The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) announced Nov. 16 that it was moving to “permanently revoke” the permit for Chemours Co. to discharge its wastewater as the company had “repeatedly failed to follow the law.”
In a letter to the DuPont Co. performance chemicals spin-off, DEQ Secretary Michael Regan said it was “unacceptable” that Chemours had failed to report a spill on Oct. 6, just a month after the company was warned against dumping chemicals in into the Cape Fear River.
The spill came to light in November when DEQ officials questioned Chemours about state water quality results indicating elevated concentrations of GenX at Chemours' primary wastewater discharge outfall.
GenX is a by-product generated from fluoromonomers production at Chemours' manufacturing plant in Fayetteville, N.C. It is feedstock for Teflon and other fluoropolymers.
The revocation of Chemours' permit to discharge process wastewater from its manufacturing areas will take effect after a 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.
DuPont ran the Fayetteville Works facility that produces GenX until 2015, when Chemours was created as a spin-off company.
GenX is used to replace PFOA.
In Europe, Chemours has used GenX instead of PFOA since 2012.The company's main production site for fluoropolymers in Europe is based in Dordrecht, the Netherlands.
To date, the company has been permitted to emit the compound GemX into the atmosphere at this site, although protests against the practice are gathering strength here, as well.