© 2024 254 North Front Street, Suite 300, Wilmington, NC 28401 | 910.343.1640
News Classical 91.3 Wilmington 92.7 Wilmington 96.7 Southport
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

GenX: Local Leaders Demand State Support

Vince Winkel
From left: Pender County Commissioner George Brown, Brunswick County Commissioner Frank Williams, New Hanover County Commissioner Woody White, and Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo at Monday's press conference.

This week Gov. Roy Cooper told the EPA to get to work. In a letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, Gov. Cooper asks the EPA to move quickly to finalize its health assessment and set a limit for the unregulated chemical GenX. Meanwhile the EPA earmarked more than $3 million for the NC DEQ to enforce the requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act. This all happened as county and city officials held a press conference on the topic of GenX.  

Despite the recent reports of lower levels of GenX in the river, there were few smiles at the Old County Courthouse when several leaders stepped to the microphone.

“I would like to call for the state immediately to initiate studies that undertake a determination of GenX impact on human health.”

New Hanover County Commissioner Woody White.

He and others demanded that the state take more control and offer more leadership.

“This issue is no longer a Wilmington or Cape Fear regional issue. It’s a state of North Carolina issue. It is likely affecting our tourism and local economy. It may have affected the health of our citizens in some way.”

Brunswick County Commissioner Frank Williams also called on the state for leadership. He was also critical of what he has seen on Facebook, as it relates to GenX.

“It’s in all of our best interests to rely on scientific facts about this as they become available, rather than interpretations that are based on social media posts or headlines that are a little bit out of the world sometimes.”

Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo directed his comments to the EPA.

“Why was it allowed to happen for so many years? I’d like to hear from DEQ, from the EPA, and to get to the bottom of it as quickly as we possibly can.”

It appears that the governor, at least, has been listening.