GenX spreading through the air: House passes bill that would fund $230,000 in studies

GenX spreading through the air: House passes bill that would fund $230,000 in studies

RALEIGH, NC (WECT) - North Carolina lawmakers want scientists, engineers, and other experts to study atmospheric deposition of GenX and other contaminants found in the drinking water from the Cape Fear River.

The NC House of Representatives unanimously voted to pass House Bill 189 Thursday night, which funnels $1.3 million to the Department of Environmental Quality for water quality purposes.

Of that requested money, $232,950 would be given to the Division of Air Quality for sampling and analysis of atmospheric deposition of GenX and other emerging contaminants.

"This is very important because if you look at the diagrams of the way the wind blows, and the area of where the Chemours plant was located, and then you look at a diagram of where the polluted wells are, there is a correlation between the two," said Rep. Ted Davis, Jr. of New Hanover County. "It's very important to look at what the air emissions might do as far as bringing the compound, spreading it out, and then going back into the earth."

"Anything can evaporate, and perhaps that's part of it -- water evaporates. That can contaminate the air," said Rep. Holly Grange of New Hanover County. "That's something that we need to be able to address in the future."

This isn't the first time lawmakers have expressed concerns that GenX released from the Chemours' Fayetteville Works plant has traveled through the air to reach distal water sources.

"We are trying to understand, how did GenX reach those private drinking water wells?" Sheila Holman with the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality said in September 2017. "And atmospheric deposition is one likely theory."

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