CFPUA was pleased to see NCDEQ’s announcement, sent last Friday, that they are extending the comment period for their proposed consent order with Chemours. Also included in the announcement was a fact sheet addressing some of the concerns CFPUA has raised about the proposal.
We continue to have concerns about the proposed consent order that were not addressed by the fact sheet. They include:
- Our most recent testing indicates levels of certain PFAS compounds that, if we were located near the Fayetteville Works facility, would require Chemours to provide drinking water treatment for affected households. As the water provider for much of New Hanover County, we do not yet have the capability to treat for PFAS compounds and, thus, cannot provide that service for our customers. NCDEQ’s actions to control the source of these compounds have significantly reduced levels in our source water. However, combined levels of certain PFAS still remain above the stated levels in the proposed consent order.
- Work by professors at UNCW have shown sediment contamination may be another significant source of PFAS compounds for downstream users. Sediment contamination is not mentioned in the current version of the consent order. As a result, the ongoing release of PFAs compounds from the sediment may continue to affect drinking water.
CFPUA would like to reiterate that we are not against using a consent order to address this problem. We do believe, however, that the interests of downstream communities should be included in any action taken by the State.
CFPUA was not invited to participate in the creation of the proposed order. As a result, we have submitted our concerns and suggestions through the formal commenting process. We look forward to seeing NCDEQ’s response to all public comments and an improved Consent Order that properly considers drinking water quality in New Hanover County.