NC lawmakers to hold legislative hearing investigating GenX


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – North Carolina senators want more answers about the GenX chemical found in the Cape Fear River.

For more than 30 years, Chemours has been dumping GenX into the river.

It’s a toxic byproduct that comes from making chemical coatings.

House Speaker Tim Moore announced Wednesday he will convene a legislative hearing to investigate the discharge.

The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality says they didn’t know about it until this year.

DEQ launched an investigation to see if the chemical compound was adequately disclosed in the company’s permit.

“Companies are required to disclose what they put into our water what we are going to do a better job of is providing a letter of specificity on the level of exposure that we at the state level expect,” explained DEQ Secretary Michael Regan.

RELATED: NC’s environmental agency is taking steps to track what’s in our water

Gov. Roy Cooper asked for more than $2 million to help study and regulate GenX and other chemicals.

A group of senators wrote a letter saying before funding is approved, they wanted some clarification.

They asked when DEQ first found out about GenX, a question CBS North Carolina asked Regan.

“We were notified in June of GenX. In June we started in investigation. In June we began very aggressive monitoring. In June we demanded that the company cease the discharge,” Regan said.

But the governor’s response to the letter says the previous administration found out about GenX in November 2016.

Senators also want to know why DEQ didn’t immediately create state safety standards once they learned it was in the water.

Cooper’s letter says health experts are working on it.

A day or time has not yet been set for the legislative hearing.

In his letter, Cooper said he was ready to engage in a productive dialogue.

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