Chemours violates GenX air quality emissions requirement

Published: Aug. 26, 2021 at 5:17 PM EDT
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RALEIGH, N.C. (WECT) - The North Carolina Division of Environmental Quality’s (NCDEQ) Division of Air Quality (DAQ) issued a Notice of Violation to Chemours Thursday for exceeding the GenX annual air emissions limit after only six months.

As of June 30, 2021, Chemours reported annual GenX emissions of 32.024 pounds, a violation of the facility’s air permit.

The air permit outlines stringent emissions requirements for Chemours to facilitate a 99% reduction of the GenX emissions reported in 2017.

Chemours must not exceed a GenX emission limit of 23.027 pounds per year.

Emissions are calculated from rolling 12-month totals and excess emissions from Chemours resulted in non-compliance each month from March to June 2021.

The lack of compliance was first noted by Chemours in a quarterly report letter to the DAQ on April, 28, 2021.

Following a review by the NCDAQ of testing procedures, Chemours was asked to change its emissions estimation technique, which was deemed to be flawed, and to resubmit emissions estimates retroactive to January 2020.

In a letter dated July 15, 2021, Chemours responded with updated emissions estimates that showed increasing GenX emissions during the four months of non-compliance in 2021.

The cause of the increases was directly related to improper operation and maintenance of a Carbon Adsorber resulting in issuance of the Notice of Violation/Notice of Recommendation for Enforcement (below) which stated the following:

Chemours’ failure to reduce facility-wide annual emissions of GenX Compounds to less than 23.027 pounds per year constitutes an ongoing violation of Specific Limitation and Condition 2.2.D.1.

The violation is subject to civil penalties of up to $25,000 per day. A written response outlining corrective actions and a timeline is required from Chemours by September 10, 2021.

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