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Chemours making progress reducing legacy PFAS loading into Cape Fear River

The consent order requires removal of 80% of PFAS; testing of these systems shows they are...
The consent order requires removal of 80% of PFAS; testing of these systems shows they are exceeding these requirements(Source: The Chemours Company)
Published: Jul. 29, 2021 at 4:57 PM EDT
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BLADEN COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - The Chemours Company (Chemours) announced Thursday it had achieved two additional milestones at its Fayetteville Works site that will reduce the loading of legacy PFAS into the Cape Fear River.

According to a news release from Chemours, construction of a complex system designed to capture, remove, and treat a minimum of 99% of PFAS from stormwater near two of the site’s manufacturing units was completed in June, meeting consent order requirements.

Also in June, construction wrapped up for the last four treatment systems along the Cape Fear River that remove PFAS from groundwater that naturally seeps into the river before it completes its natural course toward the river.

The consent order requires removal of 80% of PFAS; testing of these systems shows they are exceeding these requirements.

Chemours, in collaboration with the NCDEQ, is now focusing its efforts on the design and construction of an underground barrier wall that will extend more than a mile along the Cape Fear River at a depth of more than 70 feet to prevent groundwater and legacy PFAS from reaching the river.

This proposed groundwater remedy will include interceptor wells to capture groundwater and a pumping system to pump it to a newly constructed water treatment facility that would remove PFAS before the water is discharged.

“We take seriously our obligation to manufacture our products responsibly, and fulfilling our commitments toward the reduction of PFAS allows us to continue delivering quality products that the U.S. and the rest of the world depend on,” said Fayetteville Works Plant Manager Dawn Hughes.

The release notes that actions by Chemours have already reduced GenX discharges and emissions by 97%.

In response to this claim from Chemours, Cape Fear Public Utility Authority Director of Communications Vaughn Hagerty released this statement:

CFPUA regularly monitors PFAS in the Cape Fear River. We have not seen a significant decrease in the amount of Chemours’ PFAS in the river since October 2020 when measures mandated by the State to prevent its highly contaminated groundwater and stormwater from polluting the Cape Fear River were supposed to begin. It’s great to hear that Chemours takes its obligations to manufacture responsibly seriously. It’s unfortunate that it took four decades, public exposure, and vigorous regulatory scrutiny for that to happen.

Since GenX was detected in water in the Cape Fear region five years ago, local water treatment facilities have also been putting measures into place to filter out contaminants and improve the quality of drinking water.

These additional measures by Chemours will further reduce contamination of the Cape Fear River from legacy discharges.

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