The state has been busy this week on actions addressing GenX!
Here’s a quick rundown …
NC Dept. of Environmental Quality (DEQ) issued Chemours a 60-day notice requiring they do one of the following by April 27, 2018:
- respond to the NC Division of Air Quality (DAQ) in writing and demonstrate to DAQ’s satisfaction that emissions of GenX compounds from the Fayetteville Works under current conditions do not cause or contribute to violations of the groundwater rules; or
- respond to DAQ in writing and demonstrate to DAQ’s satisfaction that emissions of GenX compounds under alternate conditions proposed by Chemours will not cause or contribute to violations of the groundwater rules.
If Chemours does not submit a timely response or if DAQ finds their response unsatisfactory, DAQ will proceed with modification of the Permit to prohibit emissions of GenX compounds, effective on the date of the modification.
DEQ filed an amended complaint and motion for preliminary injunctive relief against the Chemours Company in Bladen County Superior Court requesting Chemours be required to:
- Remove, treat or control air emissions of GenX Compounds such that they no
longer cause or contribute to any violation of North Carolina’s groundwater
- Remove, treat, or control all other sources of GenX Compounds such that they
no longer cause or contribute to any violation of North Carolina’s groundwater
- Prohibit the discharge of Chemours’ process wastewater until such time as DEQ
issues a NPDES permit with appropriate limits authorizing such discharge or
otherwise authorizes such activities;
- Provide a full accounting of the discharge of process wastewater to the Nafion
Ditch and any other unpermitted discharges; and
- Cease and abate all ongoing violations of North Carolina’s water and air quality
The “Nafion Ditch” mentioned above is described in the injunction request as follows:
“Upon information and belief, for an unknown period of time Chemours also discharged process wastewater containing PFAS of currently unknown concentrations and in currently unknown quantities into an open ditch, commonly called the Nafion Ditch, thereby bypassing the wastewater treatment plant and discharging directly into Outfall 002 and the Cape Fear River in violation of N.C. Gen. Stat. § 143-215.1 and the NPDES Permit [emphasis added].”
Governor Cooper released his short session budget recommending a total of $14.5 million for the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to address the safety and quality of North Carolina’s water and environment. The release notes that “…since 2013, DEQ has seen 77 positions eliminated from water quality and water resources, and a 45 percent reduction in water quality and water resources permitting, enforcement, and compliance staff, which has contributed to a backlog in permit requests.
“For comparison, North Carolina has 60 more water discharge facilities than South Carolina and 147 more discharge facilities than Kentucky, but each of those states has almost twice as many permit writers.”
The state-funded North Carolina Policy Collaboratory announced $430,000 in grants for three research projects to address emerging contaminants in North Carolina, including GenX.