According to a January 2021 article “N.C. regulators issue notice of violation to Chemours“, the company received a violation notice regarding a newly-installed treatment system that failed to remove PFAS contamination at the Fayetteville Works site. As mentioned in previous articles, the main offender for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination in the Cape Fear region is the Chemours Co. Fayetteville Works Plant. Many chemicals, including GenX, were discharged into the Cape Fear River.
Notice Violation Outlines Instances of Noncompliance
The violation notice issued outlines several instances of noncompliance in relation to the Consent Order issued by the state of North Carolina. According to the same January 2021 article mentioned previously, “N.C. regulators issue notice of violation to Chemours“, design and operational problems led to several violations:
Violations include exceeding an effluent limit, failure to meet flow requirements, improper operation and maintenance, and failure to mitigate during storm events.
North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Secretary Michael Regan reiterates the DEQ’s commitment to mitigating the damages caused by the PFAS contamination produced by the Fayetteville Works site:
“DEQ is committed to holding Chemours accountable, and ensuring they meet the requirements of the Consent Order and their permit conditions at all times,” said Secretary Michael S. Regan. “DEQ will continue to take all appropriate actions, from increased oversight to enforcement, to ensure the company meets its obligations to prevent PFAS from entering the Cape Fear River.”
New EPA Administrator Appointed: Hope for the Future?
Michael Regan, current secretary for the North Carolina DEQ, was appointed by President Biden to be the new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator. Assuming Regan is confirmed by the U. S. Senate, many North Carolina environmental groups hope this move will bring national attention to PFAS contamination.
According to a January 2021 article, “Denied by Trump EPA, NC activists hope Biden EPA will force ‘forever chemical’ study“, Cape Fear River Watch and other environmental groups hope to resubmit a petition calling for Chemours Co. to fund studies on the long-term effects of PFAS chemicals. The initial petition submitted to the EPA during the final days of the Trump administration was initially denied. That article outlines the EPA’s initial decision to deny the petition, stating:
But the EPA, while stating that its denial “is not based on lack of concern with PFAS,” said the testing for the 54 manmade chemicals that the environmental groups said were manufactured at Fayetteville Works wasn’t necessary because many of the chemicals were already being studied.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other government agencies also are already undertaking a large-scale, multi-site epidemiologic study of communities where PFAS contamination has been found, the EPA noted.
Many environmental groups strongly support Regan’s appointment to be the new EPA administrator since its first announcement in late December. According to the same January 2021 article, “Denied by Trump EPA, NC activists hope Biden EPA will force ‘forever chemical’ study“:
Regan’s selection by Biden to head the EPA received strong support from the environmental community when it was announced in late December….
Regan’s widely acclaimed achievements while head of DEQ include the coal ash cleanup agreement with Duke Energy and the creation of the state’s Environmental Justice and Equity Advisory Board.
We will continue to observe the GenX situation and deliver information on any new findings or resolutions. To learn more about the background and specifics of GenX, you can visit our law firm’s website pages:
- GenX Cancers Overview
- Summary of Information
- Timeline: GenX Contamination of the Cape Fear River
- Timeline: GenX Study Results
- GenX: Cancer Evaluation Form
Written by: Lauren Schwab, Legal Assistant
Law Offices of Thomas J. Lamb, P.A.