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State orders Chemours: Control additional GenX sources or else

By Erin Smith

Chemours has been directed by state officials to control additional sources of GenX pollution. On Monday, the NC Division of Environmental Quality (DEQ) issued yet another notice of violation to the company.

PDFs

Chemours Feb 12 Notice of Violation

Chemours Pilot Study Request

Letter regarding new air technology

The notice of violation indicates a letter was sent to the company in December ordering the company to implement measures to eliminate or control further discharges of GenX. The company responded to that letter in January with a letter of its own outlining additional steps and precautions which would be taken. Those measures included:

* Excavate, treat or control all storm water and wastewater conveyance ditches.

* Remove, treat or control other known sources that could be causing further contamination.

* Clean potentially contaminated equipment and capture any resulting wastewater for offsite disposal.

* Reduce or eliminate air emissions that are contributing to groundwater contamination.

The notice of violation gives the company a deadline of Feb. 26 to have those measures implemented and failure to do so may result in further enforcement actions by state officials.

DEQ also sent a letter recently requesting the company to utilize new technologies to prevent emissions from the facility’s stacks. It was learned at a community information meeting held in Gray’s Creek that a chemical being released in the effluent traveling up the stacks at Chemours will create GenX when it comes in contact with moisture such as rain or humidity.

These actions come on the heels of a meeting held at Bladen Community College earlier this month. Residents were passionate in expressing their frustration in the length of time it has taken state officials and Chemours to respond to the situation.

The company has also reported four additional spills at the Bladen County site in recent weeks. It was reported this week Chemours has also found a well at its Patterson, West Virginia, facility to be contaminated with GenX, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The company is now collecting samples of well water in Ohio and West Virginia following an EPA request, according to reports.

The NC Division of Waste Management also issued a conditional approval to Chemours for a pilot study on carbon well filtration systems in an effort to filter GenX from residential wells. Four wells will be selected by state officials to take part in the study. The permission for the pilot study was granted after a full review of the company’s proposal.

A fourth round of residential well testing has also begun. Currently, 151 residential wells have been tested and results indicated GenX levels higher than the state recommended standard of 140 parts per trillion.

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