Permit is part of remediation plan to substantially reduce PFAS entering the Cape Fear River

RALEIGH – The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality Division of Water Resources (DWR) will hold public hearings on June 21 and 23 to accept comments on the draft discharge permit for a proposed groundwater treatment system at the Chemours Fayetteville Works facility that would substantially reduce the PFAS entering the Cape Fear River via contaminated groundwater. Chemours is required to remove at least 99% of PFAS from the contaminated groundwater before discharge. Currently, contaminated groundwater flowing into the river is not intercepted or treated.

DWR will continue to accept comments on the proposed National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) wastewater permit through 5 p.m., June 24. Comments submitted during the previous comment period from March 25 to May 2, 2022 are being considered and do not need to be resubmitted.

To give interested communities opportunities to comment, two public hearings are scheduled for this draft permit, one in-person, and one held remotely.

 

IN PERSON

Date:                           Tuesday, June 21, 2022, at 6 p.m.

Location:                    Cape Fear Community College, 411 N. Front Street, Wilmington

Union Station, First Floor Auditorium

Register:                     Speaker registration opens at 5 p.m., onsite signup sheet

 

REMOTE/ONLINE

Date:                           Thursday, June 23, 2022, at 6 p.m.

Meeting Access:         WebEx link: https://ncdenrits.webex.com/ncdenrits/onstage/g.php?MTID=e6a3cebefc6af2776f229c3d4f2c74da9

Event number:            2421 589 1484

Event password:         NCDEQ

Audio conference:      US TOLL +1-415-655-0003, Access code: 2421 589 1484

Register to Speak:       Speaker registration by 12 noon, June 23, at https://forms.office.com/g/YEqDLDDDp7

Please contact Peter Johnston if you have issues registering online at 919-707-9011 or email peter.johnston@ncdenr.gov.

To submit comments by email, send to publiccomments@ncdenr.gov with CHEMOURS noted in the subject line. Public comments may also be mailed to Wastewater Permitting, Attn: Chemours Permit, 1617 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, N.C., 27699-1617.

The draft permit and fact sheet are available to view online.

Chemours has been prohibited from discharging PFAS-contaminated process wastewater from its manufacturing operations into the Cape Fear River since 2017. However, historic operations at the facility have caused significant groundwater contamination at the site. The draft NPDES permit (NC0090042) allows only the discharge of treated water associated with groundwater remediation efforts, primarily treated groundwater, some surface water and stormwater. It would not allow the discharge of wastewater from Chemours manufacturing processes.

As outlined in the 2020 Addendum to the Consent Order, Chemours is required to address groundwater contamination by installing an underground barrier wall that will run more than a mile alongside the Cape Fear River. This 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. The draft permit requires that the treatment system remove at least 99% of PFAS from the pumped groundwater before it enters the river. Without this treatment system intervention and accompanying discharge permit, this heavily contaminated groundwater would continue to flow to the river untreated and continue to impact downstream water supplies.

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