State holding informational meeting on GenX on Tuesday

By: Staff report

ST. PAULS — The North Carolina Division of Environmental Quality will hold an informational session about its ongoing GenX investigation of the Chemours’ Fayetteville Works facility on Tuesday at the St. Pauls Middle School auditorium.

The public is encouraged to attend the meeting, which begins at 6 p.m.

It will be the fifth informational session and the second in St. Pauls in an effort to provide updates and answer questions about GenX released by the Chemours’ Fayetteville Works facility.

Topics will include drinking-water well sampling results, air- and rainwater-sampling results, fish-tissue sampling results, initial results from a carbon-filter pilot project, alternative water options and surface-water sampling.

The investigation began in Wilmington last summer when a N.C. State University scientist released test results of GenX in the city’s drinking water, which is drawn from the Cape Fear River. The source was quickly traced back to the Chemours facility, which makes GenX for use in Teflon and other products.

Tests of wells at the plant, which is located off N.C. 87 on the Bladen-Cumberland county lines on the Cape Fear River, led to tests of private wells and surface water in an expanding circle from the plant. As it became known that GenX and an earlier version of the chemical, known as C8, travels through the air as well as water, testing began in Robeson County, which is three miles from the plant. The Lumber River basin is one mile from the plant.

Tests of private wells, surface water and a deep well that provides water for the Robeson County Water Department almost all tested positive, and two private wells tested above the state’s recommended safe level of 140 parts per trillion.

A news report by Politico.com about this family of suspect chemicals — known as PFOS and PFOA — indicated that a federal Environmental Protection Agency report that found the chemicals to be much more harmful to humans than previously known was blocked from the public by the White House and the agency. One EPA official called it “a public relations nightmare,” according to Politico.

St. Pauls Middle School is located at 526 W. Shaw St. in St. Pauls. More information about the state’s investigation can be found at: https://deq.nc.gov/news/hot-topics/genx-investigation.

Staff report