Yesterday, CFPUA reached out to Secretary Michael Regan of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ), Secretary Mandy Cohen of North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) and Governor Roy Cooper, asking for guidance from the State as we move forward with our pilot study at the Sweeney Water Treatment Plant.
As the pilot study of Granular Activated Carbon and Ion Exchange technologies reaches its final stage, CFPUA will begin to consider potential upgrades to the Sweeney Plant. Typically, plant expansions and upgrades are designed to achieve certain “treatment goals”—levels of compounds in drinking water that have been deemed safe and protective of public health. For regulated compounds, treatment goals are the compliance standards set by the State and EPA. For unregulated compounds such as GenX, however, regulatory standards do not exist and health data may be limited or non-existent.
As CFPUA moves forward to address the issue of emerging contaminants, we asked for guidance from the State in determining treatment goals for per-fluorinated compounds.
NCDHHS responded quickly and, this afternoon, CFPUA staff participated in a call with Deputy Secretary for Health Services Mark Benton, State Health Director Betsy Tilson and Chief of Epidemiology Zack Moore. NCDHHS staff updated CFPUA on their ongoing discussions with their partners at the Environmental Protection Agency, and gave assurance that they will continue to provide CFPUA and the public with new information as this process evolves and progresses.
CFPUA expects the pilot study to conclude this spring. We will continue to work with our partners at the State, and locally, to ensure that future recommendations are based on the best available science and public health expertise.
We have received new results for February 28 from our on-going GenX testing at the Sweeney Water Treatment Plant. Levels of GenX continue to remain below the DHHS health goal of 140 parts per trillion (ppt).