GenX

Vince Winkel

On Thursday North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper vetoed House Bill 56. That’s the Republican-sponsored environmental bill that includes funding for Cape Fear Public Utility Authority and the University of North Carolina Wilmington to research GenX.  The bill has more than GenX in its sights.

Vince Winkel / WHQR

A partial consent order. That’s what a Bladen County judge approved late Friday between Chemours and the state of North Carolina. The order comes after lawyers for the chemical company and the state spent most of the day behind closed doors. 

North Carolina’s Department of Environmental Quality will suspend the wastewater discharge permit for Chemours… unless the company meets two clear deadlines in the coming weeks. All this, while the state prepares a legal case against the company. 

Vince Winkel / WHQR

The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality this week urged Chemours to stop discharging two additional chemical compounds into the Cape Fear River. EPA scientists told the state they have identified two compounds they are calling Nafion byproducts 1 and 2.

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Tidal Creek Coop and Whole Foods Market are natural competitors...they both sell food and products to health conscious consumers. But this week, Tidal Creek is encouraging everyone-including its members-to go to Wine Down Wednesday at Whole Foods. That's because these two grocers are working together to raise money to purchase and install a Reverse Osmosis (RO) water filtration machine at Dreams of Wilmington. On Wednesday, August 30, 6pm-8pm, Wine Down Wednesday offers 5 food/wine pairing samples at Whole Foods for $5--and all the money is going to this RO project. 

Vince Winkel / WHQR

The Environmental Review Commission of the North Carolina General Assembly now has a decision to make. They met in Wilmington this week, to hammer out plans for the GenX river contamination and its related investigations. The 20-member commission spent almost five hours questioning local officials, and listening to public comment. 

Vince Winkel

A crowd gathered on 3rd Street at City Hall in Wilmington Saturday morning, to rally against GenX in the water and against Chemours. It came the last day that environmental activist Erin Brockovich and her film crew were in town. Brockovich missed this last scheduled event, where she was to speak, however others spoke loud and clear about this water crisis.

Vince Winkel / WHQR

Environmental activist Erin Brockovich is in town this week. She’s here to talk about GenX, and has brought a film crew of 15 with her to document her efforts. Last night, she spoke at UNCW’s Lumina Theater.  The forum was short on science, and long on cheerleading.

Tonight, UNCW’s Lumina Theater will play host to a panel discussion on GenX and the other unregulated chemical compounds in the area water supply. Speakers include Erin Brockovich and her colleague Robert Bowcock. Other panelists who had been slated for the event decided in the last few days not to participate.  

Vince Winkel / WHQR

140 parts per trillion. That’s the number used by North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services, in regards to the health goal for GenX in the water supply. That goal represents the concentration of GenX at which no adverse non-cancer health effects would be anticipated. 

Vince Winkel / WHQR

Congressman David Rouzer met with New Hanover County and Wilmington city officials today, to discuss issues that impact the area and the country. At the top of the list for the Republican from North Carolina’s 7th District is opioid addiction. 

NCCF

The latest test results are in from the state’s Department of Environmental Quality. On Wednesday the DEQ reported that concentrations of GenX in finished drinking water from the Cape Fear River continue to be below the state’s public health goal. 

GenX and the water has been burned into Wilmington’s consciousness for almost two months now. State and local agencies continue to test and analyze the region’s water supply. The Environmental Working Group, a Washington, D.C.–based non-profit, non-partisan organization focused on health and the environment, just released a drinking water database. It includes data from the Cape Fear region.

The state of North Carolina is now committing resources to support the Cape Fear Region in the challenge of GenX, and toxic discharges into the river. Governor Roy Cooper detailed that commitment during his Monday visit. He also mentioned a criminal investigation into Chemours, the company responsible for the chemicals in the water supply. However, it is not an investigation yet.

Brett Cottrell, New Hanover County

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.

Governor Roy Cooper says Chemours will not get a permit to discharge GenX into the Cape Fear River.  That promise came at a meeting this morning 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.

Governor Roy Cooper will be in Wilmington Monday, to discuss how the state can help with the GenX situation. It’s been almost seven weeks since the public first learned about the discharge of GenX and other chemical compounds by the Chemours company, in the Cape Fear River.  

WHQR, StarNews, and WWAY sponsored a public forum at Odell Williamson Auditorium to explore persistent questions about the fluorochemical load in the Cape Fear River -- which is much of southeastern North Carolina's drinnking water supply.

Vince Winkel / WHQR

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.  

Vince Winkel / WHQR

State officials are releasing the first results of water quality samples and an updated preliminary health assessment for concentrations of the unregulated compound GenX in finished, or treated, drinking water. Samples were analyzed at the U.S. EPA lab in Research Triangle Park, and at Test America, a lab in Colorado under contract to Chemours. The latest results mirror those from the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority, with levels in the 68 to 125 parts per trillion range. Is that cause for celebration? Not so fast.

WHQR invites you to a public forum on the GenX water issue Wednesday night, July 19th from 7 - 9 PM at Odell Williamson Auditorium.  The StarNews, WWAY, and HQR News will pose your questions to a panel of experts. You can also listen live, on 91.3 FM, WHQR. 

Vince Winkel / WHQR

State officials late Friday released their first results of water quality samples and an updated preliminary health assessment for concentrations of the unregulated compound GenX in finished, or treated, drinking water.  

Vince Winkel / WHQR

This week the GenX numbers began to filter in. Cape Fear River water test results from Brunswick County, and from the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority, show far lower concentrations of the chemical compound in both raw and treated water. The news is encouraging but many questions remain.

Vince Winkel / WHQR

Brunswick County has received the test results of the county’s raw and treated water from the Cape Fear River. It shows levels of GenX that are very different from those reported in a study from 2013 and 2014. 

Vince Winkel / WHQR

The new organization Clean Cape Fear held its second “Water Wednesday” event Wednesday evening  at the Coastline Convention Center. They met to discuss communicating the news of GenX and other compounds in the water supply, to the poor and otherwise underserved people of the region. About 145 people were in attendance.

Vince Winkel / WHQR

Chemours and GenX. A month ago, most people in the region probably had not heard either word. Since June 7, that’s changed. Water is being tested by the state, the EPA and the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority, as citizens are buying a lot more bottled water. 

Friday Feedback for June 30, 2017

Jun 30, 2017

[AUDIO CLIP]

This is Janice. . . Regarding your promo for Mrs. Rivenbark, where she brags that she is paid to be a smartass: the choice would be better to be “smart-aleck”. If she chooses to be common and trashy that is her choice, but it is not in profile with WHQR. Thank you very much.

Listener Caroline wrote last week:

Our area experienced outages today that affected internet, cable tv and cell phones. It was very disconcerting to be completely out of touch with the rest of the world for several hours. . . As a regular listener to WHQR I was very disappointed that the station made no public service announcements or addressed it any way.

Vince Winkel / WHQR

GenX is an emerging contaminant – a chemical compound that is both product and byproduct in this story. 

Vince Winkel / WHQR

One of the questions emerging from the GenX story we are covering relates to cancer rates in the region. GenX is the chemical compound first reported to be in the Cape Fear River and drinking water supply three weeks ago by the Star News. On Thursday we got an answer about cancer rates from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. 

Citizens from in and around Wilmington packed UNCW’s Kenan Auditorium Wednesday night to get answers from a panel of experts about the GenX water crisis. 

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