Town leaders want regional solution to GenX

LELAND, NC (WECT) - Members of the Leland Town Council say they believe a regional solution could be the best way to fix problems associated with GenX and other chemicals in the Cape Fear River.

"This is probably one of the most important regional issues we will have," said Pat Batleman, Leland's Mayor Pro Tem.

Batleman wrote in an email to New Hanover County Commission Chair Woody White on Sunday that the Leland Town Council believes no matter what the best solution to the water crisis is, they want to see local and regional governments working together.

"We have got to work together," Batleman said. "If we start splintering off and do our own thing, then this town and this town, this jurisdiction, that is a hodgepodge splintered mess that we shouldn't have to deal with. The consumer needs to be protected above and beyond anything else."

The council said it was open to looking at bituminous coal filter technology or possible a regional reverse osmosis plant. Batleman stressed the importance of waiting for all of the information on GenX to come out before any decision is made.

"Everybody needs to step back, take a deep breath, and we need those results first and foremost," Batleman said. "Then we need to figure out the best way to handle it."

Batleman said she knows several people support the idea of a reverse osmosis plant after several initial reports said it could help take GenX out of the water.

However, with a $30 million price tag for a plant to service just the customers of H2GO, she thinks the costs could climb too high.

"It's not to say that it wouldn't be a good solution, but who is going to afford it," Batleman said. "One town may be able to afford $30 million, but another town may not."

No matter what the best technology is to fix the issues, Batleman doesn't want the bill to fall into consumers' laps.

"Absolutely, yes, to me that is the first step," she said. "Go to the people who are doing the polluting. They are the ones who should be paying for this, not the consumer."

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