GenX: Gov. Cooper Says No Permit, More Science, More Support

Jul 24, 2017

Governor Roy Cooper says Chemours will have to turn off the faucet. The DuPont spin-off will not get a permit to discharge GenX into the Cape Fear River. Cooper made that vow at a meeting yesterday in Wilmington with local and state officials.

Leaders from the area have been pressing for state help since the Star News first reported on the compromised drinking water supply last month. 

Gov. Roy Cooper began his press briefing yesterday with what the people wanted to hear:

“As you may know, Chemours has applied for a new permit that is pending. I want to make it clear today, that the department of environmental quality is going to deny Chemours’ request ..."

He then outlined a handful of steps the state is taking, such as a public health assessment, engaging the EPA, investing resources to prioritize safe water, and creating a science advisory board.

Department of Health and Human Services secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen says while little is known about GenX, even less is known about all the other chemical compounds in the water. 

“We have even less scientific evidence around some of these other compounds.  We’ve actually combed through the evidence and are not able to set health goals for those, which is why the Governor has asked the CDC for more information.  We want any additional information EPA may have about these emerging compounds. And then use our science advisory board to prioritize. These are he steps we want to put into place moving forward.”

State Representative Deb Butler is hopeful.

“I guess I’ll say I’m surprised at how cooperative and communicative the whole group was.     I’m very pleased to say that it was nonpartisan, in its entirety, there was a strength of unity and force that I haven’t seen locally, much, and so I am very encouraged by that.”

She says that a lot of research remains to be done.