GenX Information for Residents

Fayetteville Works Vicinity / Upper Cape Fear

Since 2017, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ)  has stopped the discharge of process wastewater to the Cape Fear River and drastically reduced air emissions of PFAS from Chemours. Those actions limit new contamination from plant operations. DEQ also requires Chemours to cleanup portion of the Fayetteville site.

The Consent Order signed in February 2019 directed Chemours, among other things, to determine the extent of the PFAS contamination in the area surrounding the Fayetteville Works site. To do so, Chemours – through its third-party consultant Parsons – is conducting a well sampling program.

As of December 31, 2019, 2,432 wells have been tested up to 10 miles from the plant. Of those, 209 are eligible for a granular activated carbon (GAC) system or municipal water, meaning their results came back with levels of GenX at or above 140 parts per trillion.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has established a provisional health goal for GenX in drinking water of 140 parts per trillion.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has set a health advisory level for PFOA and PFOS at 70 parts per trillion. 

Community Information Video Presentation for March 12, 2020

Well Testing

Well Testing

How do I get my well tested?

If you live within the current sampling area (approximately 8 miles south of the plant or approximately 10 miles north of the plant) you can call Chemours at (910) 678-1101 to request well testing.  Leave a message to request sampling or additional information, ask questions or share concerns about any step in the drinking water replacement process. Messages to the Chemours call line are monitored during regular business hours (Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.).

Chemours should respond within 24-to-48 hours starting on the next business day.

Who will test my well?

Parsons Environment and Infrastructure (Parsons) is the name of Chemours third-party environmental consultant contracted to perform the well sampling. If you request to have your well sampled or if your well is part of a current testing area, a Parsons Environment and Infrastructure representative will be contacting you.  

Parsons Environment and Infrastructure (or Parsons) is the only well sampling vendor used by Chemours to sample wells. Any other vendor that asks to sample your well is not part of an approved sampling program directed by the Consent Order.

What is the well ‘step-out’ program?

Well sampling is being conducted in two stages: the step-out program and the infill program, as described in Chemours Drinking Water Compliance Plan. The area near the plant has been divided into sectors. Each time a well tests above the 10 parts per trillion for any PFAS compounds listed in Consent Order Attachment C, the sampling area extends by ¼ mile.

This method will be used to determine the extent of the contamination and which wells need to be tested in the infill program. Parsons will randomly select and sample 10 private wells. If any of the 10 samples have results above 10 ppt, then Parsons will move another 1/4 mile farther away from the center of the plant. Parsons will continue to step out a quarter of a mile at a time until the extent of the contamination is determined. DEQ will decide when to end the step-out program.

What is the infill plan?

The infill sampling plan means that Parsons will collect samples at all private wells within the defined 1/4 mile (‘step-out’) sector with known PFAS detections above 10 ppt. The infill sampling will continue until all private wells have been tested within the identified sector.

Where can I see a map of the testing area?

A map showing the results of sampling in the GenX investigation in Cumberland, Bladen and Robeson counties can be found online at: https://files.nc.gov/ncdeq/GenX/Chemours_2017to2019_update_Dec2019.pdf. Chemours provides DEQ sampling maps of step-out and infill plans

Test Results and Permanent Replacement Drinking Water

Test Results and Permanent Replacement Drinking Water

When will I receive my results?

Chemours will provide preliminary results in about four to six weeks after testing your well. 

What if I don’t get my results? 

If you do not receive your results, contact DEQ’s Division of Waste Management at (919) 707-8200.

Who can help me read my results?

The Department has staff that can assist you with reading your results. For assistance, contact DEQ’s Division of Waste Management at (919) 707-8200.

How do I qualify for a filtration system? (What do the test results mean?)

Under the Consent Order, there are three thresholds that qualify a resident for replacement water supplies:

  • At or above 140 parts per trillion (ppt) of GenX – qualifies affected resident for a granular activated carbon (GAC) system, municipal water or reverse osmosis units for each sink in the house.
  • At or above 70 ppt combined levels of PFAS compounds listed in Attachment C – qualifies affected resident for three under-sink reverse osmosis (RO) systems.

