The EPA has found high concentrations of GenX and other chemicals 100 miles upriver from Wilmington. This report caused yet another order to stop the chemical dump by polluters. The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality yet again ordered the company to stop dumping pollutants into the water or risk losing their permits. This demonstrates exactly why legislators need to restore funding to these important watchdog agencies, they have the authority to stop these harmful dumps at their source. The Republican solution does nothing to stop polluters from continuing to discharge harmful chemicals into our drinking water.
Move by state comes after EPA report shows high levels of contaminants, including toxic GenX, at Fayetteville Works site
SOUTHEASTERN N.C. — Less than a week after the state withdrew a threat to suspend Chemours’ discharge permit, regulators announced the company had agreed yet again to stop releasing newly discovered wastewater containing GenX and other fluorochemicals into the Cape Fear River.
The move, announced Monday, came after results were released from testing done Sept. 18 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) based on sampling done inside the Fayetteville Works, about 100 miles upriver from Wilmington.
Those results showed GenX at concentrations ranging from 265 parts per trillion (ppt) to 8,860 ppt. The state’s health advisory for GenX in drinking water is 140 ppt, though it likely would not be reasonable to use the health advisory to gauge the levels coming from the plant, which would be diluted in river water.
The EPA’s tests also turned up five other fluorochemicals, including those referred to as Nafion byproducts 1 and 2. Concentrations of byproduct 1 ranged from not being detected to 30,300 ppt, while those for byproduct 2 ranged from 7,400 ppt to 34,800 ppt. There are no federal or state guidelines for the Nafion byproducts.
The other substances found were PFMOAA, PFO2HxA and PFO3OA.
“Based on the report’s findings, DEQ (N.C. Department of Environmental Quality) ordered Chemours to capture and divert the industrial process wastewater from the manufacturing areas so the wastewater can be taken out of state for incineration. Chemours will continue to capture and remove GenX from other areas inside the facility as it had been doing at DEQ’s request since last summer,” the state wrote in a news release announcing the action.