US EPA Region 4 received a request for assistance from NC DENR DWQ as well as a NRC Report (NRC#917748) on September 14th regarding a release of unknown sludge to Cabin Creek, which is a tributary to Beaver Dam Creek which eventually discharges to the Cape Fear River. The release was reported to NC DENR DWQ on September 10th as a anonymous call. NC DENR investigated the complaint and confirmed the release, as they observed the sludge, collected samples and performed some water quality monitoring. The sample results indicated elevated levels of fecal e-coli and very low dissolved oxygen levels.
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EPA conducted a emergency response and met NCDENR on September 15th. US EPA observed waste water treatment sludge in Cabin Creek at the House of Raeford chicken processing plant. Upstream from the chicken plant had no evidence of sludge. DENR performed D.O. monitoring upstream from the plant, D.O. was above 4 which would be normal. Downstream of the House of Raeford Plant, the D.O. was less than 1, approximately 0.13. US EPA believes that the source of the sludge release is the House of Raeford, based on field observations, location of the sludge and data collected by NC DENR.