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State officials release Cape Fear River water test results

State officials have released the results from the testing of water samples from the Cape Fear River and have revised the preliminary health assessment for safe concentrations of the unregulated chemical GenX in drinking water.

On Friday, the NC Department of Health and Human Services announced the revised standard as 140 parts per trillion. In a joint release issued on Friday afternoon by the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality and NC Department of Health and Human Services, the data samples show levels of GenX in the Cape Fear River are trending downward. The samples were collected during the period June 19 through July 6. The samples were tested at the Environmental Protection Agency’s lab in Research Triangle Park and at Test America a lab located in Colorado which is under contract to Chemours. The test results can be viewed here. GenX Dataspreadsheet Water Samples

Officials with the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality made a site visit to the Chemours’ Fayetteville Works facility and verified the company has stopped releasing GenX tainted wastewater into the Cape Fear River. However, Department of Environmental Quality officials visited the Chemours site again this week when recent water samples collected by Chemours officials were higher than expected after the company stopped releasing GenX tainted wastewater into the river. According to the release, officials have confirmed the company has stopped additional discharges of tainted wastewater. The wastewater is now being collected and shipped to Arkansas to be incinerated.

State officials say there is no data related to the risks of recreational exposure to GenX. The release does advise people to avoid swimming near the Chemours discharge point in the Cape Fear River.

“Our goal, is to protect the safety and health of all North Carolinians,” said Mandy Cohen, secretary of the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. “We are working closely with our partners at the Department of Environmental Quality to understand and communicate information in a timely manner, to help those impacted.”

N.C. Department of Environmental Quality Secretary Michael Regan said:

“Safe drinking water is a top priority for this administration, and DEQ takes seriously its responsibility to protect the health and welfare of the public. We will continue to investigate this issue and make new information available to the public in a timely fashion.”

Additional testing of water samples is underway and results will be made available at a later date, according to the release.

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