Republicans agree on how to address little-known chemicals

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Cape Fear River
Cape Fear River on June 14, 2017 (Photo: Hannah Patrick/WWAY)

By GARY D. ROBERTSON
Associated Press

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina legislative Republicans say they’ve worked out an agreement to expand work and funding to clean up, contain and evaluate unregulated industrial chemicals like the one a plant dumped for decades into the Cape Fear River.

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House and Senate GOP lawmakers, including Sen. Michael Lee (R-New Hanover County), Sen. Bill Rabon (R-Brunswick County), Rep. Ted Davis (R-New Hanover County), Rep. Holly Grange (R-New Hanover County), Rep. Frank Iler (Brunswick County) and Rep. William Brisson (R-Bladen County), filed identical bills in their chambers Thursday that represent a negotiated compromise after failing to reach agreement on competing versions last winter. The provisions still must be voted on and sent to Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper.

The agreement locates roughly $12 million, with $8 million for University of North Carolina researchers to sample and evaluate emerging contaminants like GenX.

The legislation also gives Cooper authority to shut down The Chemours Co. plant that discharged GenX if his administration can’t halt further unauthorized discharges by June.

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