GenX

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. 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 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. 

[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. 

Vince Winkel / WHQR

This week the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority began its own round of tests of water in the Cape Fear River. In light of what’s been happening with GenX, the utility authority is also working on improving its communication with the public. 

Vince Winkel / WHQR

On Monday the Chemours Company confirmed in an email to WHQR News that they have begun the capture of the wastewater stream, and GenX, generated from production at their manufacturing facility in Fayetteville. Meanwhile, water testing of the Cape Fear River continues. 

Join WHQR, Star News, and WWAY for a Public Forum on the GenX water crisis at Kenan Auditorium, Wednesday, June 28, 2017; 7 - 9 PM

OK, this is what my week has been like. I got an email message from someone who had found one of our news stories on the GenX situation in the Cape Fear. Describing himself as an "environmental activist", he had tried to repost it on Facebook but Facebook would not let him do so, and he wondered if we could fix that. I told him that we were all scratching our heads about this, though now I think I have a better idea. Then I started getting more, and lengthier, communications from him. I wrote to him, as I have done with many groups, “I do not participate in decisions about what goes into our news coverage. Please remove me from your mailing list. Thank you.” Well, as the crummy paid ads on the web say, you won’t believe what happened next.

Vince Winkel / WHQR

More than 300 people turned out for a community forum on GenX and drinking water at the Coastline Convention Center on Wednesday. The meeting was organized by Cape Fear River Watch, and featured six panelists on the topic. 

Vince Winkel / WHQR

The Wilmington City Council approved the 2017-18 budget Tuesday. The $217 million fiscal year budget includes a small property tax decrease. Before tackling the budget, the council heard from several speakers on the topic of GenX, which is why close to 200 people crowded into council chambers. 

Vince Winkel

New Hanover County Commissioners adopted a resolution Monday calling on Chemours to stop production of GenX. Brunswick County Commissioners adopted a resolution the same day -- asking Chemours to stop the discharge of the GenX chemical into the Cape Fear River.  That’s largely because  there is still a lot about GenX that we don’t know. It’s all about chemistry. Which means for many of us, it can be somewhat difficult to grasp.

Vince Winkel / WHQR

On Monday the state began taking water samples along the Cape Fear River, to determine the current levels of GenX in the water. The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality will sample water from 12 locations. A lab in Colorado will then do the analysis. Once those levels are determined, scientists hope to determine what, if any, health effects GenX has had or could have on the citizens here.

Vince Winkel / WHQR

New water collection and testing of the Cape Fear River will begin next week. That was one of the results of yesterday’s meeting between Chemours, the company that produces known toxin GenX, and city, county, and state officials. A state investigation by NC DEQ and NC DHHS is now underway as well. 

Vince Winkel

Officials from Chemours, the company that produces GenX, were in Wilmington Thursday for a 90-minute meeting with city, county and state officials. One thing that was exposed was that since 1980, Chemours had a vinyl ether process operating at its Fayetteville Works site up the Cape Fear River from Wilmington. It is a process that produces GenX as a byproduct. After the closed door meeting, local officials met with the media, but Chemours did not.  

Vince Winkel

On Thursday representatives from Wilmington, the counties of Pender, Brunswick and New Hanover, the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority, and the state’s department of environmental quality and department of health and human services, will meet behind closed doors with the Chemours Company. That’s the company behind GenX, a chemical reported to be in the region’s water supply. 

Vince Winkel / WHQR

The chemical compound GenX and the region’s water supply remain on the minds of many. Late Monday New Hanover County officials confirmed a meeting this week to learn more about GenX, and what needs to be done.