WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The Cape Fear Public Utility Authority found out about the toxin GenX in the area’s water supply in November.
Since word got out about toxin GenX in the Cape Fear River, many people have had questions, so we went looking for answers. We sat down with Cape Fear Public Utility Authority Executive Director Jim Flechtner.
“When did you guys know about GenX?”
“Well there was a long process,” Flechtner said. “We partnered with North Carolina State University to study the river, understand what’s in it, and report that information to agencies, so the study had been going on for several months, and we got the final result in November.”
CFPUA did not notify the public until this month and that is only after the StarNews broke the story about GenX being in the water.
“Do you feel like it should have been out there sooner?”
“We really didn’t have much to say, because it’s not a regulated substance and our research really is ongoing and that’s part of the process,” Flechtner said. “That’s the process we’re in now is researching what’s there understanding it and turning it over to the people who can properly regulate it.”
Flechtner said they are now pressing the EPA and the DEQ for answers to their questions.
“We understand our customers’ concerns,” Flechtner said. “We agree with that. We need to understand what this means for public health and we’re working very hard with DEQ to get those answers and we will not stop until we do.”
CFPUA Board Chairman Mike Brown said they will also be looking for some answers from the facility discharging GenX, Chemours, when they meet with the company later this week.
“We want them to be able to educate us on this compound and their responsible for manufacturing the compound, we hope they will shed some light on this issue,” Brown said.
In the meantime, we asked about drinking the water.
“The water continues to meet all of the state and federal guidelines for safety and we have always met those guidelines and we will continue to meet those guidelines,” Flechtner said. “GenX is not part of that discussion, so by our work in bringing that forward, it now is part of the discussion that we are having with the state regulators, so yes. We still continue to meet all the requirements and I still drink the water.”