County gets update on GenX testing

By: W. Curt Vincent - Bladen Journal

ELIZABETHTOWN — “I feel like we’re in pretty good shape .. considering,” Bladen County General Services Director Kip McClary told county commissioners Monday during an update on the GenX water testing.

McClary said he, along with County Manager Greg Martin and Health Director David Howard, had been in several conference calls with the state requesting assistance with the testing of Bladen County’s water system.

Chemours, an offshoot of the Dupont company that is responsible for releasing the toxic chemical in the area, agreed to test two wells in Bladen County and the county received four additional testing kits.

“We focused on testing wells closer to the Cape Fear River” to determine whether GenX had seeped into the water aquifer, McClary said. he added that the Tobermnory and Live Oak wells had a detection of GenX of 11 parts per trillion — well below the standard of 140 parts per trillion.

“One-hundred and forty (parts per trillion) is where concern starts,” McClary said. “So what we found is a very minimal level.”

He told the commissioners that wells in the Center Road, White Lake and Tar Heel Middle School area had no detection.

Commissioners also heard from Melissa Hill, a county resident who lives near the Dupont plant off N.C. 87 West. She said her res9idential well was test on Sept. 27 and, two days later she was told her well tested positive for GenX and that the water could not be used for cooking, drinking or even brushing teeth.

“They are giving us a case of bottled water per day,” she added.

Hill said she called the CDC and was told they could not provide specific details about the effects of GenX on the body if infected water were even used just for bathing.

“And we’re even hearing that GenX is in the air within a 10-mile radius (of the Dupont plant),” she said. “I’d like to know what will be done for the residents now?”

County Chairman Charles Ray Peterson took Hill’s address and phone number, saying there would be follow up and a response this week.

In other action, the county:

—Approved a lease agreement renewal with Bladen’s Bloomin’/Agri-Industry for office space.

— Presented proclamations for National 4-H Week, Domestic Violence Awareness Month and Mental Health Week.

— Approved a memorandum of agreement for a disaster short-term housing program to be administered through DSS.

— Approved a public hearing over a proposed false-alarm ordinance that would charge for false alarms after the third incident.

— Gave approval for a bid on two foreclosed parcels on Twisted Hickory Road for $5,500.

— Approved an agreement between the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office and the state to offer 40 beds at the new detention center at a cost of $40 per bed — an $18 profit per bed for the county.

The next meeting of the county commissioners will be Monday, Oct. 16, at 6:30 p.m.

W. Curt Vincent can be reached at 910-862-4163 or

W. Curt Vincent

Bladen Journal