HRA Challenges Agreement Allowing 1,4 Dioxane Pollution in Downstream Drinking Water
North Carolina Agreement with Greensboro Violates Laws
A legal challenge of the state’s agreement with Greensboro over this toxic pollutant was filed today in the N.C. Office of Administrative Hearings by the Southern Environmental Law Center on behalf of the Haw River Assembly
The agreement by state regulators with the City of Greensboro allows increased discharges of cancer-causing 1,4-dioxane from factories that discharge waste water into the city’s sewage treatment plant. That wastewater goes into the Haw River and then the Cape Fear – the drinking water source for nearly one million people – in violation of the Clean Water Act and state water quality laws.
“The state’s agreement gives Greensboro a free pass, putting the interests of the city’s industrial polluters ahead of communities downstream,” said Geoff Gisler, senior attorney at the Southern Environmental Law Center. “The department refused to apply the correct standard, rejected the concerns of Pittsboro and Fayetteville, and allowed more pollution, not less.
Read the Full SELC Press Release
Read the legal complaint HERE
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.