The Chemours Washington Works facility in Parkersburg has applied for a permit modification. They are requesting to expand their manufacturing process and discharge more wastewater into the Ohio River.
One of the chemicals used in the manufacturing process is hexafluoropropylene oxide dimer acid (HFPO-DA), also known as GenX.
GenX is a type of PFAS, which are a group of toxic chemicals known as “forever chemicals” because they don’t break down in our environment—or in our bodies.
Any amount of GenX released to the environment increases health and other risks for humans and the environment. Studies have shown that exposure to GenX has negative health effects on the liver, kidneys, immune system, and can even cause cancer.
To offset the proposed expansion, Chemours is proposing to reduce GenX discharges elsewhere in the facility.
This means that Chemours would continue to discharge the same amount of toxic GenX chemicals into the Ohio River that they have been for the past several years.
Now is not the time to continue the status quo. Now is the time to reduce toxic discharges into the Ohio River, the drinking water supply for more than 5 million people across six states.
Furthermore, low-income Parkersburg residents already bear the overwhelming burden of environmental harm, including asthma, diabetes, heart disease, and low life expectancy. Approving this permit will increase injustice in Parkersburg.
If you are interested in learning more and joining your neighbors to speak directly to the DEP about your concerns about this permit application, you can request a public hearing.
Write your request for a meeting in your comment, and include any information about what would make a meeting most accessible to you and your neighbors. Accessibility requests can consist of asking for a virtual or hybrid meeting and/or scheduling the meeting during an evening.
You can also make requests about the meeting format, such as each speaker being granted 3 minutes to ask questions and make comments and for questions to be answered at the meeting, not at a later time.