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Cumberland County officials announced they have hired an outside legal firm as they look into the possibility of legal action against Chemours for water system issues in the Gray’s Creek area.

County officials hope to use the law firm to help secure funding for a new public water system in Gray’s Creek, that they expect to cost about $64 million.

The full release is below:

The Cumberland County Board of Commissioners voted this morning to engage an outside legal firm to assist in their efforts to address contaminated water in the southern portion of the county.

“Our residents deserve clean water, not water contaminated by man-made chemicals,” said Chairman Charles Evans, during an afternoon press conference.

“Developing a long-term financially sustainable water system that will address GENX contamination is one of this board’s top priorities,” Evans said. “We need funding to build and operate that system and we are hiring a legal team to help with securing that funding.”

The County has been in discussion with Chemours for about 18 months about funding for a public water system to address contamination of private wells in the area around the Fayetteville Works facility, County Manager Amy Cannon said.

It is projected to cost about $64 million to build a water system in the Gray’s Creek area, Cannon said.

“We had hoped to be able to resolve it to our mutual satisfaction. At this point, we believe the next step is to hire a legal team to assist us with funding,” Cannon said.

Commissioner Toni Stewart, who lives in the Gray’s Creek area, said her neighbors are worried and concerned about their health.

“Ultimately the sooner we can get a public water system in place the sooner we can mitigate this serious public health issue,” said County Attorney Rick Moorefield.

In January 2020, Cumberland County commissioners unanimously approved setting aside $10.5 million specifically for continued exploration of extending water through a phased approach to the areas with contaminated water. The first phase would extend public water to Alderman Road and Gray’s Creek Elementary Schools.

You can watch the press conference at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYayzQJEH4k.

Board of Commissioners Press Conference - June 7, 2021

Cumberland County Board of Commissioners Press Conference - June 7, 2021

 

Brandon Plotnick is a former sports journalist, now living in the digital space with interests all over the musical and pop culture map.