Chemours to Accelerate PFA Production at Fayetteville Works Site, Claims Emissions Won’t Increase


SOUTHEAST NC — A chemical company facing litigation with the EPA, community organizations and even municipalities over its emissions of PFAS to air, land and water announced plans Tuesday to increase its output.

Chemours, a successor to DuPont, is the only US producer of PFAS, long-lasting synthetic chemicals that do not break down in the environment or the body. Located 77 miles west of Wilmington, its Fayetteville Works plant will expand the nation’s production facilities for semiconductors, created with Teflon fluoropolymers – a perfluorinated compound, or PFA.

Semiconductors have been in short supply around the world for the past few years, made worse by the pandemic. Microchips are an integral part of everyday uses, including in cars, cell phones, and computers, as well as in military aircraft, defense systems, power grids, and healthcare equipment.

In July, Congress passed the CHIPS Act of 2022 to strengthen the national chip supply chain; US production has fallen from 37% in 1990 to 12% in 2022. The act will invest $52 billion in manufacturing and research grants.

He also established a 25% investment tax credit to encourage manufacturing of semiconductors in the United States to reduce dependence on foreign producers, such as China, which accounts for 53% of the semiconductor market.

“This state is already attracting a significant number of companies in the industries we support,” Fayetteville Works plant manager Dawn Hughes said in a news release. “Chemours’ Fayetteville Works products are essential to their supply chains.”

Chemours’ production amplification extends beyond semiconductors. It will encompass the creation of materials to also support the transportation and clean energy industries.

The company noted in its statement that Chemours will be the only U.S. manufacturer specializing in “ionomer membranes used in the electrolysis of water for the production of green (renewable) hydrogen.” It emits zero emissions and produces “a green fuel to power industry and transport,” the statement said.

The increase in output follows the signing of the Cut Inflation Act of 2022. $369 billion is being spent on climate change initiatives, such as incentivizing or offering tax credits for creating renewable energy, accelerating electric vehicle (EV) technologies, and improving the energy efficiency of buildings and communities.

Chemours said in its statement that growing its facility in both areas will not increase emissions. The company would not specify in a follow-up question its design plans or procedures in place to protect against any erroneous discharge of its new development.

A spokesperson for the chemical company said it would address any public concerns at two briefings later this month.

Many attendees will be residents negatively impacted by its making over the years. For four decades, PFAS have been found flowing down the Cape Fear River from the Fayetteville Works facility; the public was not made aware of its toxic spill until 2017.

Studies have linked the buildup of PFAS in humans to adverse health effects, such as high cholesterol, birth defects, and cancer.

Over the past five years, Chemours said it has reduced organic fluorinated compounds by more than 99%, while PFAS in Cape Fear has dropped by 97%.

Community members, non-profit organizations and local governments have worked to make the company more accountable. State and federal agencies have revised their policies and advisories in response to the impact of any released chemicals on communities.

A week ago, the EPA announced its intention to regulate PFAS under a Superfund law. It designated PFOA and PFOS – two out of 12,000 or more PFASs, including GenX – as hazardous waste.

Chemours will hold public sessions September 20, 5-7 p.m. at the Bladen Community College Auditorium (7418 NC Hwy 41W) and September 21, 5-7 p.m. at the Leland Cultural Arts Center (1212 Magnolia Village Way).

Catch up on previous reports regarding Chemours here.


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