GenX

Vince Winkel

Two bills aimed at GenX and emerging contaminants passed their first readings in Raleigh today.  Democrats and Republicans from the Cape Fear region sponsored two different versions – both filed last Thursday. 

The Southern Environmental Law Center – or SELC -- says the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality should shut down Chemours, and they should do it now. On behalf of Cape Fear River Watch, the SELC recently told DEQ they have the power and legal authority to take that step. 

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. 

Vince Winkel

The first results from North Carolina State University’s testing of tap water in the region have been released. The purpose of the study:  to assess current exposure to GenX and related chemicals in people living in the Lower Cape Fear River Basin. Tuesday night researchers explained what was found in samples from 198 homes of New Hanover County residents.

CFPUA

The Cape Fear Public Utility Authority has submitted its final report to the Environmental Review Commission, per the requirements of House Bill 56. That legislation appropriated funds to CFPUA and the University of North Carolina Wilmington to study which treatment techniques would remove GenX and other contaminants from the public water supply. 

The Wilmington City Council is throwing its support behind Cape Fear Public Utility Authority’s request to stop production at Chemours’ Fayetteville Works plant.  The resolution, directed to the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, asks regulators to require the company to stop all operations that produce perfluorinated compounds like GenX.  The resolution is not binding, but does send a message.

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. 

Four Republican Senators in North Carolina have introduced new legislation, to make available a network of scientists and other resources, to focus on water quality in the state. Senator Michael Lee of New Hanover County says the bill creates no additional cost to taxpayers. 

Vince Winkel / WHQR Public Radio

Residents who live near Chemours’ Bladen County plant are angry.  North Carolina state officials held their fourth community meeting last week at Bladen Community College in Dublin.  More than 150 people showed up.   

CFPUA

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.  

Cape Fear Public Utility officials say they can no longer trust Chemours to control discharges from its site.  

In a statement issued early Wednesday evening, officials say North Carolina’s Department of Environmental Quality informed CFPUA that as late as December, regulators measured levels of GenX in the Cape Fear River near the plant at 2,300 parts per trillion.  That’s far higher than the established human health goal of 140 parts per trillion.

1,4- Dioxane is in the Cape Fear River and in the drinking water supply. It’s also classified by the Environmental Protection Agency as “likely to be carcinogenic to humans” by all routes of exposure. As part of our continuing coverage of local water contamination, WHQR takes a look at 1,4-Dioxane in this edition of What’s in the Water? 

It’s well documented that there are a lot more questionable compounds in the Cape Fear River than GenX.  Two of those as-yet-unregulated compounds:  Nafion byproducts 1 and 2.  As part of our continuing coverage of local water contamination, WHQR takes a look at these byproducts in this edition of What’s in the Water?

House Bill 189 made it through the House late Wednesday, freeing up funds focused on the GenX and emerging contaminants problem. It now goes to the Senate, where its future is not so bright.

Vince Winkel / WHQR Public Radio

North Carolina’s House unanimously passed House Bill 189 late Wednesday.  The bill, titled “Short-Term Response to Emerging Contaminants”, would free up funds to support research and look for solutions to the GenX problem. It now goes to the Senate. 

A North Carolina state committee plans to address the growing threat of GenX and other “emerging contaminants” in the Cape Fear River through legislation on Wednesday.  The legislation does not include any additional funding, and that isn’t sitting well with the environmental community.

Vince Winkel

ON JUNE 8, LIFE CHANGED IN WILMINGTON.

THAT’S THE DAY PAGE ONE OF THE STARNEWS DECLARED “TOXIN TAINTS CFPUA DRINKING WATER.”   

GenX is in the local drinking water supply – albeit at significantly lower levels than six months ago.  What kind of impact that has had or could have or will have on the people who drink the local water is still unclear. 

StarNews

North Carolina State officials have ordered Chemours to provide bottled water to more well owners near the company’s Fayetteville Works facility. The move comes after another round of testing shows higher levels of GenX in the wells. 

Vince Winkel / WHQR Public Radio

Some revelations came out of yesterday’s meeting of the North Carolina Secretaries’ Science Advisory Board held at UNCW.  One of them:  the reconsideration of the GenX 140 parts per trillion health goal set by the Department of Health and Human Services this summer. The other involved food.

Vince Winkel / WHQR Public Radio

The North Carolina Science Advisory Board is holding meetings today at UNCW.  Members are discussing the Cape Fear River and emerging contaminants that are not regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency. There’s also an interim report on GenX.

Chemical Company Chemours in Fayetteville is now ordered by the Department of Environmental Quality to provide even more bottled water.  Test show a growing number of tainted wells near the company’s plant along the Cape Fear River. 

Vince Winkel / WHQR Public Radio

North Carolina’s Department of Environmental Quality today alerted county health and public water systems in the lower Cape Fear region to another spike in GenX concentrations in the river. 

The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality announced today it has cited Chemours with violating the conditions of its wastewater discharge permit.  The move comes after the company failed to report an October 6 chemical spill at its Fayetteville Works facility on the Cape Fear River.  UPDATE: The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality began the process Nov. 16 of revoking the discharge permit for Chemours’ Fayetteville Works facility. 

Debbie Aitken

Lawsuits against Chemours and parent company DuPont are starting to roll in. Leland resident Victoria Carey filed a class action lawsuit against DuPont and Chemours last week after discovering GenX in her water heater. Chemours is the maker of GenX, the contaminant found in the Cape Fear River, which provides the raw water the CFPUA and the Brunswick County Utilities Department uses for drinking water. 

Vince Winkel / WHQR

House Bill 56 is now law. That means UNCW and the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority get $435,000 in state funding to address GenX contamination in the water. The bill got though after the North Carolina General Assembly overrode Gov. Roy Cooper's veto of the bill. But what about the $2.6 million the Governor had requested for two state agencies to work on the GenX issue? 

Vince Winkel / WHQR

North Carolina state officials are ordering Chemours in Fayetteville to provide bottled water to seven more well owners after tests results came back for GenX. Those results, show the chemical compound above the state health goal in residential drinking wells.

Vince Winkel / WHQR

The New Hanover County Commissioners are split along party lines over House Bill 56. And they’re going public with that split.  The bill contains $435,000 in extra funding for the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority and UNC Wilmington to study, clean up, and monitor the chemical 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. 

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