North Carolina chemical plant out of compliance with GenX air permit, state regulators say

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FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina environmental regulators announced this week that a plant that for years discharged so-called “forever chemicals” into the air and water is not currently in compliance with its air permit.

In its letter to Chemours, the Department of Environmental Quality warned that it is preparing an enforcement action against the company’s Fayetteville Works plant in Bladen County, which has been exceeding its GenX air pollution limits for much of 2021, The StarNews reported.

Officials said the company could be facing up to a $25,000 fine per day.

In a statement to the newspaper, Chemours said the site experienced a temporary increase in air emissions this year from one of its carbon adsorption units.

“The issue was quickly resolved when the carbon was replaced in this unit, and emissions returned to their usual low levels,” the statement said. “However, the data results from that one emissions sampling caused an exceedance of the site’s calculated 12-month rolling air emission allowance.”

The company plans to take corrective action to fix the issue in the long term, according to its statement.

The newspaper’s reporting previously showed how Chemours, a spinoff of DuPont Co., polluted the air, groundwater and Cape Fear River with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, a group of man-made chemicals linked to adverse health effects.

GenX, a type of PFAS, has been found in drinking water wells near the plant and also the municipal utility serving the city of Wilmington, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) downstream.

The company has faced lawsuits and a state investigation.

The most recent citation was the company’s third write up from state regulators this year, according to the newspaper.

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