GenX forum aims to get answers as questions remain

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — There are likely still many questions about genX, but there were many answers Wednesday night, as WWAY, the StarNews and WHQR radio hosted a GenX Forum.

With more 16 experts in various fields on the panel, more than 400 people came to UNCW’s Kenan Auditorium, while more watched live on WWAYTV3.com and listened on WHQR. They came to ask questions about the water and air their frustrations and concerns over GenX.

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The panelists, which included experts from the NC Department of Environmental Quality, NC Department of Health and Human Services, NHRMC, the New Hanover County Health Department, UNCW, CFPUA, business and local leaders, among others, were hammered with questions from the audience.

“Is it safe to drink the water?” Sonia Patrick asked.

Many panelist said it’s a personal choice.

Some other questions asked were if reverse osmosis systems will work and why did this happen?

“I think the perspectives given are broad, and unfortunately, without Chemours being here, it’s a half-ended conversation,” Berry Herbst said.

Representatives from Chemours were invited, but chose not to attend  WWAY also reached out to the Americans Chemistry Council, a trade association of which Chemours is a member, but the organization never responded to the invitation.

But some people walked out with more answers than they had before.

“I was wondering if the EPA had been brought into this yet or if that is something we should do in terms of letter writing or calls. But (New Hanover County Commission Chair) Woody White has said he contacted the US Attorney in Raleigh, and that the EPA is already aware,” Mary Clark said.

Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo was very outspoken on his feelings during this time.

“I think if there’s ever been a better example of why we need a strong EPA, this is it,” Saffo said.

Though many questions were answered, some people still had questions.

“It seems like it’s still in the early stages. It’s still in its early stages, and it’s still not enough answered questions. You know, I don’t feel safe with the water at all,” Patrick said.

Despite the panel of experts, there are still questions lingering. One answer experts said over and over was that citizens must be patient for the test results to come back. Then we can make our next move.