Monday, November 28, 2022

Chemours exceeds air permit limit for GenX

Several municipalities in southeastern North Carolina have passed resolutions in solidarity with CFPUA to ask NCDEQ to hold Fayetteville Works accountable. (Port City Daily photo /COURTESY GOOGLE MAPS)
Fayetteville Works is home to the Chemours Chemical Company, with an outfall that discharges into the Cape Fear River. (Port City Daily photo /Courtesy Google Maps)

The Department of Environmental Quality has issued a notice of violation to Chemours for exceeding its 12-month limit of releasing GenX, the chemical that kicked off the region’s water contamination crisis.

DEQ allows Chemours to dump 23.07 pounds per year of GenX into the atmosphere. This ceiling was a result of a negotiated 99% reduction in its emissions as part of a settlement agreement. In 2017, the chemical giant released 2,307 pounds of the trademarked and unregulated compound into the air.

In late April, the multi-billion-dollar company submitted its compliance report to DEQ. By late June, officials informed Chemours the company’s calculated methodology was not appropriate. Then in mid-July, Chemours submitted the reworked data, reporting a 12-month GenX emissions total of more than 32 pounds.

The Division of Air Quality also determined Chemours was improperly operating a carbon absorber, which is designed to capture fugitive emissions. Chemours has until Sept. 10 to detail an action plan and respond to the department.

DEQ, Chemours, and Cape Fear River Watch entered into a much-criticized consent agreement in 2019, arriving at a 99% reduction requirement for both air and water pollution emissions.

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