Gov. Cooper urges EPA to set limits for GenX

RALEIGH, NC (WECT) - Federal officials must set limits for GenX and other contaminants so that North Carolina can permanently control its discharge and protect its drinking water, Gov. Roy Cooper told the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Monday.

In a letter to EPA Administrator E. Scott Pruitt, Cooper asks the EPA to move quicker to finalize its health assessment and set a maximum contaminant level for GenX.

"When we turn on the tap to get a drink, cook a meal for our family, or run a bath for our children, we count on that water to be safe. North Carolina must have your help to make sure the water is safe for millions of our families," Cooper wrote in the letter.

The state's Department of Environmental Quality and the NC Department of Health and Human Services launched an investigation June 14 into the presence of GenX in the Cape Fear River.

While Chemours agreed to stop the discharge of GenX into the Cape Fear River, Cooper said additional action is needed from the EPA in order for North Carolina to be able to permanently require the company to limit or end its discharge of GenX and other unregulated chemicals.

Cooper is asking the EPA to revisit its existing consent order with Chemours to apply to all releases of GenX.

The letter also asks the EPA to use its authority under a federal law that regulates the introduction of new chemicals - the U.S. Toxic Substances Control Act - to examine wastewater emissions more carefully and require multiple health studies for new chemicals.

"The water, health and welfare of the people of North Carolina require your protection now from unregulated emerging contaminants like GenX, and I look forward to working with your agency on this and a variety of water quality issues," Cooper wrote.

Copyright 2017 WECT. All rights reserved.