Notify Residents Exposed to Cancer-Causing Chemicals by Water Treatment Plants

Target: Michael S. Regan, Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality

Goal: Set requirements for water treatment plants to notify downstream towns of toxic waste.

The health and safety of millions in North Carolina was recently jeopardized by the discharge of large amounts of a toxic chemical into the Cape Fear River, a major regional source of drinking water. 1,4-Dioxane, strongly suspected to be a carcinogen, is used for numerous industrial applications, including as an automotive coolant. Concentrations found 170 miles away from the spill site were found to be 18 times higher than the lifetime cancer risk of 1,4-Dioxane.

The discharge was known to officials at the plant where it occurred, but they made no attempt to warn communities downriver of the danger because there is no legal requirement for them to do so.

As environmental regulations are stripped back across the country, it is vital that change begin with local problems like this one. To demand that lives are protected from environmental dangers in North Carolina, sign the petition below.


Dear Secretary Regan,

The release of a potentially deadly toxic chemical into the Cape Fear River is a catastrophe. However, the fact that managers of Greensboro’s TZ Osborne wastewater treatment plant were under no obligation to warn their neighbors of the threat to their health is a gross injustice.

You have a duty to protect the people of North Carolina from any and all environmental threats and dangers. I demand that you carry out this duty and require water facilities warn neighboring communities when toxic substances are released into their drinking water.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Bud Davis, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

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