Haw Riverkeeper News: 1,4 Dioxane Update

Woman with brown hair, smiling in a river holding glass jars.

The NC Environmental Management Commission met in January to receive an update from state agencies on 1,4 dioxane sampling and levels of ongoing pollution in the larger Cape Fear River basin.

1,4-Dioxane is a likely human carcinogen and has been found in groundwater at sites throughout the United States. The physical and chemical properties and behavior of 1,4-dioxane create challenges for its characterization and treatment. It is highly mobile and does not readily biodegrade in the environment. -EPA technical fact sheet

Most notable, Greensboro’s draft permit, which has not yet been released for public comment, will have final discharge limits of 0.54 ug/L for a monthly average. This is based off of the more protective narrative limit of 0.35ug/L of 1,4 dioxane. We anticipate industrial polluters and regulated entities to push back hard against this permit limit, so we will need as much public engagement as possible to hold this limit. Reidsville, Burlington, and High Point will also have regulatory limits on their permits, which are currently being drafted. The other 13 permits with 1,4 dioxane attention do not include limits, but require monitoring.

The comment period for Asheboro’s draft permit has been extended until January 27th. Southern Environmental Law Center has submitted comments on our behalf, along with our friends downstream at Cape Fear River Watch. The extension comes after submitted comments from the City of Reidsville criticized the agency’s authority to set 1,4-dioxane limits.

“As for substantive matters, the Division’s inclusion of an effluent limitation for 1, 4- dioxane based on a 0. 35 μg/L standard in water- supply waters is arbitrary, capricious, unreasonable, and in excess of the Division’ s and the Agency’ s statutory and regulatory authority.” 

Comments can be submitted to DWRPublicNotices@lists.deq.nc.gov
Additional information on the permit can be found at this LINK. 

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