Chemours has agreed to further limit GenX emissions, conduct additional testing and pay the six-figure penalty assessed last year by the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Air Quality.
The Division of Air Quality and Chemours signed a settlement agreement Tuesday requiring Chemours to reduce GenX emissions from the carbon adsorber unit, an emissions control device, in the vinyl ethers north manufacturing area to no more than an average of 1 pound per month between May and September of this year.
Fugitive emissions from the vinyl ethers north area are primarily controlled by the carbon adsorber unit, which is a separate system from the onsite thermal oxidizer.
Chemours’ facility-wide emissions are limited to 23.027 pounds per year under the current air permit.
Chemours also is required to take additional actions this year to reduce emissions, including installing new process and emission control equipment. The company must follow a rigorous schedule of stack tests to measure how well the carbon adsorber unit at vinyl ethers north is controlling emissions.
Chemours will also pay in full the $305,000 penalty, which the Division of Air Quality assessed last year after finding Chemours was in violation of the stringent GenX emission requirements of its air permit, which requires Chemours to limit its total GenX emissions to 23.027 pounds per year, using a rolling 12-month calculation.
This limit equates to a 99% reduction from GenX emissions in 2017.
Excess GenX emissions in March 2021 resulted in noncompliance with the rolling 12-month limits from March through September of last year. In October 2021, the division issued a written Notice of Violation and Notice of Recommendation for Enforcement to Chemours. DAQ noted the Carbon Adsorber Unit was not properly operated or maintained for 26 days following its March 9, 2021, stack test.
Chemours filed a Petition for a Contested Case Hearing in response to DAQ’s civil assessment. Today’s settlement resolves DAQ’s civil penalty and Chemours’ petition.
Lisa Randall, regional communications lead for Chemours provided Coastal Review with the following statement:
“Chemours has reached an agreement with NCDEQ regarding the agency’s 2021 notice of violation (NOV) for exceeding the 12-month rolling average for Fayetteville Works’ site HFPO-DA air emissions. Chemours has agreed to pay the $305,000 civil penalty assessed by the agency, and will also dismiss its administrative appeal of the NOV. Chemours has also agreed to take additional steps toward reducing air emissions. NCDEQ has agreed to not issue additional NOVs related to the rolling calculation for the remainder of the 12-month period as long as agreed-to-emission limits are met. Chemours continues to make progress on all requirements of the Consent Order agreement with NCDEQ and Cape Fear River Watch, and remains committed to being a leader in reducing PFAS emissions.”