GenX Information for Residents in Bladen, Cumberland, Robeson and Sampson Counties

If you live near Chemours' Fayetteville Works facility:

Call Chemours at (910) 678-1101 to have your drinking water well sampled or for more information.

At DEQ's direction through the 2019 Consent Order, Chemours is sampling private drinking water wells in four counties (Bladen, Cumberland, Robeson and Sampson) near its Fayetteville Works facility. The current sampling area is approximately 10 miles south and 25 miles north of the plant; sampling is being conducted in a step-out plan.

To have your well sampled, call Chemours at (910) 678-1101. 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. 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. If no one answers, leave a message with your name, address, and telephone number to see if you qualify for testing. If you don’t currently qualify for well testing, you may in the future. Chemours is required to keep your contact information and notify you if testing extends to your area

Parsons is the third-party environmental consultant Chemours has contracted to perform the well sampling. If you request to have your well sampled, a Parsons representative will be contacting you. Parsons is the only well sampling vendor used by Chemours to sample wells.

Under the Consent Order signed in February 2019, there are three ways a resident can qualify for replacement water supplies:

  • At or above 10 parts per trillion (ppt) or any applicable health advisory of GenX – qualifies affected residents for a granular activated carbon (GAC) system, municipal water or reverse osmosis units for each sink in the house.(The EPA final Health Advisory Level of 10 ppt replaced the NCDHHS provisional drinking water health goal of 140 ppt in June 2022. )
  • 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.

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. The Consent Order signed in February 2019 directed Chemours, among other things, to determine the extent of the PFAS contamination related to the Fayetteville Works site and provide replacement water supplies to affected residents.

Following the EPA release of a final Toxicity Assessment in October 2021 for GenX, DEQ sent a letter requiring Chemours to review existing well sampling data and identify residents who would be entitled to public water or whole-house filtration under the revised drinking water health advisory level of 10ppt for GenX. DEQ also required Chemours to develop and submit a plan that outlines the transition of residents who 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. 

Recent actions related to Chemours

Weekly Well Sampling Maps

 

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On June 15, 2022,  the EPA set a final lifetime health advisory level for GenX of 10 parts per trillion (ppt). This will replace the state’s provisional drinking water health goal of 140 ppt developed by NCDHHS and adopted in 2018. 

The Consent Order requires Chemours to provide public water or whole building filtration for any private drinking water well with a GenX concentration above a health advisory, which is now 10 ppt.  DEQ is directing Chemours to revise its Drinking Water Compliance Plan and Feasibility Study Report and provide public water or whole building filtration systems to any party with a private drinking water well contaminated by GenX chemicals in exceedance of 10 ppt as required by paragraph 19 of the Consent Order.   

In a letter dated June 15, 2022, DEQ has directed Chemours to take the following actions by no later than July 13, 2022:

  1. Chemours must submit a report identifying affected parties entitled to public water or whole building filtration under paragraph 19 as a result of the new drinking water health advisory of 10 ppt for GenX chemicals. The report shall identify those affected parties who have previously received reverse osmosis systems pursuant to paragraph 20 of the Consent Order.
  2. Chemours must submit for review and approval a draft communication to affected parties notifying them of their eligibility for whole building filtration or public water.
  3. Chemours must submit a plan outlining steps and a proposed schedule, with the final scheduled deadline to occur within 90 days from receipt of the letter, for revising and supplementing Chemours’ assessment of public water feasibility for all affected parties under paragraph 19. This submittal shall include a reevaluation of areas where public water was previously determined to be infeasible based on the previously applicable GenX threshold of 140 ppt.
  4. Chemours must submit a plan for transitioning affected parties who have previously received reverse osmosis systems to public water or whole building filtration systems where required.

DEQ estimates more than 1700 additional private well users will now be eligible for whole-building filtration or connection to a public water supply.  Additional information was provided to residents about their options and next steps during the July 26, 2022 community information session.

Links:

EPA Announces New Drinking Water Health Advisories for PFAS Chemicals

State agencies responding to release of EPA health advisories for four PFAS compounds | NC DEQ

DEQ letter to Chemours Re: EPA GenX Health Advisory: Required Revision of Drinking Water Compliance Plan and Feasibility Study

 

How do I get my well tested?

If you live within the current sampling area (approximately 8 miles south of the plant or approximately 18 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?

DEQ Well Sampling Results Map through July 2022 (updated August 2022) shows the results of sampling in the GenX investigation in Cumberland, Bladen, Robeson and Sampson counties. Chemours provides DEQ sampling maps of step-out and infill plans

How many wells have been sampled in the Fayetteville area?

As of July 2022, 9,420 wells have been tested about 25 miles from the plant. Of those, 1,803 are eligible for a granular activated carbon (GAC) system or municipal water, meaning their results came back with levels of GenX at or above 10 parts per trillion which is the EPA health advisory level for GenX in drinking water released in the spring of 2022. Approximately 4,408 residences qualify for reverse osmosis treatment systems.

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.

What do the test results mean?

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

  • At or above 140 parts per trillion (ppt) or any applicable health advisory of GenX – qualifies affected resident for a granular activated carbon (GAC) system, municipal water or reverse osmosis units for each sink in the house.

