New Hanover Co. Board of Commissioners chairman sends letter to Gov. Cooper

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - In a letter sent Thursday afternoon, New Hanover County Board of Commissioners Chairman Woody White had several questions about GenX water contamination for Gov. Roy Cooper prior to Cooper's visit to the region next week.

In coordination with Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo, Brunswick County Board of Commissioners Chairman Frank Williams and Pender County Board of Commissioners Chairman George Brown, White first thanked Cooper for joining a conference call that was held Monday and for agreeing to come to Wilmington next Monday to discuss GenX, an unregulated chemical that was discharged into the Cape Fear River by the Chemours Company at its Fayetteville Works site.

Cooper sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency on Monday calling for the agency to move quicker to finalize its health assessment and set a maximum contaminant level for GenX in the water.

White asked several direct questions of Cooper in his letter, saying he and the other county commissioners didn't have an opportunity to discuss some specific concerns during the conference call.

Among the questions were:

  • Will the state immediately initiate studies on the human health effects of GenX?
  • Are state regulators going to determine if, and at what levels, PFOA-related compounds and/or emerging contaminants beyond GenX have been discharged into the Cape Fear River dating back to 1980?
  • Was it illegal for companies like DuPont and Chemours to discharge these compounds into the river?

White closed the letter by asking for the state to be more proactive letting people in the Cape Fear Region know about GenX-related issues, saying "The health and well-being of our citizens is job one for us, and it is essential that together we understand the situation and work to ensure that responsible parties are held accountable."

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