1,4-dioxane in Greensboro

South Buffalo Creek receives wastewater from Greensboro’s TZ Osborne treatment plant. The creek flows into the Haw River, a drinking water supply for the Town of Pittsboro. In turn, the Haw empties into Jordan Lake, which feeds the Cape Fear River. (Photo: Lisa Sorg)

Public hearing scheduled for revised Special Order by Consent (SOC) for 1,4-dioxane discharges

The NC Department of Environmental Quality will hold a remote public hearing on December 9th, 2020 about a Special Order of Consent to correct the City of Greensboro’s illegal discharges of 1,4-Dioxane into the downstream drinking water supply. Written comments can be submitted until Dec. 14 to DEQ at publiccomments@ncdenr.gov 

Because of the level of public interest, the hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 9, on a proposed Special Order by Consent (SOC) for the City of Greensboro’s T.Z. Osborne Wastewater Treatment Plant discharge permit.

Go to this link to sign up (deadline is by 12 noon on Dec. 9) to speak: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=3IF2etC5mkSFw-zCbNftGRcM2xmuszROiks3JDQp2_RUOE83MDlQTDA5VUxHUFNDOTQzR0tDMElYUC4u Public Hearing Date and Location: Wednesday, December 9, 2020 at 6:00 PM via Webex. Participants can join the meeting starting at 5:45 PM.

The proposed order addresses issues related to the discharge of elevated levels of 1,4-dioxane from the wastewater treatment plan to South Buffalo Creek in the Cape Fear River Basin. 1,4-dioxane is an emerging compound that EPA has identified as a likely human carcinogen. Link to article.

Read FAQs about this issue and the Haw Riverkeeper’s talking points.

Last year, NCDEQ issued Notices of Violation against Greensboro and Reidsville regarding 1,4 Dioxane discharges from their wastewater treatment plant.

The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality issued notices of violation for the municipalities of Reidsville and Greensboro for their releases of the toxic compound 1,4-Dioxane into the Haw River basin earlier in the summer and fall of 2019. 1,4-dioxane is used for a wide variety of industrial and manufacturing purposes. It causes liver and kidney damage and likely causes cancer.  The spike of 1,4-dioxane on the Haw River was present downstream in Pittsboro’s drinking water supply. Read the full press release from HRA  HERE.