of the scrubber systems (an air pollution control device) at the Fluorochemicals Plant and the associated wastewater discharge containing PFAS chemicals.

The meeting should have served as another "reminder" to DEQ Air Quality of the persistent PFAS chemicals tranferred from air to wastewater (via the scrubbers), and discharged untreated to the Cape Fear River. Once again, one can't help but wonder why DEQ Air Quality would need another reminder? Dupont and Chemours had been submitting an annual emissions report for many years, providing an estimate of the percentage of pollutants, including some PFAS chemicals, that the Fluorochemicals Plant air pollution control equipment transferred from air to the company's wastewater system and discharged to the Cape Fear River.

Why did the DEQ management team stay silent about the history of the air pollution control scrubbers and the annual emissions reports from Dupont and Chemours? Why did the DEQ management team, instead, latch on to Chemours' talking points about the Toxic Substances Control Act and by-products? Was this a DEQ public relations strategy associated with the 15-year cover-up, or simply another example in what seems to be a long-running story of entrenched DEQ supervisors and managers being hoodwinked and, lazily, getting their talking points from the Chemours (Dupont) Environmental Manager?

After the investigative news reports in June of 2017, did DEQ management meet with the Fayetteville office supervisor, engineer, and chemist, all within DEQ Air Quality, to discuss the considerable amount of historical information they had regarding air emissions, scrubber wastewater, and PFAS chemicals, based on the company's annual reports, the annual inspections, and the numerous written communications and meetings between Dupont and the Fayetteville office of DEQ Air Quality? If not, why not?

After the news reports in June of 2017, did any employees from the DEQ field office in Fayetteville "speak up" about about the DEQ history of communications with Dupont and Chemours? If so, how was the information handled by DEQ, and what happened to those employees? If no one from the DEQ Air Quality's Fayetteville office spoke up, why not?

Did the supervisor of the DEQ Air Quality's Fayetteville Office "come forward" in June of 2017 and inform the DEQ management about the history of communications between Dupont and the DEQ? If not, why not?

Is there a summary list of the DEQ or EPA employees and teams that have been onsite at the Dupont Chemours site during the past 14 years? Where is that list? If not, why not?

Have any former DEQ employees worked as consultants, or as employees of a consulting or services company, on any projects related to Dupont or Chemours Fayetteville Works, including source testing or emissions inventories? Are they able to provide any useful information about the DEQ cover-up?

Where are the DEQ Air Quality files, documents, and meeting notes from the multiple years of agency study leading up to the false and misleading "2012 Memo and Report?" Why are these important files and documents not made public in 2019?

Has the current DEQ management team conducted a study of what went wrong with the agency's multi-year handling of Chemours (Dupont) Fayetteville Works, and how to prevent it from happening again? If so, who conducted the study and where is the report? What are the "DEQ lessons learned?" If the DEQ has still not conducted a study of what went wrong, why not?



2017 - 2018


NC DEQ and Science Advisory Board

2017 - 2018: The evidence indicates that DEQ Air Quality completely misled the Science Advisory Board about the DEQ's long history of communications with Dupont (Chemours) Fayetteville Works and the agency's knowledge of PFAS chemical emissions to both air and water (via the scrubbers) from the company's large Fluorochemicals Plant. At a meeting on December 4, 2017, the Board heard presentations prepared by DEQ Air, DEQ Water, and DEQ Waste. Surprisingly, the DEQ Air presentation did not include the multi-year history shown above in the timeline. It should be noted that much of the timeline information shown above is contained in DEQ Air Quality's own IBEAM database. The meetings of the Science Advisory Board provided an opportunity for the North Carolina DEQ to "come clean" with the public and work collaboratively with academic experts to identify DEQ Lessons Learned and needed agency changes. Instead, the evidence shows that the agency concealed essential information from the Science Advisory Board and the public, thereby protecting the institution and maintaining the DEQ status quo.

