RALEIGH – The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is taking two actions requiring Chemours to address GenX and PFAS contamination originating from the Fayetteville Works Facility and affecting private water well owners.
First, Chemours must assess the extent of contamination in downstream communities to include well sampling and provision of replacement drinking water supplies.
“The contamination from Chemours extends down the Cape Fear River into multiple communities and Chemours’ actions to address that contamination must reach those communities as well,” said DEQ Secretary Elizabeth S. Biser. “DEQ will continue to take the necessary steps to provide relief to affected North Carolinians as the science and regulations require.”
DEQ has determined that Chemours is responsible for contamination of groundwater monitoring wells and water supply wells in New Hanover County and potentially Pender, Columbus, and Brunswick counties. Chemours is required to expand the off-site assessment required under the 2019 Consent Order to determine the extent of the contamination. Chemours must also conduct sampling of private drinking water wells to identify residents who may be eligible for replacement drinking water supplies. Chemours must submit plans to DEQ for approval.
Second, Chemours is required to review existing well sampling in communities surrounding the Fayetteville Works facility to determine additional eligibility for whole house filtration and public water, in light of the revised Toxicity Assessment for GenX from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Chemours has been advised that EPA will be releasing a federal drinking water health advisory level for GenX in the coming months. In Paragraph 19, the 2019 Consent Order requires Chemours to provide replacement permanent drinking water to private wells with “detections of GenX compounds in exceedance of 140 ng/L, or any applicable health advisory, whichever is lower.”
In advance of a likely EPA health advisory level below 140 ng/l, DEQ is requiring Chemours to review existing well sampling data to identify residents who would be entitled to public water or whole house filtration under a revised health advisory level. Chemours must revise the assessment of public water feasibility for all affected residents under a lower health advisory level. DEQ is also requiring Chemours to develop a plan to transition residents who have previously received reverse osmosis systems based on GenX results to either public water or whole house filtrations systems as appropriate under a lower GenX health advisory level.
Copies of the notifications to Chemours are available online here.