RALEIGH – The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality seeks public comment on the Addendum to the Consent Order, which requires significant additional actions by Chemours to prevent PFAS pollution from entering the Cape Fear River via contaminated groundwater from the Fayetteville Works Site. Comments will be accepted through Thursday, Sept. 17.
Since 2017, DEQ actions and the Consent Order have stopped the process wastewater discharge from the facility and drastically reduced air emissions of PFAS by 99.9%. The additional actions in the Addendum to the Consent Order between DEQ, Cape Fear River Watch and Chemours will further reduce the PFAS contamination to the Cape Fear River and improve water quality for downstream communities.
Moving forward, Chemours is required to treat four identified ‘seeps’ which account for more than half of the contaminated groundwater reaching the river in two phases.
• The interim measures to filter PFAS at an efficiency of at least 80% from the first of the four seeps will go into effect starting by Mid-November – with all four completed by April 2021.
• The permanent measure is the construction of a subsurface barrier wall approximately 1.5 miles long and groundwater extraction system that will remove at least 99% of PFAS to be completed by March 2023.
Chemours is also required to treat on-site stormwater that is adding residual pollution to the river with a capture and treatment system that must remove at least 99% of PFAS.
Failure to meet the schedules or achieve the removal goals will result in financial penalties, including:
• Failure to meet the construction schedule for the interim measures will result in fines of $5,000 per day for the first 14 days and $10,000/day until construction is complete.
• Failure to meet the barrier wall installation schedule results in a $150,000 fine followed by $20,000 per week until installation is complete.
• Failure to meet the barrier wall’s 95% mass loading goal in the initial demonstration results in a $500,000 fine, with a $100,000 fine for failure to meet any of the four subsequent demonstrations.
Comments on the Addendum will be accepted through September 17. Comments can be submitted electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to Assistant Secretary’s Office, RE: Chemours Public Comments 1601 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1601.
DEQ will consider the public comments before the Addendum is presented for entry by the Bladen County Superior Court. The Addendum is available here.