Local leaders discuss GenX status, feels ‘frustrated’ and want answers


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Lack of answers and lack of state help are two concerns expressed by local leaders during a news conference Monday about GenX and water tests results.

Although the tests show a downward trend of the chemical in our water, area leaders still want answers.

The overall message from across the board is frustration with the lack of state help the county has received in the fight to understand the risks of GenX.

“How was it allowed to happen? Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo said. “How was it allowed to happen for so many years, which has frustrated all of us? What are the overall health impacts? Because we really don’t know.”

New Hanover County held a news conference with leaders from several counties to go over the status of the water and share their own concerns.

“In the absence of facts people make things up and it adds to the mania and hysteria,” NHC Comission Chair Woody White said. “We want to make sure that the facts come out and that the folks at the Environmental Quality, health department, Governor’s office, AG’s office give us the information sooner rather than later. We shouldn’t have to beg for it.”

All leaders are thankful for Governor Roy Cooper’s call for the EPA to set limits for GenX Monday but are calling for the state to start studies on the impacts GenX has on humans immediately.

“Our job is to speak for the hundreds of thousands of citizens in this region to enforce the people above us, in the political food chain if you will, to do their job and thankfully that’s slowly starting to happen,” White said.

“I would like to see a thorough investigation from DEQ,” Saffo said. “I would like to know how this stuff got into the water. Based on the fact that that the GenX product that they were making clearly states ‘do not put any GenX into the Cape Fear River.’ And yet it was being put into the Cape Fear River through another process. I want to know how that happened.”

They are also frustrated with the lack of response from Chemours and Dupont and want to know who is responsible for all of this.

Saffo also wants the Cape Fear River to be tested and evaluated regularly for any chemicals from now on.

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