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DEQ: Further Action Against Chemours

Chemours’ plant is part of the Fayetteville Works industrial park in Bladen and Cumberland counties. File photo

RALEIGH – The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality announced Thursday it will take additional enforcement action against Chemours for an increase in the concentration of GenX in the wastewater discharge at Chemours’ Fayetteville Works facility identified in recent water quality sampling results.

DEQ questioned Chemours officials after receiving preliminary data from the Environmental Protection Agency indicating elevated concentrations of GenX at Chemours’ primary wastewater discharge outfall.

In response, the company told DEQ that a spill had occurred Oct. 6 from a manufacturing line at the Chemours facility. The company indicated to state officials that dimer acid fluoride, a precursor to GenX, had spilled during planned maintenance at the facility.

“We are determining all appropriate enforcement actions based on violations that have been committed, and we will continue to investigate and hold the company accountable,” said DEQ Assistant Secretary Sheila Holman.

At DEQ’s request, Chemours officials provided the company’s own preliminary test results from water samples collected at the Chemours outfall around the time of the spill. The data show concentrations of GenX at Chemours’ wastewater discharge outfall increasing to 250 parts per trillion on Oct. 6, and peaking at 3,700 parts per trillion on Oct. 9. The concentration at the outfall then dropped to 740 parts per trillion on Oct. 12, and 380 parts per trillion on Oct. 16. Prior to the spill, water samples collected between Oct. 2 and Oct. 5 show concentrations of GenX at Chemours’ wastewater discharge outfall between 35 and 69 parts per trillion.

State officials have set a health goal of no more than 40 parts per trillion for the most vulnerable populations.

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Staff Report

The story was compiled by staff members of Coastal Review Online.