CFPUA’s application for $46M grant denied by state

Updated: Mar. 25, 2019 at 4:09 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - An application for money to build filters at the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority's Sweeney Water Treatment Plant was denied.

According to a news release from CFPUA, the State Water Infrastructure Authority denied an application for a $46.9 million grant to fund upgrades at the Sweeney plant. CFPUA applied for the grant last year, and was informed last week the application was not approved.

CFPUA wanted the money to pay for new granular activated carbon (GAC) filters meant to filter GenX and other PFAS compounds out of drinking water. GAC filters emerged as the best solution following pilot testing of possible options, including reverse osmosis and ion exchange media, according to CFPUA.

“It is unfortunate that the state did not approve our grant application,” CFPUA Executive Director Jim Flechtner said in the news release. “Ultimately, though, these costs should be borne by the parties responsible for the PFAS compounds affecting the water in the Cape Fear River. Similarly, these parties should be stepping forward to take responsibility for the PFAS compounds found in groundwater near our Aquifer Storage and Recovery well.

"These parties are Chemours and DuPont.”

The Chemours Company has admitted to discharging GenX from its Fayetteville Works plant into the Cape Fear River.

If upgrades to the Sweeney Plant are approved by the CFPUA board, construction on GAC filters would begin in November. Operation would begin in early 2022 and is expected to cost an additional $2.9 million per year.

CFPUA says revenue bonds would be sold to pay for GAC filters construction, which would lead to an increase of $5 per month for the average CFPUA customer.

The utility has filed a federal lawsuit against Chemours and DuPont to recover these and other costs resulting from the companies’ actions.

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