At or above 10 ppt for an individual PFAS compound listed in Attachment C – qualifies affected resident for three under-sink reverse osmosis (RO) systems.

I qualified for three undersink reverse osmosis systems but installation was suspended due to COVID-19. When will I get my filtration systems?

Beginning this week, AWS Kinetico technicians will resume contacting residents about scheduling appointments to resume the installation of reverse osmosis systems in impacted residences surrounding the Chemours' Fayetteville Works facility. Installations were suspended in March to follow public health recommendations to reduce the spread of COVID-19. While scheduling of installations has resumed, it may be subject to change based on any future public health guidance and/or contractor concerns.

To learn  more about qualifications for the undersink reverse osmosis filtration systems, go to: https://deq.nc.gov/news/key-issues/genx-investigation/genx-information-residents#well-testing. If you qualify, Chemours' third-party consultant or Kinetico representatives will contact you to schedule installation. You can call Chemours at (910) 678-1101.

AWS Kinetico (K-AWS) will be installing the systems at residences who qualify and have requested the reverse osmosis systems. To follow state public health guidance, all K-AWS technicians will adhere to approved safety protocols and guidelines developed for the installation in private homes during the coronavirus pandemic. Residents will be provided with documentation explaining 12 protective steps that K-AWS technicians must follow and be asked to sign a disclaimer to agree to have the K-AWS technician(s) enter the home to  install the drinking water systems. 

What if I want a different water treatment system than I qualify for?

Under the February 2019 Consent Order, residents may qualify for a filtration system based on sample results (see above). The RO and GAC systems provided have been approved by DEQ (https://files.nc.gov/ncdeq/GenX/GAC-and-RO-approval-letter.pdf). Those eligible for a whole-house GAC system may elect to receive under-sink RO systems at every kitchen and bathroom sink instead.

How do I get bottled water (temporary replacement drinking water)?

Chemours is required to provide bottled water to any qualifying residents until alternate water is installed. If you have been notified that your private well showed concentrations of GenX above the state's provisional health goal (140 ppt) for drinking water, above 10 ppt for any individual PFAS listed in Attachment C to the Consent Order, or above 70 ppt for combined quantifiable concentrations of PFAS listed in Attachment C to the Consent Order, then you are qualified to receive bottled water. If you have questions about bottled water delivery, please call Chemours at (910) 678-1101.

Who makes the decision if my area is to get public water, and what has been decided so far?

Private well owners that have detections of GenX at or above the provisional health goal of 140 ppt are eligible for municipal water.

The Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Waste Management (DWM) reviews the plan submitted by Chemours to evaluate the possibility to bring public waterlines to the affected area. This is call the Public Water Feasibility Plans. Division staff consult representatives from the county as well as the county health department as part of its review process. Once a determination is made, DWM staff notifies Chemours via letter and publishes any correspondence about public water feasibility decisions on its website. Public water feasibility decisions for private wells with GenX detected at or above 140 ppt have been made for areas of Cumberland County East of the Cape Fear River and all of Bladen County.  

  • In Bladen County, Chemours will be providing municipal water to the 60 residences served by private wells west of the Cape Fear River whose drinking water results are at or above 140 ppt for GenX (if the well owner elects to have municipal water). View the letter.
  • For areas east of the Cape Fear River in both Bladen and Cumberland Counties: DEQ, with input from local government representatives, determined that the public water option is not feasible for the 49 eligible homes. Chemours is required to provide either whole house filtration or reverse osmosis units to homes above the 140ppt GenX threshold. Eligible residents are advised to make a selection of filtration system if they have not already done so. View the letter.
  • A decision has not yet been made for areas west of the Cape Fear River in Cumberland County. Cumberland County officials recently approved $10.5 million for waterline construction in the Gray’s Creek area. The addition of the proposed waterlines will require an update to the study of the feasibility of public water in the area under the terms of the Consent Order.  DEQ granted an extension to Chemours until May 25, 2020.  View the letter.  

