Chemical company agrees to foot water sampling and testing costs
WILMINGTON — Less than a week after reports first emerged that an unregulated chemical had been found in the Cape Fear River, state officials have launched a formal investigation into the matter, according to a N.C. Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) release sent late Wednesday.
While DEQ officials work with chemical giant Chemours to discover how the compound in question, GenX, is entering the river and how it could be stopped, the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services is trying to grasp what effects it might have on humans, according to the release.
GenX belongs to a family of chemicals known as fluorochemicals, a group of man-made chemicals that also includes C8, the chemical it replaced. DuPont and spin-off company Chemours ceased production of C8, also known as PFOA, in the face of steadily mounting legal challenges and a body of research indicating dangerous health effects.
The DEQ release came on the eve of a meeting between Chemours, which makes GenX at its Fayetteville Works plant, and state and federal officials.
“We are seeking answers and solutions to a problem that has prompted understandable concern among citizens who live and work in Wilmington and the lower Cape Fear region,” Michael Regan, the DEQ secretary, said in the release.
Researchers have on three separate occasions discovered GenX in the Cape Fear River — including in the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority’s (CFPUA) intake.
State officials will replicate that process by collecting samples from the Cape Fear…
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