GenX levels rise 16 times above state health goal at Chemours’ Fayetteville site

DURHAM, N.C. (WECT/WNCN) — Levels of GenX were measured at 16 times higher than the recommended health goal at Chemours’ Fayetteville Works site in December.

A news release from the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority on Wednesday stated that GenX, a contaminant released into the Cape Fear River by Chemours, was measured at 2,300 parts per trillion on Dec. 11, 2017, at Chemours outfall 002. The health goal set by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services is 140 ppt.

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“These recent results suggest we cannot rely on Chemours to control discharges from its site,” CFPUA said in the release. “Sweeney Water Treatment Plant is currently unable to filter the compounds from the drinking water, underscoring the importance of strict regulatory action and discharge control at the state level.”

On Dec. 21, 2017, GenX levels were at 740 ppt and on Jan. 11, it was 320.

In November, the state Department of Environmental Quality required Chemours to stop discharging wastewater containing GenX into the Cape Fear River.

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However, CFPUA said a number of spills have been detected through sampling by numerous regulatory agencies and UNCW.

Rep. Ted Davis (R-New Hanover), Chairman of the House Select Committee on River Quality dealing with the GenX issue in the General Assembly, issued this statement regarding the CFPUA release:

I am very concerned. I had already planned to have a presentation and update from the CFPUA, as well as DEQ, at the February meeting of the House River Quality Committee (still working on the date). I will certainly add this incident to the items that will be discussed.”

CFPUA is operating a pilot test to investigate the potential to remove compounds such as GenX from the water and continues its weekly sampling of finished water at the Sweeney plant.

DEQ Secretary Michael Regan could face questions this morning in Durham at the 2018 Environmental Compliance Conference, which begins at 8:30 a.m. The conference gathers the state’s environmental and business leaders who are interested in the latest trends on reform and regulation, according to a press release.

There will also be a GenX information session tonight — the fourth the state has hosted — in Bladen County from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Bladen Community College Auditorium, located at 7418 N.C. Highway 41 west in Dublin.

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