    • On June 15, 2022, EPA released a final health advisory level of 10ppt for GenX. This has replaced the state’s provisional drinking water health goal of 140 ppt developed by NCDHHS in 2018. DEQ is directing Chemours to revise its Drinking Water Compliance Plan and Feasibility Study Report, and provide public water or whole-building filtration systems to any party with a private drinking water well contaminated by GenX chemicals in exceedance of 10 ppt as required by paragraph 19 of the Consent Order.
  • 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.

Following the EPA's release of a final Toxicity Assessment for GenX and its indication that it would release a GenX national drinking water health advisory in the Spring of 2022, DEQ sent a letter on Nov. 3, 2021 requiring Chemours to review existing well sampling data and identify residents who would be entitled to public water or whole-house filtration under a revised drinking water health advisory level for GenX. DEQ is also requiring Chemours to develop a plan and send it to DEQ that outlines the transition of residents who 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. 

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 current EPA Health Advisory of 10 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.

What is a voucher card, and how is it used?

The voucher card will be preloaded with $225 for three months of drinking water ($75 per month). The voucher card will continue to be loaded until permanent drinking water supply is provided. This voucher card is only to be used for purchasing bottled water. Well owners/residents will receive detailed instructions, customer service contact information, and the Chemours Call Line phone number, along with the voucher card.

How do I qualify for a filtration system? 

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

  • At or above 140 parts per trillion (ppt) or any applicable health advisory of GenX – qualifies affected resident for a granular activated carbon (GAC) system, municipal water or reverse osmosis units for each sink in the house.

    • On June 15, 2022, EPA released a final health advisory level of 10ppt for GenX. This has replaced the state’s provisional drinking water health goal of 140 ppt developed by NCDHHS in 2018. DEQ is directing Chemours to revise its Drinking Water Compliance Plan and Feasibility Study Report, and provide public water or whole-building filtration systems to any party with a private drinking water well contaminated by GenX chemicals in exceedance of 10 ppt as required by paragraph 19 of the Consent Order.
  • 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.

DEQ is requiring Chemours to review its existing well sampling data to identify residents who would be entitled to public water or whole-house filtration under a revised drinking water health advisory level for GenX, following the EPA's release of a final toxicity assessment for GenX and possible national GenX health advisory goal, and develop a plan to transition those residents who have previously received reverse osmosis systems to either public water or whole-house filtrations systems as appropriate.

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 tested and approved by DEQ. Those eligible for a whole-house GAC system may elect to receive under-sink RO systems at every kitchen and bathroom sink instead.

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.

Note: residents whose wells have contaminations of 10 ppt or greater GenX following the release of EPA's lower health advisory level and have previously received reverse osmosis systems will be contacted by Chemours about transitioning to either public water or whole-house filtrations systems as appropriate. 

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 called 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.  

Update: On June 15, 2022, EPA released a final health advisory level of 10ppt for GenX. This has replaced the state’s provisional drinking water health goal of 140 ppt developed by NCDHHS in 2018. DEQ is directing Chemours to revise its Drinking Water Compliance Plan and Feasibility Study Report and provide public water or whole-building filtration systems to any party with a private drinking water well contaminated by GenX chemicals in exceedance of 10 ppt as required by paragraph 19 of the Consent Order. 

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 need to make a decision on whether to accept or refuse offered alternate water by the deadline provided in your letter.

Granular Activate Carbon Water Filtration System Pilot Study

DEQ and Chemours tested granular activated carbon (GAC) systems installed at private residences in the Chemours Fayetteville Works area in 2018 for a one-year period. Results from the study showed GAC systems to be effective at removing GenX and other PFAS from the water if properly maintained.

Maintenance is key

  • GAC systems must be maintained to be effective.
  • Filters can become a source and increase levels of PFAS in the water if they are not regularly changed.
  • The Consent Order requires Chemours to do the following to ensure GAC systems are working properly:
    • Test GAC systems quarterly between the filters to check for breakthrough of PFAS compounds. This allows data to be collected to determine the appropriate time for canister changeout while the second canister assures homeowners are protected.
    • Change GAC filters when levels of any PFAS compound reaches 100 ppt between the filters.

Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System Pilot Study

In 2019, the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality began testing the Kinetico reverse osmosis (RO) systems being installed by Chemours in private residences in the Chemours Fayetteville Works area. Preliminary tests show the systems are effective at removing PFAS from the water. More information about the pilot study can be found on the Groundwater page.

Unlike GAC water treatment systems, which must be tested to determine when a filter change is necessary, RO systems slow down and eventually stop working to prevent breakthrough. Indicators on the systems let homeowners know when the system is nearing shutdown and they need to call for a filter replacement. The RO systems include a sediment removal and carbon polishing cartridge which will need to be exchanged approximately every 1 to 1.5 years based on average household drinking water usage rates. The primary RO membrane will need to be replaced every three to five years based upon the amount of water used, which is tracked by the number of sediment and carbon polishing filter changeouts.

Based on the approved Drinking Water Compliance Plan, which is part of the 2019 Consent Order, 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.

Acceptance of the filtration systems will reduce your exposure to PFAS compounds. Some residents with drinking 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 RO or GAC 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.

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)

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 or to https://epi.dph.ncdhhs.gov/oee/a_z/pfas.html

Factsheets:

For more information, please contact DHHS' Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch at (919) 707-5900.

 

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.

    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 (919) 707-8200 or send an email to comments.chemours@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.

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    Community Information Meeting by Web Conference, Nov. 16, 2021

    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 DEQ Public Affairs.

    Community Information Meeting on July 26, 2022