Regulators demand data on possible airborne GenX release
Regulators from the state's environmental agency are asking the chemical company under investigation for releasing unregulated compounds into the Cape Fear River for more data about whether those same compounds were released into the air.Posted — Updated
GenX was designed to replace a toxic and carcinogenic substance called C8 previously used by DuPont, which shed its chemical division Chemours in 2015. GenX is in a similar family of compounds, but the effect of exposure to the chemical – either by air or by water – is mostly unknown.
In an email to WRAL News Monday afternoon, DEQ spokeswoman Jill Lucas said the investigation was "part of a comprehensive look at all potential impacts."
Those impacts included "whether there was the potential for Chemours to emit GenX and other compounds into the air," according to a statement from DEQ Division of Air Quality Director Mike Abraczinskas.
As recently as Wednesday – the day the letter was provided to Chemours – DEQ spokesman Jamie Kritzer said the agency's probe of airborne emissions had been ongoing since June.
Lucas said in an email Thursday morning that she didn't know if anything had changed to trigger the request in the letter, which she said "has been in process."
"(The Division of Air Quality) has been actively engaged in this topic since June," Lucas said. "We have been conducting an internal review and determined that we needed to ask Chemours for additional data on emission of GenX and other emerging contaminants."
Chemours spokesman Gary Cambre said the company is "continuing to work closely with local, state and federal officials to determine the appropriate next steps."
The agency responded by saying it's "focused on results."
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