“First the good news: A state legislative committee has given unanimous, bipartisan approval to legislation that directly addresses the presence of the chemical GenX and related compounds in the Cape Fear River and in hundreds of wells on property around the Chemours plant on the Cumberland-Bladen county line. The measure was approved by the House Select Committee on River Quality at a meeting Thursday. The full General Assembly is expected to consider the legislation when it meets in a special session Wednesday.

Now the bad news: The bill doesn’t do much. It requires the state Department of Health and Human Services to work with a scientific panel to develop health goals — where to draw the safe/unsafe line on contamination levels. It also directs the state Department of Environmental Quality to study the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit process and to share water quality data with neighboring states. But what about specific action to protect residents in the Cape Fear River Basin from these chemicals, which researchers believe may be cancer-causing? What about measures to reduce the pollution levels in ground water? What about helping two counties get safe water supplies to residents who rightly fear the water that comes out of their faucets? What about epidemiological studies in the affected population to see if there are higher rates of illnesses that may be linked to GenX and other compounds in its chemical family? Nothing.”

Read the full article in the Fayetteville Observer.