Chemours cited for violation over failure to rein in GenX emissions

By: - August 26, 2021 3:26 pm

The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality today cited Chemours with a Notice of Violation for exceeding the facility-wide GenX annual air emissions limit as laid out a 2019 Special Order By Consent.

Under the stringent emissions requirements in the facility’s air permit, Chemours emit no more than 23.027 pounds per year of GenX, a type of toxic perfluorinated compound, also known as PFAS. This limit equates to a 99% percent reduction from GenX emissions in 2017.

In March, Chemours filed a quarterly report showing the company had complied with emissions limits, releasing just over 22 pounds of GenX on a rolling 12-month basis. However, Division of Air Quality officials found that the methodology Chemours had used to calculate the emissions was “inappropriate,” according to a letter sent to the company.

When Chemours recalculated the emissions, it found that as of June 30, it had actually released 32.024 pounds of GenX — a 40% overage. The figures are based on rolling 12-month totals for March, April, May and June.

Division of Air Quality officials also determined that the exceedances stemmed from the improper operation and maintenance of a carbon adsorber, equipment that is supposed to capture GenX.

In response, Chemours requested a meeting with division officials to discuss the preferred methodologies and compliance measures.

The Notice of Violation issued today requires Chemours to submit a written response to DAQ by Sept. 10, including a timeline of events leading to the exceedance and a detailed plan of action for compliance.

Although the department did not fine Chemours today, it could still do so. Earlier this year, DEQ fined the company $200,000 related to PFAS and water quality violations.

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Lisa Sorg
Lisa Sorg

Assistant Editor and Environmental Reporter Lisa Sorg helps manage newsroom operations while covering the environment, climate change, agriculture and energy.