County Manager Dena Diorio and staff from LUESA and the County Health Department spent Sunday with City officials at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities Emergency Operations Center as the investigation into illegal chemical dumping continued.
Below is the very latest information from the City of Charlotte
City Update on Illegal Dumping ActivitiesSunday, February 9, 2014 5:30 p.m. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utility Emergency Operations Center opened 1:00 p.m. today to respond to illegal chemical dumping. On Sunday afternoon, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utility Department (CMUD) officially opened an Emergency Operations Center to respond to the illegal chemical dumping at Mallard Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant and Sugar Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant. MEDIA NOTEAs part of that opening all media calls and inquiries should go to the Joint Information Center (JIC) at 704-432-NEWS (6397). Media are asked not to access plants until scheduled with JIC.Creek AccessAs a precaution, the public is advised to refrain from human and animal contact with Sugar Creek / Little Sugar Creek (Tyvola Road downstream or south to Hwy51 or South Carolina border) until further notice. As a precaution we are advising people to avoid human or animal contact with Mallard Creek and the Rocky River in Cabarrus County until more testing is completed. N.C. water quality officials are aware of the situation and we also are notifying downstream authorities to share this advisory with folks along Rocky River in Cabarrus, Union and Anson counties.Sewer TestingAdvanced testing has confirmed that the substance that entered the Sugar Creek Wastewater treatment plant does not contain PCB as originally suspected. Tests indicate that the substance flowing into Sugar Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant was ethanol, which is typical of a fuel spill. There appears to be no connection between the Sugar Creek and the Mallard Creek incidents. Staff of CMUD are on alert due to the Mallard Creek incident. The substance that entered Sugar Creek had similar characteristics, which led to the public notification at 4:00 a.m. Sunday morning. Testing continues at the Mallard Creek plant and shows continual fluctuations. Drinking WaterThe city drinking water supply was not affected by the incidents at Sugar Creek or Mallard Creek treatment plants. Testing of the water processed for drinking has no PCBs detected. As a precaution additional tests are being taken at all wastewater treatment plants and drinking water treatment plants. Test results take several hours. City officials continue to reiterate that drinking water is safe to drink, bathe and cook with. This incident did not affect drinking water in Mecklenburg County. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Criminal InvestigationGiven the seriousness of this offense, The Mayor and City Manager have authorized the creation of a joint task force to investigate this incident. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department has joined forces with Local, State and Federal agencies in an effort to identify and prosecute those involved in this egregious criminal act. Members of the task force include:• The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD)• The Charlotte Fire Department (CFD)• The Environmental Protection Agency’s Criminal Investigation Division (EPACID)• Charlotte Mecklenburg Utilities Department (CMUD)• North Carolina State Highway Patrol The extent of the offense for unlawfully dumping toxic chemicals can include both State and Federal charges. The most serious of these charges would be a felony State charge of “Dumping of toxic substance” and a felony Federal charge of “Violation of the Clean Water Act”. The public is asked to call CRIMESTOPPERS at 704-334-1600 if you have information that could lead to the apprehension of the person(s) responsible for the illegal dumping.