Local senators ask governor to answer questions about GenX

Local senators ask governor to answer questions about GenX

RALEIGH, NC (WECT) - Senators Michael Lee and Bill Rabon are two of seven officials who wrote a letter sent Wednesday asking Gov. Roy Cooper to answer questions about GenX contamination in the Cape Fear River.

Lee, the District 9 senator from New Hanover County, and Rabon, the District 8 senator representing Bladen, Brunswick, New Hanover and Pender counties, joined five other members of the General Assembly to pen the letter to Cooper one day after the NC Department of Environmental Quality and NC Department of Health and Human Services asked for additional funds to help their ongoing GenX investigation.

"While we review your administration's request for a roughly $2.58 million additional appropriation, we also want to address recent news reports that have called attention to multiple inconsistencies in your administration's handling of this crisis," the letter to Cooper read.

GenX is an unregulated compound that was discharged into the Cape Fear River by the Chemours Company at its Fayetteville Works site.

Among the many questions Lee, Rabon and others had for Cooper were:

  • DEQ Secretary Michael Regan has publicly said Chemours did not break the law. In light of this, why are you requesting an investigation from the State Bureau of Investigation? What exactly is the SBI investigating?
  • Your administration said in June that the safe level of GenX in drinking water was 70,909 parts per trillion. Then, just one month later, your department revised the safe level to 140 parts per trillion - 500 times less than the original projection. What is the explanation for this change? Are there scientific studies or reports that support this change? Please identify those reports.
  • Are you aware that your administration does not need to wait for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set regulatory standards for GenX or other constituents? Are you aware that DEQ already regulates a number of chemicals without federal standards?

The letter went on to ask Cooper for more information on how the $2.58 million might be spent.

Answers were requested by 5 p.m. on Monday.

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