The Cumberland County Commission recently approved a proposal to pay the engineering firm Moorman, Kizer and Reitzel $376,000 to work on extending the public water service to Gray’s Creek residents.
Some residents are currently using bottled water and water filtration systems because their water is contaminated. The water line extension will cost $10.5 million and some residents want Chemours, the plant they say is responsible for contaminating the water, to foot the bill.
GenX and other chemicals from the factory have been found in drinking water from the wells of some Gray’s Creek residents. GenX is a possible carcinogen.
Gray’s Creek resident Christopher Leyhew says that people are developing cancer from produce grown in a 10-mile radius of the plant. He claims that county and state environmental regulators were aware of the issue in the 1980s and did nothing about it.
“I’ve got a lot of people coming with me,” Leyhew told board members. “We expect you to fight for all of us. You haven’t fought for us.”
The goal is to have the new water line in by August 2021, according to County Commissioner Jimmy Keefe, who also said that although the county is still considering legal action, resolving the problem without a lawsuit would speed up process.
“When you go to the court system, you never know how long this could possibly take, and it’s really not fair to the residents out there,” Keefe said.