During the DEQ's multiple presentations in 2017 and 2018 to the Science Advisory Board, why did the agency conceal the most important historical information (DEQ Air knowledge of PFAS chemicals in wastewater via the scrubbers) about the Dupont (Chemours) Fayetteville Works' large Fluorochemicals Plant?

Did NC DEQ management conduct a study of what went wrong with the agency's multi-year handling of Dupont (Chemours) Fayetteville Works, and how to prevent it from happening again? If so, who conducted the study and where is the report? What are the DEQ Lessons Learned?

Currently, there is no evidence that DEQ management took the time to combine the information that Chemours shared at the June 15, 2017 meeting with the considerable amount of historical information that DEQ Air Quality has in its Fayetteville office files regarding PFAS chemicals in air and wastewater (via the scrubbers).

It appears that DEQ Air Quality neglected to closely review its own documents and files. Instead, did the DEQ Air Quality managers make the choice to resort to denial, cover-up, and mis-direction?

The evidence suggests that instead of investigating what went wrong at the agency the DEQ chose to take the easy path of pointing the blaming finger at other entities, such as the previous administrations, the General Assembly, the agency funding levels, the U.S. Congress, the "regulatory framework," "the "emerging contaminants," the U.S. EPA, or perhaps some hapless staff person or retiree?

When is North Carolina state government going to conduct an independent, bipartisan, and transparent investigation of what went wrong at the NC DEQ, and how to prevent it from ever happening again?



2019


NC DEQ Hearing Officer

2018 - 2019: The North Carolina DEQ held a DEQ Leadership Conference on November 1, 2018. Surprised at the self-congratulatory tone of agency speakers, and hearing no discussion of agency concerns or DEQ Lessons Learned from the Wilmington to Fayetteville Drinking Water Crisis, an inspector with knowledge of the DEQ history with Dupont (Chemours) Fayetteville Works notified the agency supervisor designated as the DEQ Hearing Officer for the Chemours public hearing in 2019. The inspector reported to the DEQ Hearing Officer that there was a considerable amount of evidence in the agency's IBEAM database that DEQ Air Quality had engaged in concealment and cover-up over a period of many years. Surprisingly, the DEQ Hearing Officer was dismissive of this notification and went on to brag about how being a Hearing Officer was a "feather in my cap." Despite this notification to the DEQ Hearing Officer, the DEQ Air Quality management team has remained silent. The NC DEQ cover-up is entering its 15th year.

Why the silence and continuing cover-up by the DEQ Air Quality management team in 2019?

What was discussed at the subsequent DEQ Air two-day Regional Supervisors Meeting in early 2019? Are there any notes from that meeting?

Why are important DEQ Air Quality documents related to Dupont and Chemours still being hidden from public view?

In 2019, why should the public trust the oversight of Chemours Fayetteville, or any other major source of pollutants in North Carolina, by the same state environmental agency that has engaged in concealment and cover-up for 15 years?

Has the current DEQ management team conducted a study of what went wrong with the agency's multi-year handling of Dupont (Chemours) Fayetteville Works, and how to prevent it from happening again? If so, who conducted the study and where is the report? What are the DEQ Lessons Learned? If the North Carolina DEQ has still not conducted a study of what went wrong, why not?

The NC DEQ concealment and cover-up is entering its 15th year. When will there be an independent, bipartisan, and transparent investigation of the North Carolina DEQ?


Dupont Chemours PFAS, GenX, NC DEQ Cover-up




Thank you!

A special thank you to the helpful experts in the academic community, the many supportive people living in impacted communities, and the handful of courageous NC DEQ staff people who have helped us research and uncover the details of North Carolina DEQ's 15-year concealment and cover-up in the Wilmington to Fayetteville Drinking Water Crisis.


Chemours GenX, Dupont Fayetteville PFAS, NC DEQ cover-up 2019

NC DEQ
Chemours Dupont Fayetteville