New Discoveries of DuPont C8 Pollution in Fayetteville: Additional Concerns Raised Over Government Inaction and Threat to Drinking Water

Aug 25, 2005, 01:00 ET from North Carolina C8 Working Group

    FAYETTEVILLE, N.C., Aug. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- The North Carolina C8 Working
 Group has found new evidence that ammonium perfluorooctanoate - or C8 - has
 further contaminated groundwater wells and a discharge channel leading to the
 Cape Fear River at the DuPont Co. Fayetteville Works.
     The latest instances of C8 contamination were discovered during sampling
 at new groundwater wells and at a discharge channel leading to the Cape Fear
 River on June 2, 2005.  Newly obtained documents show the highest levels of C8
 contamination yet found at the Fayetteville plant. It was quietly reported to
 the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in a
 July 22, 2005, letter from DuPont officials to state hydrogeologist Larry
 Stanley.
     The recent surface water samples were the first analyzed for C8 since
 March of 2003 when DuPont found traces of C8 in discharges leading to the Cape
 Fear River.  Although the company took samples of surface water at various
 locations in 2004, it did not analyze them for C8.
     "This is what happens when you let polluters investigate themselves with
 no accountability to anyone," said Rick Dove, southeastern representative for
 the Waterkeeper Alliance and member of the NC C8 Working Group.  According to
 a January 13, 2004, letter from DENR officials, DuPont had been allowed to
 conduct its own investigation into the cause and extent of contamination
 "without regulatory oversight from any state or federal agency."
     The NC C8 Working Group, a coalition of public interest organizations,
 last month called for strict state oversight and investigation into reports of
 contamination at the DuPont facility. The group has asked state Health
 Director Dr. Leah Devlin to investigate the impact of C8 exposure to nearby
 community members and to workers at the DuPont plant. The group also delivered
 a letter to the DENR director requesting a meeting to discuss C8 groundwater
 contamination and the immediate need for agency oversight.
     DENR has not responded to the request to meet with representatives of the
 public interest organization, though the agency has met in the past with
 DuPont officials.
     DENR asked DuPont to investigate all potential sources of C8 contamination
 in June 2003, after the first instances of groundwater and surface water
 contamination were discovered. After meeting with DuPont corporate officials,
 DENR instead allowed the company to conduct a voluntary, self-directed
 investigation with no state or federal regulatory oversight.
     North Carolina's citizens first learned of earlier C8 discovery in July
 2005 when the United Steelworkers (USW) made available its research in
 Fayetteville. The USW represents 850,000 workers in the U.S. and Canada, some
 of whom are exposed to C8 in manufacturing plants around the country. In June,
 a panel of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency scientists labeled it a
 "likely" cancer risk for people. It is said to be in the blood of most of the
 population and has been found at elevated levels in the blood of DuPont's
 Fayetteville employees.
     The NC C8 Working group is increasingly concerned that DuPont continues to
 withhold crucial information from the public. The group points to revelations
 of C8 contamination at a DuPont plant in Circleville, Ohio.  DuPont and Ohio
 officials assured the public that drinking water was not affected.  Within
 days of those assurances, the EPA said C8 had indeed been found in drink water
 supplies, and that DuPont's investigation is "unacceptable."
     The EPA criticized DuPont for not using the lowest levels of detection in
 its sampling for C8 in Ohio.  According to the NC C8 Working group, DENR
 should not allow DuPont to continue to use the same "unacceptable" methods in
 North Carolina that DuPont used in Circleville, Ohio.
 
 

SOURCE North Carolina C8 Working Group
    FAYETTEVILLE, N.C., Aug. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- The North Carolina C8 Working
 Group has found new evidence that ammonium perfluorooctanoate - or C8 - has
 further contaminated groundwater wells and a discharge channel leading to the
 Cape Fear River at the DuPont Co. Fayetteville Works.
     The latest instances of C8 contamination were discovered during sampling
 at new groundwater wells and at a discharge channel leading to the Cape Fear
 River on June 2, 2005.  Newly obtained documents show the highest levels of C8
 contamination yet found at the Fayetteville plant. It was quietly reported to
 the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in a
 July 22, 2005, letter from DuPont officials to state hydrogeologist Larry
 Stanley.
     The recent surface water samples were the first analyzed for C8 since
 March of 2003 when DuPont found traces of C8 in discharges leading to the Cape
 Fear River.  Although the company took samples of surface water at various
 locations in 2004, it did not analyze them for C8.
     "This is what happens when you let polluters investigate themselves with
 no accountability to anyone," said Rick Dove, southeastern representative for
 the Waterkeeper Alliance and member of the NC C8 Working Group.  According to
 a January 13, 2004, letter from DENR officials, DuPont had been allowed to
 conduct its own investigation into the cause and extent of contamination
 "without regulatory oversight from any state or federal agency."
     The NC C8 Working Group, a coalition of public interest organizations,
 last month called for strict state oversight and investigation into reports of
 contamination at the DuPont facility. The group has asked state Health
 Director Dr. Leah Devlin to investigate the impact of C8 exposure to nearby
 community members and to workers at the DuPont plant. The group also delivered
 a letter to the DENR director requesting a meeting to discuss C8 groundwater
 contamination and the immediate need for agency oversight.
     DENR has not responded to the request to meet with representatives of the
 public interest organization, though the agency has met in the past with
 DuPont officials.
     DENR asked DuPont to investigate all potential sources of C8 contamination
 in June 2003, after the first instances of groundwater and surface water
 contamination were discovered. After meeting with DuPont corporate officials,
 DENR instead allowed the company to conduct a voluntary, self-directed
 investigation with no state or federal regulatory oversight.
     North Carolina's citizens first learned of earlier C8 discovery in July
 2005 when the United Steelworkers (USW) made available its research in
 Fayetteville. The USW represents 850,000 workers in the U.S. and Canada, some
 of whom are exposed to C8 in manufacturing plants around the country. In June,
 a panel of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency scientists labeled it a
 "likely" cancer risk for people. It is said to be in the blood of most of the
 population and has been found at elevated levels in the blood of DuPont's
 Fayetteville employees.
     The NC C8 Working group is increasingly concerned that DuPont continues to
 withhold crucial information from the public. The group points to revelations
 of C8 contamination at a DuPont plant in Circleville, Ohio.  DuPont and Ohio
 officials assured the public that drinking water was not affected.  Within
 days of those assurances, the EPA said C8 had indeed been found in drink water
 supplies, and that DuPont's investigation is "unacceptable."
     The EPA criticized DuPont for not using the lowest levels of detection in
 its sampling for C8 in Ohio.  According to the NC C8 Working group, DENR
 should not allow DuPont to continue to use the same "unacceptable" methods in
 North Carolina that DuPont used in Circleville, Ohio.
 
 SOURCE  North Carolina C8 Working Group