DuPont has proposed a hydraulic overload in a Pompton Lakes area where there is concern about the presence of chemical pollutants in groundwater and vaporization in the basements.
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New Jersey environmental regulators have ordered Delaware chemical companies and others responsible for widespread contamination of water systems to spend millions of dollars to assess the extent of pollution in the water. State and possibly clean it up.

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection directive, which targets 3M, DowDuPont, Chemours and Solvay, is the latest costly offensive against a family of substances that for decades has stifled the profits of the world's largest corporations. chemicals of the country.

The family of synthetic substances, called PFAS, that have been produced in facilities across the country, including the Chambers Works plant near Penns Grove, New Jersey, is involved.

The PFAS family includes teflon chemical, PFOA, and its replacement, GenX.

According to regulators, PFOA can cause kidney and testicular cancers, thyroid diseases, hypertension and other diseases. The effects of GenX on health are less well known, although it has been associated with cancer in laboratory animals.

"DuPont has rejected PFOA as well as other PFAS from Chambers Works for decades, which has contaminated the site and its environs," said the DEP of New Jersey.

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The Chemours' Chambers Works site in Deepwater, N.J. (Photo: WILLIAM BRETZGER / THE NEWSPAPER)

DuPont abandoned the use of PFOA ten years ago to replace it with GenX. In 2015, it sold its fluorinated products business and some of its potential liabilities to a new company called Chemours.

New concerns about GenX's security came soon after, especially in North Carolina, where the chemical was found in a river that provides drinking water to about 200,000 people.

A DuPont spokesman said on Monday that the company had just received notification from New Jersey and "is currently reviewing it."

"We regularly work with NJDEP on operations in our New Jersey facility, and we will work with them to better understand the directive," he said.

In a similar statement, a spokesman for Chemours said: "Chemours has just received this communication from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and is currently reviewing it."

Asked in late 2017 about the risks associated with its old teflon product, Teflon could derail its future, said Chemours general manager Mark Vergnano, "for now, no."

"We take all of this very seriously," he said.

When asked about the toxicity of GenX, he replied "we do not believe that there is a health problem."

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Mark Vergnano, CEO of Chemours (Photo: SUCHAT PEDERSON / PRESS RELEASE)

In New Jersey, nearly one in five residents receive tap water containing at least traces of a PFAS chemical.

Products containing chemicals include nonstick pans, polishes, waxes, paints, cleaning agents and fire-fighting foams. Brands that contain chemicals include Stainmaster, Scotchgard, Teflon and Gore-Tex.

The chemicals have contaminated drinking water systems all over the country, including New Castle, Blades and near Dover.

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The New Jersey directive issued Monday is the first step to compel businesses to pay for what should be a large-scale cleanup.

It requires companies to provide information on the discharge of PFAS by wastewater treatment plants, air emissions and the sale of products containing chemicals.

The directive does not offer any estimate of the cost of cleaning. The only mention of $ 3.1 million that DEP is asking Solvay to pay for the department's efforts to investigate and clean chemicals at several sites in Gloucester and Salem counties.

The tests required by the US Environmental Protection Agency from 2013 to 2016 showed that about 16 million Americans were receiving water where PFOA had been detected, according to an Environmental Working Analysis. Group. Of these, 1.6 million were in New Jersey – the maximum of one state.

These clients include 61,700 people in four cities served by Ridgewood Water, where 44 of the 52 municipal supply wells are contaminated.

Ridgewood Water filed a lawsuit last month against 3M, DuPont, Chemours, Honeywell International and other companies, claiming that they "knew or should have known" that their chemical firefighting products were soluble and "very likely to contaminate surface and groundwater", posing health risks.

Contact Scott Fallon at [email protected] or (973-569-7138). Follow him on Twitter @NewsFallon. Contact Karl Baker at [email protected] or (302) 324-2329. Follow him on Twitter @ kbaker6.

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