GenX: CFPUA Says Don't Trust Chemours

Feb 1, 2018

The Cape Fear Public Utility Authority is not happy with Chemours. Utility officials said this week they can no longer trust Chemours to control discharges from its site. That’s because they just learned regulators measured levels of GenX in the Cape Fear River near the plant at 2,300 parts per trillion…  far higher than the established human health goal of 140 parts per trillion.  

The water sample was taken December 11, at an outfall from Chemours on the Bladen – Cumberland county line. The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality reports it showed GenX at more than 16 times the level of the Department of Health and Human Services’ public health goal.

The CFPUA didn’t like that.

“We believe that there needs to be controls to keep these levels of GenX from getting into the source water for hundreds of thousands of people.”

Jim Flechtner is executive director of the CFPUA.

“Our approach remains the same. That’s to continue pilot testing filter media, to determine whether we can change our treatment processes at our water plant, to filter some or all of the compounds such as GenX from the water. And continue to work with the UNCW researchers to understand not just the GenX levels but what else is in the river that we as a utility need to know about and be concerned about when providing drinking water to our customers.”

Meanwhile the utility has just launched another effort. Flechtner says the new “Public and Environmental Policy Department” is focused solely on dealing with the environmental issues that not just the utility is facing, but that the region as a whole is facing and in particular water quality.