Mike Brown, CFPUA Board chairman, will provide two daily updates—one morning and one afternoon—with information on activity surrounding GenX. Updates will be provided each weekday. Below please find Chairman Mike Brown’s morning update on CFPUA environmental counsel’s letter to NC DEQ and the Ogden Park free water station.
1. During yesterday’s meeting with regional leaders, hosted by Governor Cooper and Secretaries Regan and Cohen, CFPUA’s environmental counsel George House was given the opportunity to elaborate on CFPUA’s position relative to the Chemours NPDES permit. Mr. House explained that under the State of North Carolina’s existing regulatory authority, which is supported by Federal case law, Chemours has an obligation to prove that their discharge into the Cape Fear River (in this case GenX and related perflorinated compounds) “shall not render the waters injurious to public health” before they can be legally permitted to put that discharge (i.e. waste) into the river. As such, NCDEQ has a non-discretionary duty to make sure that Chemours provides sufficient information on the compounds being discharged into the river before allowing these substances to be put into the river. This information was provided by Mr. House as a follow up on previous communication sent to NCDEQ and in support of the Governor and NCDEQ’s commitment to not permit the discharge of GenX into the Cape Fear River. It was and is CFPUA’s position that the prohibition within the permit should be expanded to include other related perflorinated compounds, not just GenX. Mr. House agreed to provide a letter to NCDEQ Secretary Regan further outlining the basis for CFPUA’s position, in the hope that it might prove helpful in NCDEQ’s permitting efforts.
2. In yesterday’s news conference, NC DHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen stated that “she would recommend people continue to drink the water.” However, for customers who prefer water from an alternate source, CFPUA is offering free water from a ground source. This water is treated at CFPUA’s nanofiltration plant. On July 13, CFPUA sampled water at this Richardson Nanofiltration Plant—which serves the free water station at Ogden Park—for GenX and it was not detected. This water is supplied by aquifers that have not been affected by Chemours’ discharge of GenX.
Residential CFPUA customers may fill their clean personal containers at New Hanover County’s Ogden Park near the tennis courts at 615 Ogden Park Drive. This is available daily from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
3. CFPUA installed a meter for the Ogden Park free water station on Tuesday, July 18 to give us an idea of how much water is being withdrawn from the station. By Friday, July 21 732.5 gallons had been withdrawn. As of yesterday (Monday, July 24), 1229.4 gallons had been withdrawn. This averages at about 205 gallons per day. To put that number into perspective, the average household of four uses about 266 gallons per day.
4. CFPUA encourages the public to check our website and social media channels for updates as this continues to unfold. We are committed to transparency, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with you through the duration of this process.