DALLAS – Baron & Budd PC, a law firm based in Dallas, will be one of two firms representing Brunswick County, North Carolina in a matter in which the county is looking to “recover costs and ratepayer funds required to investigate, manage, reduce and remove certain chemicals from drinking water drawn from the Cape Fear River,” according to a statement released by Brunswick County on Sept. 6.
The county also hired Harold Seagle of Seagle Law in North Carolina to work on the Cape Fear River drinking water case.
The investigation involves corporations Chemours, DuPont and Kuraray’s roles in the alleged drinking water contamination, according to the release. Brunswick County said in the release that it “has obtained evidence” that the three companies “manufacture perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) at a facility located in Fayetteville, North Carolina, with DuPont manufacturing the chemicals there since 1980.
“This is an important step in protecting the long-term quality of public drinking water in the Cape Fear Region,” Brunswick County Manager Ann Hardy said in the release. “We will not stand for the discharge of perfluorinated chemicals into our public drinking water supply. We remain absolutely committed to protecting the long-term viability of the Cape Fear River.”
The county said the Cape Fear River may have been contaminated with PFCs from the Fayetteville facility as recently as this month.
“Brunswick County has retained our firms to investigate and pursue those legal remedies caused by all chemicals coming from the Fayetteville Works plant,” Baron & Budd shareholder Scott Summy said in the release. The county said Budd tried the first MTBE chemical contamination case in the United States in Wilmington, North Carolina.
According to the release, Baron & Budd and Seagle “will be investigating what the corporations knew and when they knew it.”
Although the three companies in question do have National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits to dump wastewater in North Carolina, the county said “it appears the corporations failed to disclose the full suite of PFC chemicals discharged from the Fayetteville Works plaint into Cape Fear River through wastewater or other pathways.”
Baron & Budd did not respond to a request for comment.