State not consulted before Chemours offered ‘quick fix’ to tainted well homeowners

The sign at the Chemours facility near Fayetteville (Photo: Jenna Kurzyna/WWAY)
The sign at the Chemours facility near Fayetteville (Photo: WWAY)

SOUTHEASTERN NC (WWAY) — A decision by Chemours to offer granular activated carbon filtration systems to nearby residents with tainted well water was not approved by the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality.

According to a letter NC DEQ Waste Management Director Michael Scott sent to Bladen and Cumberland County residents, DEQ was not consulted by Chemours and that ‘deciding on potential solutions right now is premature without completing the pilot filter study.’

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Scott said the letters sent to residents whose drinking water wells tested above the state’s provisioal health goal of 140ppt for GenX offered a ‘quick fix’ to their water pollution through GAC filtration systems.

Scott said because DEQ is still collecting preliminary data from the pilot filter study, which will continue through July, they cannot recommend specific solutions yet.

Chemours referenced that study and said it proves ‘without a doubt’ that GAC removes GenX and all similar compounds from drinking water.

Scott said the data collected during the pilot filter study will show if the GAC systems are effective in removing GenX from groundwater plus what filter replacement and long-term system servicing needs are a part of the cost of the filter system.

After DEQ staff receives and analyzes the pilot filter study data, they will hold a public information session in late August or early September to discuss its findings and answer questions about the study.

Scott said DEQ does not consider point-of-entry filtration units like GAC filters a long-term solution to the GenX problems in the Fayetteville area.