Butler notifies state House of concerns over GenX toxins in drinking water

Published: Jun. 13, 2017 at 12:10 AM EDT|Updated: Jun. 13, 2017 at 7:35 AM EDT
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RALEIGH, NC (WECT) - Rep. Deb Butler (D-New Hanover) is making fellow members of the General Assembly aware of the situation regarding toxins discovered in drinking water.

Butler sent a memo to all members of the state House on Monday night, titled "Exposure to Toxic Compound known as Gen-X, Cape Fear Watershed," discussing the potential consequences of the toxin being discharged into the drinking water and asking lawmakers involved in budget discussions to fully fund the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality to assist in the research into the toxin.

GenX is produced and being discharged into the water supply at a Chemours plant along the Bladen County line, upstream in the Cape Fear River.

The toxin can't currently be filtered out of the water supply by surface water processes operated by area water utilities.

“I want to stress that the consequences of this contamination are not yet known and will develop over the course of the near future,” the memo reads in part. “I am told this compound has not been evaluated by the either the EPA or NCDEQ because there aren’t enough resources to process potentially hazardous contaminants. I think that is a shame.”

"The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality needs adequate funding to do their jobs," Butler said in a comment accompanying the memo. "The recently proposed budget cuts will slash their budget, reduce vital staff positions, and lead to an inability to adequately protect our drinking water supply. We have the budgetary capability to fully fund this vital agency and we should immediately put partisan bickering aside for the sake of clean water. To do otherwise is malfeasance…pure and simple."

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