“ST. PAULS — Like the chemical itself, the controversy over GenX is spreading to legislators, regulatory agencies and the courts.
State and local testing of private wells has ended for now, but tests continue on the dispersal of GenX through the air, and into rain, surface water and wildlife.
State and federal lawsuits rising from up and down the Cape Fear River are poised to be filed against DuPont and its spinoff Chemours, the chemical company currently responsible for the manufacture, use and disposal of the chemical suspected of being a health hazard.
‘We were asked to join a federal class action suit, but declined,’ said Patsy Sheppard, whose farm and home in Bladen County adjoin Chemours property. ‘We’ve hired an attorney and plan a civil suit in state court.’
Lawyers, some who were involved in a $300 million settlement against DuPont in the Ohio River valley, are hovering around the former DuPont facility, now owned by Chemours. That suit involved a chemical known as C8, which DuPont replaced with GenX about 10 years ago.
Early this summer, Chemours launched a public relations campaign in which company leaders are telling the public that GenX is safe at far higher amounts than the levels set by the federal Environmental Protection Agency (70 parts per trillion) and the state Department of Environmental Quality (140 ppt).
At a recent public meeting, Chemours Plant Manager Brian Long said he would be comfortable letting his grandchildren drink water with higher levels of GenX in it…
The company, leaders of which have said 700 jobs at stake, has hired its own scientist and is lobbying the North Carolina General Assembly for assistance…
A local meeting with EPA representatives has been promised for some time in August.
Ongoing tests of six home water filtration systems have been successful, but the cost and maintenance of the system is expected to be high. The tests have led some to believe that public water systems could also filter out chemicals like GenX.
Chemours has footed the bill for tests, but with about 300 contaminated wells, filtration systems for all would be costly. State officials say connecting affected homes with public water systems is the long-term solution.
None of the filtration test sites are in Robeson County, said Bill Smith, director of the Robeson County Health Department, which has tested 100 Robeson wells close to the plant. Two Robeson County wells tested above 140 ppt, and one contained a significant amount of another related chemical, known as C8.”
Read the full article by Scott Bigelow