Chemours Can Keep Their Permit…
On October 21, 2017, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) announced that it would not be suspending Chemours’ wastewater discharge permit at this time. This permit allows Chemours to dump millions of gallons of water tainted with chemicals into the Cape Fear River.
The DEQ based their decision on Chemours’ agreement to cease dumping of GenX and similar chemicals into the Cape Fear River, and the subsequent falling levels of GenX in the river.
However, less than a week passed between the DEQ’s announcement and the discovery of alarmingly high concentrations of GenX at the Fayetteville Works plant. This discovery came from the release of the Environmental Protection Agency’s test results on October 25th, which concerned the sampling done at the site on September 18th.
The report identified concentrations of GenX ranging from 265 – 8,860 parts per trillion. To put this into perspective, the state’s health advisory regarding GenX is 140 parts per trillion. In addition, two Nafion byproducts and three other fluorinated compounds were identified in the sampling.
Based on this new information, the DEQ ordered Chemours to capture additional industrial wastewater at the site instead of releasing it into the river. The chemical-laden water will then be taken outside of the state and incinerated.
The DEQ hopes to proactively handle the GenX issue by stopping contamination of the Cape Fear River at its source, and at this juncture, Chemours appears to be cooperative.
Rest assured, however, that the DEQ is continuing to monitor Chemours as they decide whether to allow the company to renew their wastewater discharge permit. In order to avoid suspension of the permit, Chemours will need to demonstrate continuing cooperation with the DEQ’s demands.
We will continue to monitor the GenX contamination issue, and report on significant developments as we become aware of them.
- GenX Cancers Overview
- Summary of Information
- Timeline: GenX Contamination of the Cape Fear River
- Timeline: GenX Study Results
- GenX: Cancer Case Evaluation Form
Written by: Heather Helmendach, Legal Assistant
Law Offices of Thomas J. Lamb, P.A.