Chemours Co. has announced that it is voluntarily stopping the disposal of wastewater that contains the byproduct GenX, generated from fluoromonomers production at its manufacturing plant in Fayetteville, N.C.
The announcement came in response to local media reports in May claiming traces of GenX had been found in the local Cape Fear River and North Carolina drinking water.
"Trace GenX amounts in the Cape Fear River to date have been well below the health screening level announced by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services on 12 June," said the DuPont performance chemicals spin-off in a June 20 statement.
The company, it added, continues to believe that emissions from its Fayetteville facility have not impacted the safety of drinking water.
But the Wilmington, Del. company said it would "capture, remove, and safely dispose of wastewater that contains the byproduct GenX" as part of its role as a big employer in the community.
The capture and removal of this wastewater starts June 21.
The move follows a 2013 decision by the then DuPont unit to phase out perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) at the Fayetteville site due to its toxic nature.
GenX is used to replace PFOA, which is an ingredient in its Teflon brand.
Chemours said it would continue to work closely with local and state officials to answer questions, provide information as needed, and determine next steps.
Chemours is also being investigated by the Netherlands for alleged dumping of the substance into water.
The company has responded to allegations by the Dutch minister of infrastructure and environment that the contamination in the nearby Merwede River had occurred through the air.
Chemours, which has used GenX instead of PFOA at this European site since 2012, has been permitted to emit the compound GemX into the atmosphere in The Netherlands.
The company's main production site for fluoropolymers in Europe is based in Dordrecht, the Netherlands.