State regulators have cited Chemours for failing to report the spill of a precursor to a potentially harmful chemical last month at its Bladen County plant.
The state Department of Environmental Quality cited the company with violating the conditions of its wastewater discharge permit, according to a statement released by the department Tuesday.
The violation notice includes a demand that Chemours submit information within 10 days about the duration and quantity of the dimer acid fluoride spill and any other chemicals spilled. The company also has to tell regulators about actions it took to stop the spill.
Dimer acid fluoride is a precursor to GenX, according to the statement. GenX has been linked in studies to several forms of cancer in animals, but it isn’t known whether those effects are the same in humans.
Chemours could face a fine for the violation, depending on the outcome of the state’s investigation into the spill, which occurred Oct. 6. The company’s permit requires it to notify the department within 24 hours of any discharge of significant amounts of waste that are abnormal and of any non-compliance that potentially threatens public health or the environment.
Michael Regan, secretary of the department, said in the statement that state officials will take appropriate enforcement action to hold Chemours accountable for not complying with its permit.
“It is both unlawful and unacceptable for a company to fail to report a chemical spill to the state and public as soon as possible,” he said.
Chemours officials did not respond to an email requesting a response to the state action.
State regulators questioned Chemours officials early this month after preliminary data showed elevated concentrations of GenX where the company’s wastewater is discharged into the Cape Fear River, according to the statement. The company admitted that dimer acid fluoride had spilled four weeks earlier from a manufacturing line at the Chemours facility.
State officials say that preliminary test results from water samples in the river near the plant showed concentrations of GenX peaking at 3,700 parts per trillion on Oct. 9. Before the spill, concentrations of GenX in that area were between 35 and 69 parts per trillion, they said.
State officials have set a health goal of 140 parts per trillion.
Staff writer Steve DeVane can be reached at email@example.com or 486-3572.