EPA issues statement on GenX concerns in Cape Fear


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Since news broke of GenX in the area’s water supply, local utilities and state regulators have said they are waiting on the US Environmental Protection Agency for guidance.

So what is the EPA doing?

That’s the question we asked the agency earlier this week. Today an agency spokesperson responded in a statement, “EPA is working to gather more information on this matter and will review and determine next steps.”

The EPA also said that in 2009, it and DuPont entered into a consent order that required DuPont to recover, capture or recycle GenX from air emissions and water discharges at the company’s facilities in the United States at a rate of 99 percent. In its review of the GenX premanufacture submission, or approval to make the chemical, EPA determined that GenX could go to market if the conditions of the consent order were met.

During a meeting with local leaders today, representatives from Chemours, the company that makes GenX at a facility in Bladen County, said the GenX it makes does not wind up in the Cape Fear River. But they did say GenX that is produced as an unregulated byproduct of making vinyl ether in another plant at the site has made its way into the river since production began in 1980.

Chemours says abatement technology installed in late 2013 after the study that has raised concern in our area has cut the amount of the compound in the river by 80 percent. The company says it is working to cut that amount altogether.

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