GenX Chemours

StarNews

GenX, PFAS and Chemours are part of the lexicon in the Cape Fear region. It’s been that way for two years, since the general public first heard about chemicals in the area’s drinking water supply. In part one of our series, WHQR takes a look at how it started, and where we are today. 

Vince Winkel

The Fayetteville Works plant has been importing GenX waste from a Chemours plant in the Netherlands for at least five years. We learned that last Friday. The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality found out about it 13 months ago. That’s because it’s the Environmental Protection Agency that regulates the import and export of hazardous waste.  

Chemours NL

Chemours in Fayetteville is importing GenX compounds from its facility near Rotterdam in the Netherlands for recycling. And apparently, it’s been going on for several years. In an email to WHQR Friday, the company stated that “Chemours has historically recycled GenX materials from our Dordrecht facility at our Fayetteville Works plant, as well as at a contractor site in Europe, in order to reduce the quantity that is emitted or becomes waste.”

New Hanover County

New Hanover County Commissioners passed a unanimous Consent Order Resolution – as a companion of the original Consent Order agreement between Chemours and the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality

This week participants in a GenX exposure study began receiving their test results. Some 345 New Hanover County residents took part in the study, giving blood, urine, and tap water samples late last year.  The  North Carolina State researchers behind the study are in Wilmington this week to explain the results.

On Thursday in Washington D.C., the House of Representatives held a hearing on perfluorinated chemicals in the environment. GenX is such a chemical. One of the speakers was Emily Donovan of Brunswick County. 

Emily Donovan, the co-founder of Clean Cape Fear, is en route to Washington DC. A House subcommittee invited her speak during a hearing looking into PFAS and GenX contamination in the water supply.  The issue is now receiving more national attention.

Vince Winkel / WHQR Public Radio

The first phase of a North Carolina State University water study on GenX is complete. Nearly every home whose tap water researchers tested last fall showed levels of GenX, and they found other perfluorinated chemicals as well. Meanwhile an environmental group in Washington has released a new map to learn more about bad drinking water across the country. 

The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality has slapped a Notice of Violation on Chemours in Fayetteville. The DEQ notice cites the company’s failure to follow through on directives issued two months ago, in and around the facility.