Chemours: Permit suspension, revocation ‘unwarranted’
WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A day after the state announced plans to revoke Chemours’ permit to discharge process wastewater from its Fayetteville Works plant, the company says it disagrees with the move.
“We believe the NC DEQ’s stated intention to suspend and revoke the process wastewater discharge permit for Fayetteville Works is unwarranted,” the company said in an emailed statement to WWAY.
Yesterday the NC Department of Environmental Quality announced today it is moving to revoke Chemours’ permit to discharge process wastewater because the company failed to comply with its permit and failed to report an October spill.
In addition to moving to revoke Chemours wastewater permit, DEQ officials also notified Chemours the state will suspend its permit to discharge process wastewater from its manufacturing area including the areas where GenX and other fluorinated compounds are produced. The suspension will take effect Nov. 30. Chemours is still required by the state to divert wastewater containing GenX and transport it out-of-state for disposal.
“The [c]ompany has worked in good faith to cooperate fully with all of DEQ’s requests, including capturing all wastewater they have previously requested that we capture,” the Chemours statement continued. “While we do not believe there is a legal basis on which to suspend or revoke the permit, we will accept the (Division of Water Resources’) invitation in its letter that we meet with them and look forward to discussing a path forward. We remain committed to operating this facility, which employs hundreds of North Carolina residents, in accordance with all applicable laws and in a manner that respects the environment and public health and safety.”
The revocation of Chemours’ permit to discharge process wastewater from its manufacturing areas will take effect after the required 60-day notice to Chemours and public participation in the permit process. The revocation does not apply to process wastewater from Kuraray and Dupont facilities that is treated and discharged by Chemours under the wastewater discharge permit.
Earlier this week, DEQ cited Chemours with violating the conditions of its wastewater discharge permit because of the company’s failure to report the Oct. 6 spill. The spill came to light one month after it occurred when DEQ officials questioned Chemours about state water quality results indicating elevated concentrations of GenX at Chemours’ primary wastewater discharge outfall.
Chemours wastewater discharge permit requires that DEQ be notified within 24 hours of any discharge of significant amounts of waste that are abnormal in quantity or characteristic, as well as any non-compliance that potentially threatens public health or the environment.
DEQ determined that Chemours’ violation of the reporting requirements in the permit following the Oct. 6 spill are sufficient basis for the revocation of the permit to discharge process wastewater. DEQ will continue to collect and test water samples from the Cape Fear River including at the Chemours outfall.