SELC plans to sue Burlington over PFAS, 1,4-Dioxane pollution in drinking water, sludge
DEQ cites Greensboro and Reidsville for illegal discharges of 1,4-Dioxane into Haw River and its tributaries
The Southern Environmental Law Center plans to sue the City of of Burlington for discharging perfluorinated compounds — PFAS — and 1,4-Dioxane from its two wastewater treatment plants into the drinking water supply, unless state regulators intervene first.
Last week, the SELC filed a Notice of Intent to sue the city over alleged violations of the federal Clean Water Act. The SELC is representing Haw River Assembly in its legal action.
The SELC could also sue the city under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), which governs the disposal of solid waste and hazardous waste. Contaminated sludge and biosolids from the city’s wastewater treatment plants is also applied on fields, ostensibly as a soil builder.
Burlington City Attorney David Huffman did not respond to a request for comment.
Although the EPA doesn’t regulate PFAS or 1,4-Dioxane under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, the compounds are subject to provisions of the CWA, which covers rivers, streams and lakes.
Referring to the compounds as “unregulated” can mislead the public into thinking there is no legal way to stop the contamination from entering the waterways.