WILMINGTON, NC—June 16, 2017: This morning, the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority (CFPUA) Board of Directors held a meeting to discuss next steps and take action on the presence of GenX in the Cape Fear River.
During the meeting, the Board unanimously passed two resolutions (see below): the first calling on Chemours to remove the compound entirely from the Cape Fear River, and the second allowing CFPUA to take legal action should this request not be honored.
The CFPUA believes it is notable that the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) and the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ) agree that the levels of GenX in the Cape Fear River pose a low risk to human health. Their estimates are based on available published research on the levels of GenX detected in 2013-2014. GenX, however, is still an unregulated, emerging compound about little is known.
“We believe that the EPA and NCDEQ have tools in their toolbox and the authority required to compel Chemours to stop discharging into the Cape Fear River, and we are respectfully asking them to do so immediately for the litany of valid reasons listed within the resolution,” said CFPUA board chairman Mike Brown. “We also call on state and federal regulatory agencies to close any loopholes that may allow them to release the chemical into the water.”
The Board also agreed to Brown’s request for a third-party, independent review of CFPUA’s involvement in, timeline and communication about the North Carolina State University’s study confirming the presence of GenX in the Cape Fear River.
Robin Smith, an environmental attorney and former assistant secretary for the environment for the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources (now NCDEQ), will lead the independent, third-party internal review, with assistance from Jennifer Adams, a chemical engineer and CFPUA Board co-chair. The review officially began at the conclusion of the meeting.
“On behalf of the CFPUA, I assure you that we as a Board are taking proactive steps to get to the bottom of this issue, and are committed to 100-percent transparency. Following a swift and thorough review, the Board will report all findings directly to the public,” said Brown.
CFPUA encourages the public to check our website and social media channels for updates as this continues to unfold.