The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality announced today it is moving to revoke Chemours’ permit to discharge process wastewater because the company failed to comply with its permit and failed to report an October spill.
In addition to moving to revoke Chemours wastewater permit, DEQ officials also notified Chemours the state will suspend its permit to discharge process wastewater from its manufacturing area including the areas where GenX and other fluorinated compounds are produced. The suspension will take effect Nov. 30. Chemours is still required by the state to divert wastewater containing GenX and transport it out-of-state for disposal.
The notifications came in a letter DEQ sent to Chemours Thursday.
“It is unacceptable that Chemours has failed to disclose information required by law, information we need in order to protect the public,” said Michael S. Regan, secretary of the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality “We’re taking action to suspend Chemours’ wastewater permit and moving to permanently revoke it because the company has repeatedly failed to follow the law.”
DEQ is referring its probe of the Oct. 6 spill to the State Bureau of Investigation to determine if there is evidence of criminal violations for not reporting the spill as required by law.
The revocation of Chemours’ permit to discharge process wastewater from its manufacturing areas will take effect after the required 60-day notice to Chemours and public participation in the permit process. The revocation does not apply to process wastewater from Kuraray and Dupont facilities that is treated and discharged by Chemours under the wastewater discharge permit.
Earlier this week, DEQ cited Chemours with violating the conditions of its wastewater discharge permit because of the company’s failure to report the Oct. 6 spill. The spill came to light one month after it occurred when DEQ officials questioned Chemours about state water quality results indicating elevated concentrations of GenX at Chemours’ primary wastewater discharge outfall.
Chemours wastewater discharge permit requires that DEQ be notified within 24 hours of any discharge of significant amounts of waste that are abnormal in quantity or characteristic, as well as any non-compliance that potentially threatens public health or the environment.
DEQ determined that Chemours’ violation of the reporting requirements in the permit following the Oct. 6 spill are sufficient basis for the revocation of the permit to discharge process wastewater. DEQ will continue to collect and test water samples from the Cape Fear River including at the Chemours outfall.
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