The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality today cited Chemours with a Notice of Violation for exceeding the facility-wide GenX annual air emissions limit as laid out a 2019 Special Order By Consent.
Under the stringent emissions requirements in the facility’s air permit, Chemours emit no more than 23.027 pounds per year of GenX, a type of toxic perfluorinated compound, also known as PFAS. This limit equates to a 99% percent reduction from GenX emissions in 2017.
In March, Chemours filed a quarterly report showing the company had complied with emissions limits, releasing just over 22 pounds of GenX on a rolling 12-month basis. However, Division of Air Quality officials found that the methodology Chemours had used to calculate the emissions was “inappropriate,” according to a letter sent to the company.
When Chemours recalculated the emissions, it found that as of June 30, it had actually released 32.024 pounds of GenX — a 40% overage. The figures are based on rolling 12-month totals for March, April, May and June.
Division of Air Quality officials also determined that the exceedances stemmed from the improper operation and maintenance of a carbon adsorber, equipment that is supposed to capture GenX.
In response, Chemours requested a meeting with division officials to discuss the preferred methodologies and compliance measures.
The Notice of Violation issued today requires Chemours to submit a written response to DAQ by Sept. 10, including a timeline of events leading to the exceedance and a detailed plan of action for compliance.
Although the department did not fine Chemours today, it could still do so. Earlier this year, DEQ fined the company $200,000 related to PFAS and water quality violations.