Alert Watchdogs

2010 - 2012

DEQ hid data from scientists and public

DEQ report concealed GenX, PFAS chemicals in water

DEQ Air hid DuPont data on emissions and "scrubbers"

... Because of releases of perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) to the environment reported in other states, there is growing public concern over the manufacture and use of PFOA at a production facility in Fayetteville, NC...

The first several pages of the 2012 Memo & Report (full report online), including the sentence shown above, indicate that state government officials were trying to make the nonsensical argument that PFAA chemicals (PFAAs, PFOA, fluorocarbons, GenX and PFAS chemicals, etc.) are released to the environment in other states, but not in North Carolina. This is baffling. 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. Yet in the 2012 Memo & Report DEQ officials were presenting false information that may have completely misled the Science Advisory Board, the media, and the public. The report is 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.

... Data suggest the sources for APFO in groundwater at the facility are two surface impoundments and the APFO manufacturing unit. The twin surface impoundments contain water from the Cape Fear River that supplements the facility non-potable water supply...

Once again, the above paragraph completely ignores DuPont's large, existing Fluorochemicals Plant on the Cape Fear River that has released persistent fluorocarbons to the water and air for many years. No explanation is provided in NC DEQ's 2012 Memo & Report. The two impoundments mentioned above collect water upstream of DuPont Fayetteville Works. Trying to focus attention on the water upstream, while ignoring the chemical dischage downstream, is as short-sighted as a person with diarrhea using the toilet, observing the brownish water before flushing, and then complaining to the public utility that water coming into the house is nasty. The APFO operation discussed above was a state-of-the-art facility built decades later with minimal air and water emissions compared to the existing Fluorochemicals Plant. Also, the detection of PFOA in the groundwater in early 2003 was part of DuPont's baseline study associated with building the new start-of-the-art APFO facility (C8 Chemical Plant). DuPont acknowledged during an air quality inspection back in 2004 that the groundwater contamination may have come from the existing Fluorochemicals Plant, but government officials appeared to be trying to suppress that information in 2005.

How was it possible in 2012 for government officials to be unaware of the DuPont Fluorochemicals Plant near Fayetteville and its GenX and PFAS chemical emissions to air and water? Every year the company submitted an emissions report to government officials that estimated air emissions and specified repeatedly that GenX and PFAS chemicals removed by the scrubbers at their Fluorochemicals Plant were transferred to the wastewater. Also, nearly 17 years ago government officials received written notification of DuPont's significant emissions of HFPO (hexafluoropropylene oxide) and HFP (hexafluoropropylene) to the air, along with a list of fluorocarbons (PFAS chemicals) associated with the VOC (volatile organic compound) emissions from the Fluorochemicals Plant. It is important to note that the Fluorochemicals Plant is physically separate from both the C8 Chemical Plant and the GenX Chemical Plant (built later), located nearly one-half mile away by vehicle. It is also important to note that scrubbers are "control devices" regulated by government officials (NC DEQ Division of Air Quality and U.S. EPA under the Title V program).

In addition, any government official visiting DuPont Fayetteville Works and standing in the parking area to view the state-of-the-art APFO facility - C8 Chemical Plant (later, the GenX Chemical Plant at the same location) could have turned their head 90 degrees to see the existing, decades-old Fluorochemicals Plant. The new APFO facility - C8 Chemical Plant was essentially a state-of-the-art "Mini-Me #1" with relatively low emissions to the environment. Similarly, the new, state-of-the-art GenX process was essentially "Mini-Me #2." On the other hand, by comparison, the large, decades-old Fluorochemicals Plant was the "Motherlode" of fluorocarbon emissions (acid fluorides, PFAAs, GenX and PFAS chemicals, etc.) to air and water. Turn your head 90 degrees and you can't miss it. The Fluorochemicals Plant is enormous.

NC DEQ concealment and coverup of GenX and PFAS chemicals

DuPont (Chemours) - Fayetteville, NC

Fluorochemicals Plant and "scrubbers"

PFAAs, PFAS, GenX chemicals, etc.

U.S. EPA, North Carolina DEQ cover-up

Information in DuPont's annual reports

Government concealment and cover-up

NC DEQ Coverup - Where was the U.S. EPA?

How to conceal a large Fluorochemicals Plant

New Information from 2004 Inspection

... Mr. Johnson indicated that they have detected perfluorooctanoic acid, also known as C8, in one of their groundwater monitoring wells. This is quite surprising since the APFO plant only began operation in December 2002...

...He indicated that it might have been formed from a chemical reaction associated with a process stream not involving the APFO process...

... The acid fluorides are highly soluble in water, not readily emitted to the air during the wastewater process, and readily converted to fluorcarbons. The fluorocarbons are persistent chemicals that are not degraded by the microorganisms and remain unchanged as they are discharged to the river...

Inspection on September 24, 2004

Inspection 2004 Inspection 2004