HRA’s Successful Legal Action Over Greensboro’s 1,4-Dioxane

Settlement sets better process, public reporting, and reduction of Greensboro pollution

On behalf of the Haw River Assembly, Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) reached a settlement on December 18 with the City of Greensboro and North Carolina regulators that further limits Greensboro’s 1,4-dioxane discharges from it’s wastewater treatment plant, where industries are sending this chemical in their waste stream. HRA was joined by City of Fayetteville in this challenge, who draws their raw drinking water further downstream on the Cape Fear River. The settlement also requires the Department of Environmental Quality to investigate sources of toxic 1,4-dioxane pollution in the Cape Fear River basin, including the Haw River, and report actions it takes to reduce those amounts, including permit limits.

“Without these legal challenges brought by Haw River Assembly and City of Fayetteville, the original order would have allowed Greensboro to continue polluting the Haw River with higher levels of 1,4-dioxane, and with much lower penalties for extraordinarily high discharges,” says Emily Sutton, the Haw Riverkeeper. “The monitoring required under this agreement will identify the industries responsible for these toxic discharges in Greensboro and put the responsibility of safe and clean water on polluters, instead of the downstream users.”

Read the full SELC press release here. Here are links to the Final Settlement and the state’s Amended Special Order by Consent for Greensboro 1,4-Dioxane releases

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