North Carolina’s Chemical Coast

Aug 2, 2018

An illustration of a planned facility to address GenX pollution sits on a table prior to the start of a community meeting hosted by the chemical company Chemours at Faith Tabernacle Christian Center in St. Pauls, N.C. on Tuesday, June 12, 2018.
Credit Ben McKeown / For WUNC

Public hearings on environmental issues are often publicized in the back of the newspaper and roundly ignored. But amidst alarm over GenX and other contaminants in the Cape Fear River, Columbus County residents showed up in droves to two public meetings on the proposed use of methyl bromide in a local logging operation. 

The compound is an ozone depletor and can be harmful to human health, but Australian transportation company Malec Brothers requested a permit to emit 33 to 40 times the current amount of methyl bromide emitted statewide. On July 26, the state responded, announcing stricter regulations on emissions and a host of recommendations aimed at protecting human and environmental health.

Guest host Anita Rao talks with Wilmington StarNews regional environment reporter Adam Wagner about the community’s concern, the state’s response and other concerns over chemicals on the coast.