DEQ Held A Hearing And No One Came

Jul 19, 2018

This week the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality hosted a public hearing in Wilmington, and nobody came. The meeting was to discuss the clean-up of hazardous materials at a site off Sunnyvale Drive. It’s not uncommon for these hearings to go unattended.

“… And so the memorandum speaks to the history of corrective actions that had been performed at the facility historically….”

Mary Siedlecki is DEQ’s Hazardous Waste Section Project Manager. She’s overseeing the remediation of the former Heatcraft facility. Along with two colleagues, she’s in a conference room at the New Hanover County Public Library with an audience of one. That one would be me.

She says it’s normal for no one to show up for public hearings, with everyone more focused now on GenX and Chemours.

At Heatcraft, the cleanup involves the removal of compounds like Trichloroethylene and 1,4-dioxane. With the final public hearing behind them, it’s time for the next steps in the process.

“We look at and evaluate any comments that have been made and we take them into account in terms of how we want to craft the final remedy. The final remedy in this particular case consist of two different components. There's active remediation that is going to be done on the site property in conjunction with land use restrictions. So one is active, one is passive and they come together as a final remedy.”

Passive refers to the continued groundwater monitoring on the site.

The process is expected to take several years, and according to DEQ will present no health risks to those in the area.