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Gov. Cooper Addresses GenX, Cape Fear River

Vince Winkel

This morning, New Hanover County released a statement from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, on the possible health effects related to GenX. It says that GenX levels detected in tests three years ago in the Cape Fear River, would be expected to pose a low risk to human health. It added that there are no U.S. regulatory guideline levels for GenX. Also on Tuesday, Gov. Roy Cooper addressed the issue.

Today’s statement from the state’s department of health and human services did little to answer questions about GenX in the region’s water supply. That’s because there is still little known about this compound being discharged in the waters upstream from Wilmington.

City and County officials hope to get more answers on Thursday. That’s when they meet with the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality and the Chemours Company – the firm discharging GenX into the river.

“The question I hope to pose in plain and simple terms to this company is, is our water safe to drink – yes or no.”

That’s New Hanover County Commissioner Chairman Woody White.

“This company, which has a history, good and bad the record would reflect, of compiling and accumulating data, about things that it makes and disperses into the environment, has scientific data. If they come here and share that and quells our concerns then that’s a very positive thing. If they don’t, then it’s going to be a very serious matter.”

Also today, Gov. Roy Cooper emailed a statement to WHQR, saying that clean water is a necessity for families and businesses in the Cape Fear region. He added that he has asked the Department of Environmental Quality to work with the Department of Health and Human Services and local officials to get to the bottom of this issue, and to demand answers from the EPA and Chemours.