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PNS Daily Newscast - August 12, 2020 


Former VP Joe Biden picks Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate; some schools have science-based metrics for open classroom instruction.


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California Sen. Kamala Harris will be on the ticket with Joe Biden in November. Four states had primaries yesterday, and two had runoffs. Georgia and Wisconsin appear to have improved since last time.

Chemours, DuPont Battle Over Cape Fear River Chemical Cleanup

For decades, toxic chemicals known as PFAS seeped into the Cape Fear River in North Carolina, contaminating residents' drinking water supply. (Adobe Stock)
For decades, toxic chemicals known as PFAS seeped into the Cape Fear River in North Carolina, contaminating residents' drinking water supply. (Adobe Stock)
July 12, 2019

RALEIGH, N.C. - A 64 page complaint filed by Chemours against its parent company, DuPont, reveals a battle between the two companies over which one is responsible for cleaning up long-term contamination of the Cape Fear River.

Chemours, the company that's been held responsible for dumping hazardous perfluorinated compounds - or PFAS - into the river from its Fayetteville plant, now claims DuPont created the spin-off in order to avoid the cleanup costs itself. The Chemours complaint is part of a lawsuit against DuPont that describes how DuPont could have stopped the chemical discharges nearly a decade ago, but didn't.

Lisa Sorg, an environmental investigative reporter for Raleigh-based NC Policy Watch, says DuPont created Chemours as a subsidiary in 2015.

"Chemours was a spinoff, especially and particularly to allow DuPont to avoid legal liability," says Sorg.

Sorg also points out that when DuPont formed Chemours, it knew the Fayetteville plant had been discharging PFAS into the Cape Fear River for nearly 30 years.

The documents state that DuPont assured Chemours it would have to pay around $2 million to clean up Cape Fear waterways. However, the documents estimate the actual cost at $200 million.

Both companies are embroiled in lawsuits related to environmental contamination and health hazards from exposure to PFAS in several states, including Ohio and West Virginia. Sorg adds that Chemours is currently in financial straits and has laid off nearly 1,000 employees.

"If Chemours were to go bankrupt, then the state of North Carolina, and the EPA, would have to find a way to clean up the site," says Sorg. "There would have to be other mechanisms for these people to get safe water. And it would probably be through the public tax dollar."

Meanwhile, she says residents of communities that rely on the Cape Fear River for drinking water say they've seen increases in cancer and other health problems.

Reporting by North Carolina News Connection in association with Media in the Public Interest and funded in part by the Park Foundation

Nadia Ramlagan, Public News Service - NC