State News

NC testing Cape Fear River for unregulated chemical GenX

Posted June 19
Updated August 10

Cape Fear River

— North Carolina's environmental agency says it's collecting new samples to determine how much of an unregulated industrial chemical is entering a river that supplies water to hundreds of thousands of people.

The state Department of Environmental Quality said in a news release Monday it will test for the chemical compound GenX at 13 locations along the Cape Fear River over the next three weeks. The product is made in Bladen County by Chemours, which split off from DuPont.

Test samples collected three years ago detected the chemical in the water supply for southeastern North Carolina at levels considered to pose a low risk to humans.

Chemours on Tuesday said they would capture, remove and safely dispose of the wastewater that contains GenX from the Cape Fear River, but the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services will continue to investigate the issue.

But there's little data about the relatively new chemical's health effects. There are no U.S. regulatory guideline levels for GenX.

Chemours will pay for the testing.

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