Environment

Groundwater contaminated near Chemours plant; DEQ issues Notice of Violation

A Google satellite image of the Chemours plant and surrounding businesses in Fayetteville. To the right of the frame is the Cape Fear River.

Thirteen of 14 monitoring wells near Chemours’s Fayetteville plant exceeded state groundwater standards for GenX and other perfluorinated compounds, prompting state environmental officials to issue a Notice of Violation to the company.

The NC Department of Environmental Quality announced the results today. The groundwater monitoring wells are not a source of drinking water.

DEQ and the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services also alerted health officials in Bladen and Cumberland counties to the preliminary test results. The state said it will perform initial testing for people who live near Chemours while requiring the company to produce a comprehensive testing and compliance plan.

The immediate area around the plant, which lies south of Fayetteville, is woods and a solar farm, but there are homes within a mile and Camp Dixie, a summer retreat for kids is within two miles. The flow of groundwater depends on several factors, including slope, soil type and the nature of the bedrock.

An information session is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 14, from 6–7:30 p.m. at St. Pauls Middle School, 526 W. Shaw St., in St. Pauls to answer residents’ questions about the contamination.

Additional results are pending from two more labs that are testing the samples.

One Comment


  1. richard manyes

    September 7, 2017 at 6:07 am

    What is going on in Raleigh? Gov Opie writes to the EPA loudly proclaiming that it’s EPA fault that NC cannot do anything about this debacle – a claim that was immediately lampooned by folks in this field as a bumbling attempt to throw blame at the Trump EPA and now even shredded by his own agencies. Then Opie tried pathetically to claim EPA had sanctioned the discharge of GenX into the Cape Fear through the Consent Order signed by EPA – a Consent Order that had nothing to do with the Clean water act – it only treated TSCA – the breadth of his “incompetence” or willingness to shield Chemours knows no bounds!

    The Keystone cops at deq are either corrupt or incompetent. First the Sec says Chemours is blameless, and they say the chemical giant has disclosed since the 1980s. Now they are saying they haven’t disclosed at all. They still haven’t brought any substantive legal action – instead they have filed what looks like a conditional lawsuit – to move forward only if certain “asks” are not followed. Civitas (of all groups!) has filed a 60-day notice letter while SELC and the Riverkeepers are marveling at the performance of their proteges in the Administration.

    We are subjected to what can only be described as the worst interview ever when Nick Orschner (sp?) openly derides Sec Regan for refusing to answer the simplest of questions –

    Meanwhile, Sec Cohen has distinguished herself as totally oblivious to science and her staff’s recommendations. Ignoring the cancer threats of these compounds, she maintains that the water is safe to drink no matter what we find in it or how little she knows about the compounds that are found.

    Now groundwater violations have been found on site – let’s see if DEQ remembers how to spell RCRA.

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