DEQ holds public meeting on water well sampling plan

DEQ holds public hearing on Chemours’s efforts to reduce groundwater contamination
Published: May. 9, 2022 at 9:45 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - The DEQ held a public hearing at the Lumina Theatre on the UNCW campus on Monday, May 9, to share with the public Chemours’ developmentof a drinking water well sampling plan and provision of alternate drinking water.

After determing Chemours was reponsible for groundwater contamination in New Hanover, Brunswick, Pender and Columbus counties, the DEQ has required Chemours, per a recent DEQ press release, to:

  • 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.
  • Increase reporting on the sampling activities from quarterly to monthly.

Chemours is also required to install an undergound barrier wall alongside the Cape Fear River that would intercept contaminated groundwater and remove more than 99% of PFAS before it reached the river.

According to test data, Chemours has tested fifteen wells so far in the Fort Fisher and Carolina Beacha area and three of those tested positive for PFAS (per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances). While they are prioritizing wells in immediate range to the Cape Fear River, studies are showing that some wells more inland or closer to the beach have also become contaminated, and the numbers are only expected to increase.

Officials from the DEQ encouraged homeowners to call Chemours at 910-678-1100 and request to have water samples taken from their wells, as additional samples will provide a better idea on how bad the problem is.

“So my main message is to get your wells tested,” Secretary Elizabeth Biser of the NC Department of Environmental Quality stated at the public hearing. “Call the number, respond to the letter. That is going to give us valuable information to understand the extent of the contamination and also to make sure that if your well is impacted we can get you help.”

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