Gov’t responsible for notifying citizens of contaminated water, McCrory says

Gov. Pat McCrory
RALEIGH, N.C. – Gov. Pat McCrory said Wednesday that a process needs to be in place to notify people that their water may be in danger of contamination.
In October 2011, WNCN revealed dozens of Wake Forest residents were drinking water contaminated with the cancer causing chemical, trichloroethylene. The state failed to warn residents in harm’s way and WNCN uncovered that the contamination is widespread.There are thousands of sites across the state where people could be unknowingly drinking contaminated groundwater, WNCN discovered.”Your story was a clear example of a lack of customer service that was being provided to constituents about the dangers of their water and neighboring water,” McCrory told investigative reporter Charlotte Huffman Wednesday.

McCrory explained that it was clear to lawmakers that a system was not in place to notify customers of potential dangers. He also said homeowners should “take responsibility for finding out what’s in their own water.”

“We’re implementing a process … to educate our customers to take their own responsibility,” McCrory said. “Also a notification process; if there are dangers nearby, we are implementing a process of knocking on people’s doors to let them personally know that there could be danger ahead and they need their water tested.”

House Bill 396, The Private Well Water Education, which resulted from WNCN’s investigation, recently passed the House unanimously. It now awaits Senate approval.

“It is the responsibility of DENR and of government — if we find out that water is contaminated in an area — we need to notify in and around that area of that potential danger and get them to check their own well water,” McCrory said.

McCrory filmed a public service announcement Wednesday at the State Capitol to notify North Carolina residents of the dangers of contaminated water. The PSA will begin airing across the state in the next few weeks.

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