Spill at Chemours site causes GenX levels to soar

Spill at Chemours site causes GenX levels to soar

RALEIGH, NC (WECT) - A spill at the Chemours Company's Fayetteville Works site occurred in October and led to elevated concentrations of GenX at the company's primary wastewater discharge outfall.

According to a DEQ news release sent Thursday afternoon, Chemours officials were questioned after the Environmental Protection Agency found data indicating increased GenX levels at the plant.

In response, the company told DEQ that a spill happened Oct. 6 during planned maintenance at the facility. Dimer acid flouride, a precursor to GenX, spilled from a manufacturing line.

Chemours provided DEQ with preliminary test results from water samples collected at the site around the time of the spill. GenX levels increased to 250 parts per trillion on Oct. 6 and peaked at 3,700 ppt on Oct. 9.

"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 Sheila Holman, assistant secretary for DEQ.

By Oct. 12, GenX levels dropped to 740 ppt and fell to 380 ppt on Oct. 16.

Samples collected before the spill from Oct. 2-5 showed GenX concentrations between 35 and 69 ppt.

The NC Department of Health and Human Services established health goal for GenX is 140 ppt.

The Cape Fear Public Utility Authority released a statement Thursday night regarding the spill and GenX levels in the water at the Sweeney Water Treatment Plant. It read, in part:

"Our results show that, although a slight increase in the level of GenX was detected on October 18 and October 23, levels remained below the Department of Health and Human Service's health goal of 140 parts per trillion."

Copyright 2017 WECT. All rights reserved.