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DEQ seeks court approval of additional PFAS reductions by Chemours

RALEIGH – After reviewing public comments, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality has filed the proposed Addendum to the Consent Order for entry by the Bladen County Superior Court. The motions hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday, October 12 in Elizabethtown. The Addendum requires significant additional actions by Chemours to reduce the PFAS entering the Cape Fear River

through residual groundwater contamination at the Fayetteville Works site. These actions will improve water quality for downstream communities as the major pathways for PFAS pollution entering the Cape Fear River will be reduced by 99%.

“We will continue to apply pressure to this company to take responsibility for their actions. These necessary actions under the Consent Order will expand the relief provided to communities along the Cape Fear River by controlling the PFAS contamination at its source,” said Secretary Michael S. Regan. “At the same time, DEQ continues to support state and community leaders’ efforts on additional strategies to address the downstream impact of the contamination from Chemours.”

According to the Addendum, Chemours is required to install extensive remediation systems in two phases for the contaminated groundwater reaching the river.

• The interim measures to filter PFAS at an efficiency of at least 80% from the first of the four seeps will go into effect starting by Mid-November – with all four completed by April 2021.
• The permanent measure is the construction of a subsurface barrier wall approximately 1.5 miles long and groundwater extraction system that will remove at least 99% of PFAS to be completed by March 2023.

Chemours is also required to treat on-site stormwater with a capture and treatment system that must remove at least 99% of PFAS that currently discharge to the river.

Failure to meet the schedules or achieve the removal goals set out in the Addendum will result in financial penalties.

Since 2017, DEQ actions and the Consent Order between DEQ, Cape Fear River Watch and Chemours have stopped the process wastewater discharge from the facility and drastically reduced air emissions of PFAS by 99.9%. The additional actions required in the Addendum will further reduce the PFAS contamination in the Cape Fear River and improve water quality for downstream communities.

DEQ published the Addendum to the Consent Order for public comment and reviewed those comments before filing the Addendum with the court. The

Department’s response to comments is available here.

The Addendum to the Consent Order, the 2019 Consent Order and related documents are available here.

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