Posted: 3:22 p.m. Friday, Aug. 22, 2014

No arrests in illegal PCB dumping in Charlotte sewer system

By Stephanie Coueignoux

CHARLOTTE, N.C. —

Channel 9 has new information about the investigation into who illegally dumped toxic materials in Charlotte's sewer system.
 
Officials with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Utilities Department believe that case could be connected with several others in South Carolina.
 
Officials in both states are now working together to find the culprits and come up with a plan of action.
 
Between August 2013 and February 2014, PCBs were illegally dumped along the Interstate 85 corridor in Charlotte and Spartanburg, Greenville, S.C., and Lyman, South Carolina.
 
The two PCBs detected in Charlotte were similar to the ones found at the other wastewater treatment plants.
 
 “That caused everyone to believe it was probably from the same source that was occurring,” said Jackie Jarrell with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities Department.
 
So far, police haven't made any arrests in connection with the Charlotte case.
 
Shannon Chapman is a painter who disposes of toxic chemicals every day. He said he can't understand why someone would intentionally contaminate the water supply.
 
“I couldn't sleep at night; I really couldn't. They need to get them,” he said.
 
Charlotte's water supply has been clean for months. The focus is now on the containers that held that water, and contaminated solid waste.
 
Jarrell said because these PCB cases are so rare, they're learning as they go.
 
They've teamed up with their colleagues in South Carolina to create a decontamination plan,
 
"From February until now, we probably sampled about 2 thousand samples." Jarrell said. “We're hoping through that partnership we can also share that with other ones."
 
Charlotte officials said it could take until the end of this year before the plant is completely decontaminated.
 
Last December, authorities arrested a man in connection with the Spartanburg case. We've asked the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department whether he could also be connected in the other cases. A spokesman said he could only tell us this is an active investigation.

CMUD officials also want to stress that the drinking water supply was not affected by the PCB incident.

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