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NCDEQ to address public concerns about actions required by Chemours

Public meeting to be held May 9 in Wilmington
NCDEQ to address public concerns about actions required by Chemours
Published: May. 4, 2022 at 10:52 AM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - In response to public concerns, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has scheduled a public hearing to answer questions about the sampling of private wells Chemours has been directed to do in the Lower Cape Fear area.

The public meeting will be held at 6 p.m., Monday, May 9, at UNCW’s Lumina Theatre in the Fischer Student Center.

The DEQ has instructed Chemours to expand its sampling program of drinking water wells in New Hanover, Brunswick, Pender and Columbus Counties with priority being given to specific areas of concern. Based on the results, a Consent Order directs Chemours to provide alternative water supplies.

In recent updates, the DEQ also directed Chemours to take the following additional steps in an updated interim sampling and drinking water plan:

  • Prioritize the identification and expeditious sampling of private wells within ¼ mile of public water distribution lines and sanitary sewer network;
  • Prioritize the identification and expeditious sampling of private wells within ¼ mile of the detections shown in monitoring data provided by NC DEQ;
  • Provide a detailed description of the representative sampling methodology, including justification for any exclusionary criteria;
  • Provide a timeline to expeditiously complete sampling in the four counties; and
  • Increase reporting on the sampling activities from quarterly to monthly.

In November 2021, the DEQ found Chemours responsible for contamination of New Hanover County wells and other counties downstream.

According to the news release from DEQ, the draft discharge permit for a proposed treatment system at the Chemours facility would substantially reduce PFAS contamination of the Cape Fear River.

The Consent Order requires Chemours to address this contamination by installing an underground, mile-plus-long barrier wall alongside the Cape Fear River. The proposed wall will intercept contaminated groundwater from the facility before it reaches the river, and a series of extraction wells will pump the captured groundwater to a treatment system required to remove more than 99% of PFAS.

People attending the public meeting on May 9 are asked to park in the Visitor Lot M at 4941 Riegel Road on the UNCW campus.

Details will be announces by DEQ soon about a separate public hearing to address the draft National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) discharge permit.

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