NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - The New Hanover County Board of Commissioners released dueling statements Monday regarding Governor Roy Cooper's veto of legislation aimed at providing money to local agencies to study and monitor a toxic chemical known as Gen-X which has been discovered in the Cape Fear River.
The Republican commissioners — Woody White, Skip Watkins, and Patricia Kusek — issued the following response to Cooper's veto:
The Democratic commissioners — Jonathan Barfield and Rob Zapple — released the following statement:
HB 56 contained $435,000 in extra funding for the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority and UNC Wilmington to study, clean up, and monitor the chemical.
Cooper criticized the wide-ranging environmental measure saying the money was nowhere near the $2.6 million that two state agencies requested so they could hire additional water quality monitors and scientists to handle the Gen-X threat.
"This legislation provides zero dollars to the two agencies that set the standards for clean water and enforce the law. So, what we need is for the general assembly to pass legislation for those agencies that do that and we need to work together," Cooper said in a statement issued last Thursday.
He went on to say that everyone needs to work on the issue together to find a solution.
"Scientists and engineers and monitors and people who write these permits they need help in making sure they can keep the water clean and we are going to provide them that help and we need the general assembly to do the same thing," Cooper said.
"The people in the Wilmington and across this state deserve clean drinking water and we need to make sure that happens," Cooper said.