In a letter sent today to Chemours, the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality informed the company that the state agency is continuing to look carefully at the Chemours wastewater discharge to make sure it executes remedial measures required by DEQ.
DEQ on Sept. 5 put the company on a 60-day notice that the state would suspend Chemours’ current wastewater discharge permit if the company failed to stop releasing fluorinated compounds into the Cape River and meet the state’s other demands. A Bladen County court reinforced the state’s demands of Chemours in a partial consent order issued Sept. 8 that required Chemours to stop the discharge of GenX and Nafion byproducts in areas of the facility where they had been identified.
Since then, Chemours has agreed to stop the release of additional industrial process wastewater containing per- and polyfluorinated compounds that were identified after the state’s action on Sept. 5. As it states in today’s letter to Chemours, DEQ is conducting ongoing water quality monitoring to ensure the state’s required measures are being implemented.
Based on Chemours’ response, DEQ notified the company that at this time the state will not suspend its wastewater discharge permit. DEQ will take appropriate steps if at any time the company fails to meet the state’s demands to stop releasing fluorinated compounds into the Cape Fear River.
State officials are still reviewing Chemours’ wastewater discharge permit renewal application.
“People deserve to know the water they are drinking is safe, and we are doing everything in our power to make sure it is,” said Michael Regan, DEQ secretary. “We have ordered Chemours to stop releasing these compounds and we will continue to scrutinize the company’s actions to ensure they are meeting all of our demands to protect water quality.”
Concentrations of GenX in finished drinking water continue to be below the state’s public health goal since this summer when Chemours was prompted by pressure from state and local officials to stop the discharge of GenX into the Cape Fear River.
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