Public hearings will be held next month on a state draft discharge permit for Chemours’ proposed groundwater treatment system at its Fayetteville Works facility.
Contaminated groundwater is flowing from the Bladen County-based plant into the Cape Fear River, a drinking water source for tens of thousands of people who live down river in Columbus, Pender, Brunswick and New Hanover counties.
Under the 2022 addendum to a consent order with the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality and Cape Fear River Watch, Chemours must install a more-than-mile-long underground barrier wall parallel to the river to intercept contaminated groundwater.
The groundwater will be collected through a series of extraction wells and pumped to a wastewater treatment system.
The draft state wastewater permit under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, or NPDES, requires the treatment system remove at least 99% of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, from entering the Cape Fear River.
PFAS are a group of thousands of synthetic compounds widely used in a variety of consumer products, including nonstick cookware, firefighting foam, water-repellent clothing, lubricants, stain-resistant carpets, paints, cosmetics and fast-food packaging.
Research is being conducted to try and understand possible health implications associated with ingesting and breaking down these forever chemicals.
North Carolina-based research indicates at least some PFAS affects immune systems, but thousands of the compounds have yet to be studied.
The Division of Water Resources is holding an in-person public hearing on the draft NPDES permit at 6 p.m. June 21 at Cape Fear Community College, Union Station, first floor auditorium, 411 N. Front St., Wilmington. Speaker registration opens at 5 p.m.
An online meeting will be held at 6 p.m., June 23. Log on to https://ncdenrits.webex.com/ncdenrits/onstage/g.php?MTID=e6a3cebefc6af2776f229c3d4f2c74da9. The event number is 2421 589 1484 and the password is NCDEQ. Participants may also phone in by dialing +1-415-655-0003, Access code: 2421 589 1484. Speakers may register by noon June 23 at https://forms.office.com/g/YEqDLDDDp7
Contact Peter Johnston if you have issues registering online at 919-707-9011 or email email@example.com.
The division is accepting comments on the proposed permit through 5 p.m. June 24 by email to firstname.lastname@example.org with CHEMOURS noted in the subject line or by mail to Wastewater Permitting, Attn: Chemours Permit, 1617 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1617.
You do not need to resubmit comments if you sent them in during the previous comment period between March 25 and May 2.