WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) – The State House unanimously approved to send millions of dollars to the Department of Environment Quality for GenX research. This is the first time the state has moved funds to the DEQ for GenX related issues.
The House has allocated money before for GenX research, but requested that specifically be done by UNCW and the CFPUA.
Chairman Ted Davis says the bill gives more than $2 millions for technology to identify and record GenX and other contaminants.
“Without that machine those agencies especially DEQ cannot address the emerging contaminants that might be in our rivers and other sources of our drinking water,” said Chairman Davis (R) of New Hanover County.
The House approved of the bill unanimously 116-0.
“I’ve been told that after that by people that have been here a lot longer than I have and a long time that this is the first time that they could ever remember an environmental piece of legislation passing the House unanimously,” Davis said.
The bill also will allow the department of environmental quality to hire personnel to operate the machine.
“That bill had everything that DEQ Secretary Regan had asked for,” said Davis.
The DEQ must share water quality data with neighboring states and compare it. It also asks that air quality be looked at for GenX. Lastly it asks the UNC School of Government to study if water utilities could be held liable for providing contaminated drinking water under certain conditions. All of this though is in limbo now as the bill needs a vote from the State Senate.
“I can only hope that they take it as seriously as the House of Representatives have,” said Davis.
WWAY reached out to state senators Bill Rabon (R) Brunswick and Michael Lee (R) New Hanover. We are still waiting to hear back from our local state senators. Tonight Senate leader Phil Berger did tell media he will not bring the bill up for a vote until the General Assembly’s short session in May. The bill as is asks for everything to be in place to study GenX by June.