A high level of a chemical that federal regulators call a likely human carcinogen has once again been discharged into the Cape Fear River Basin.

The city of Greensboro says this latest release of 1,4-Dioxane pollution was discovered early last week.

On November 3, Greensboro's T.Z. Osborne wastewater treatment plant had a high discharge of 1,4-Dioxane to South Buffalo Creek.

It exceeded the level allowed under a special consent agreement between the City of Greensboro and the State Department of Environmental Quality. Some environmental groups are challenging that order. They say it doesn't go far enough to prevent it from happening again.

All of this pollution lands downstream along the Haw River, which is the drinking water source for communities like Pittsboro.

Haw Riverkeeper Emily Sutton says municipalities including the town of Pittsboro weren't notified about the discharge until Monday. She says many municipalities don't have the technology to remove the chemical from drinking water and this latest incident is frustrating.

“This has happened three times since 2019," she says. "And we know that this is going to continue unless they have incentives through penalties or regulatory action to stop these discharges."

Greensboro officials say the 1,4-Dioxane discharge does not affect the city's drinking water supply. City leaders say they are working with state environmental officials and downstream utilities to determine the source of the discharge.

The chemical is used as a solvent in the manufacturing process for textiles, plastics, and other products.

Follow WFDD's  Keri Brown on Twitter @kerib_news

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