Local officials support NCDEQ’s response to Chemours for greater community protections

Posted March 2, 2022 at 4:48 pm     Category: County CommissionersNews ReleasePublic Health

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – Today, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) sent a letter to Chemours, directing them to expand the scope and detail of their proposed interim sampling and drinking water plan for New Hanover, Brunswick, Columbus, and Pender counties.

“We appreciate NCDEQ’s response back to Chemours today and that they listened to our concerns here in New Hanover County,” said Board of Commissioners Chair Julia Olson-Boseman.

In February, the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners and Public Health Director David Howard sent letters to NCDEQ expressing concerns about Chemours’ well water sampling plan and advocating for greater protections.

“The revisions they are requiring for Chemours’ sampling plan in New Hanover County will help ensure our residents receive similar protections as those close to the plant who are already under the consent order,” continued Olson-Boseman. “It’s what our community deserves, so this is a positive step forward.”

Cape Fear Public Utility Authority (CFPUA) Board Chairman Wesley P. Corder shared, “The proposal Chemours offered on February 1 to assess and remedy its PFAS contamination of New Hanover County’s groundwater was wholly inadequate. We appreciate the diligence of the leadership and staff of New Hanover County and NCDEQ in insisting that Chemours start owning up to its responsibilities to the residents of New Hanover County.”

According to NCDEQ, they have identified seven areas in which the interim sampling and drinking water plan is deficient and are requiring Chemours to submit a revised plan within 30 days. The revisions must include, but are not limited to:

  • Expanding eligibility criteria of private wells to be sampled.
  • Starting sampling within 45 days.
  • Directly contacting eligible private well owners.
  • Using a data-driven approach to broaden private well sampling, not limited to 200 per county and not limited to residents who have requested sampling.
  • Including other property types for sampling where a private well is used as the primary source of drinking water, including schools, day care centers, churches, mobile home parks and others.
  • Providing bottled water to impacted residents within three days of receipt of sampling results and providing replacement drinking water supplies as required in Paragraphs 19 and 20 of the Consent Order.
  • Describing a proposed step-out or other approach to drinking water sampling based on the received results.

More details from NCDEQ and their response letter can be viewed here.

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