Today, the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and other parties that signed the consent order made public last week appeared in Superior Court before Judge Douglas Sasser. The judge approved the order in its entirety, which will mean real relief for people near the Chemours plant and in the Cape Fear River Basin. Downstream, reductions in PFAS/GenX will continue due to the order.
In reaction to the hearing, Secretary Michael S. Regan offered the following comment:
Reliable, clean water is a right of every North Carolinian. This order was designed to ensure that the Cape Fear River can be that reliable, clean source for all who depend on its water.
We know that the order is a big step in the right direction. The measures included in the order were made stronger because of the voices of those impacted in the Cape Fear River Basin.
Today’s ruling means real relief for people who have wondered for too long when the pollution in their water would be properly addressed by Chemours. I am pleased Judge Sasser affirmed that the order will offer relief for those near the plant, downstream and all points in between.
This ruling provides a clear timeline and certainty for the people of the Cape Fear River Basin. It sets a strong precedent: profits may not come before people, and the leadership of the state of North Carolina will not allow your actions to go unchecked.
All terms of the order go into effect today. DEQ will implement the terms of the order with the full weight of the court’s contempt power behind the agency’s work to hold Chemours accountable.