If I accept a filtration system now, can I get public water later?

The Consent Order provides the available filtration systems and options for municipal water. Private well owners in Bladen County west of the Cape Fear River who are eligible for municipal water connection may receive filtration systems as an interim measure while municipal lines are extended.

Chemours will not be installing additional granular activated carbon (GAC) filtration systems in Cumberland County west of the Cape Fear River until a final decision is made on public water.

If I don’t respond to Parsons or turn them down, will DEQ test my water?

DEQ staff are sampling private wells on a ‘spot-check’ basis. If Chemours’ third-party consultant Parsons contacts you to sample your well, it is highly encouraged that you allow them to do so. You will neeed to make a decision on whether to accept or refuse offered alternate water by the deadline provided in your letter.

Water Filtration Decisions

Water Filtration Decisions

Based on the approved Drinking Water Compliance Plan, which is part of the Consent Order entered by the Bladen County Superior Court in February of 2019, filtration systems are to be offered for up to one year (12 months) after the initial offer. Residents should have received multiple letters from Chemours offering the respective filtration system based on sample results.

Some residential water supply wells that were first tested by either Chemours’ third-party contractor (Parsons) or NCDEQ more than a year ago and qualify - based on the sample results - for either three under-sink reverse osmosis water filtration systems (“RO filtration systems”) or a whole-house granular activated carbon ("GAC filtration system") filtration system have not responded to the initial offer. 

Residents do not have to accept a water filtration system. However, once you have missed the opportunity to accept a water filtration system offered by Chemours (i.e., more than 12 months goes by from the time of the initial offer) or you have declined the offered system, you will no longer be able to get a system installed by Chemours free of charge. Delivery of your bottled water will end shortly after: either 12 months from the initial offer or you decline the offered system, whichever occurs first.

If you are nearing the one year deadline, it is important to reach out to Chemours or DEQ with any questions you may have regarding the RO filtration systems or GAC filtration systems as time is running out to make a decision about the filtration system.

Acceptance of the filtration systems will reduce your exposure to PFAS compounds. If you have questions about the systems available, system installation, the process of accepting a system or any other filtration-related questions, DEQ held three meetings in September 2020 via web conference to share information and answer any questions residents may have. A recording of the third meeting, held Sept. 17, can be found below.

Information session for residents making a decision about water filtration systems (Sept. 17, 2020)

Additional Information

Additional Information

Where do I find health information about GenX/PFAS?

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) is the agency that makes determinations about health impacts. To learn more, go to: https://epi.dph.ncdhhs.gov/oee/a_z/genx.html

Should I avoid eating fish or backyard produce? 

Neither DEQ nor DHHS has done a comprehensive fish study. NCDHHS is the agency that makes determinations about health impacts and issues fish consumption advisories. To learn more, go to: https://epi.dph.ncdhhs.gov/oee/a_z/genx.html.

What other sampling is DEQ doing?

DEQ continues to sample surface water around the Chemours facility, specifically at Outfall 002 and posts the data online.

DEQ monitors PFAS air emissions through rainwater sampling and regular emissions tests at the facility, and the data is posted online.

    Other Resources Complaint Process

    Complaint Process

    DEQ has established a process for addressing citizen complaints related to the drinking water compliance plan.  DEQ’s objectives are to provide customer assistance, identify complaint trends quickly and develop solutions for proper delivery of replacement water by Chemours under the Consent Order.

    To make a complaint please call Mercedes Hernández, DEQ risk assessment consultant, at (919) 707-8712 or send an email to Mercedes.Hernandez@ncdenr.gov.  

    To effectively assist with complaints, this process is focused solely on solving issues involving the delivery of replacement water under the Consent Order. Other concerns or comments will be routed appropriately within the department.

    Community Update

    Community Update

    In addition to public information sessions, DEQ provides a community update via email. Past copies of the community updates can be found online.

    If you would like to be added to the mailing list to receive the Community Update, please email Laura Leonard.