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GenX: More Questions Than Answers?

Vince Winkel
Health officials address the media and citizens after Thursday's meeting with Chemours in Wilmington.

New water collection and testing of the Cape Fear River will begin next week. That was one of the results of yesterday’s meeting between Chemours, the company that produces known toxin GenX, and city, county, and state officials. A state investigation by NC DEQ and NC DHHS is now underway as well. 

After the closed door meeting Thursday, local officials met with the media, but Chemours did not.  

Demonstrators chanting “Learn From Flint” stood outside the County Government Center building yesterday, as officials met behind closed doors.

Inside, representatives of the city, three counties, the state health department, the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority, and the department of environmental quality grilled Chemours representatives for answers about GenX.

New Hanover County Commissioner Chair Woody White said after the meeting that Chemours announced it will continue its business as usual.

“Chemours intends to continue to discharge GenX, and is permitted to do so. We have asked that Chemours bring this discharge to zero percent. They have not committed to do so as of yet.”

Also yesterday we learned that Cape Fear Public Utility Authority staff were notified about the presence of GenX over a year ago. Authority chairman Mike Brown said in a news release he is launching an internal investigation into CFPUA communication policies.

In addition, Chemours revealed that since 1980 they have processed vinyl at the Fayetteville site, which creates GenX as a byproduct released in the river.

The chemical’s effect on humans has not been studied in depth.

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