State directing company to clean up groundwater contamination in Wake Co. community

Raleigh

State officials have reached an agreement with a company to clean up groundwater contamination in a Wake Forest community where residential drinking wells were impacted by chlorinated solvents.

Federal officials in 2014 paid to supply people in the Stony Hill Road community with clean drinking water after state groundwater tests revealed the presence of chlorinated solvents in residential wells. State and federal officials believe two former circuit board assembly companies are the source of contamination from 7303 Stony Hill Road. 

On Thursday, the N.C. Division of Waste Management sent letters to residents of the Stony Hill Road community to inform people the state would soon be directing Flextronics International USA, Inc. to investigate and clean up the contamination. Flextronics did not contribute to the contamination, but is responsible for the investigation and cleanup because the company purchased the two circuit board assembly companies that caused the contamination. 

“We are continuing to take specific steps to ensure that all the contamination is identified so that the cleanup process can be conducted effectively and efficiently,” said Linda Culpepper, director of the N.C. Division of Waste Management. “Our goal is to do everything we can to protect the health and environment of people living in the Stony Hill Road community.” 

For several years, residents of the community with impacted wells have received clean drinking water. The Environmental Protection Agency initially provided bottled water to impacted residents and installed carbon filtration systems on certain homes, and then in 2014, extended a water line from a community water system to serve the 22 homes where contamination was discovered in private wells. Repeated groundwater sampling conducted by the state Division of Waste Management since 2012 has shown that the contamination has not spread to other wells.

As required by law, the letters sent to residents Thursday give the public a 30-day notice before an administrative order is enacted. The letters reference the draft administrative order between the state agency and Flextronics. The order would put in place further investigation and cleanup under state, rather than federal oversight, an option that residents of the Stony Hill Road community agreed with in 2014 after a public input process.

The order directs Flextronics to develop a strategy for investigating the full nature and extent of the contamination, and providing alternative sources of water, if needed, to other residents whose wells may be impacted by the contamination in the future. Flextronics also will be responsible for implementing a plan to clean up the contamination that’s determined to have originated from 7303 Stony Hill Road. The company also will be required to continue monitoring the site. Flextronics is required to obtain approval from the state Division of Waste Management at every step of the investigation and cleanup process.

A copy of the order is on the state agency’s website at: https://files.nc.gov/ncdeq/Waste%20Management/DWM/SF/IHS/Stony%20Hill%20Road/DENR%20Stony%20Hill%20Consent%20Order%20final_0.pdf.More information on the Stony Hill Road site can be found at:

/about/divisions/waste-management/superfund-section/inactive-hazardous-sites-program/wake-county-stony-hill-road or/about/divisions/waste-management/superfund-section/inactive-hazardous-sites-program/wake-county-stony-hill-road.

The EPA is also proposing entering into a settlement agreement with Flextronics to recover federal costs for the cleanup action at the Stony Hill Road Site.  

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