HRA Challenges Greensboro 1,4-Dioxane Pollution

North Carolina Agreement with Greensboro Violates Laws

Greensboro wastewater effluent is discharged to South Buffalo Creek, which flows to the Haw

A legal challenge of the state’s agreement with Greensboro over this toxic pollutant was filed on April 9, 2021 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. Read more at

UPDATE: On July 2 Greensboro notified the state DEQ and downstream that it had found high levels of 1,4-dioxane in treated wastewater from its TZ Osborne Wastewater Treatment Plant. The discharge was into South Buffalo Creek at levels 20 times higher than EPA’s health guidelines. South Buffalo Creek, is a tributary of the Haw River. The Town of Pittsboro was notified, as it is the only municipality in the watershed that uses the Haw as its drinking water source. (Fayetteville, further downstream on the Cape Fear River was also notified.) Preliminary sampling results showed that levels of the likely carcinogen ranged from 543 parts per billion to 687 parts per billion in the wastewater. The EPA’s drinking water health advisory level is 35 parts per billion; in surface water the level is 0.35 parts per billion. Read more in North Carolina Health News

PFAS NEWS: Go to our Industrial Contaminants webpage to read about PFAS contamination in the Haw River, and our ongoing legal action to clean up PFAS discharges from Burlington.

Posted in News