October 24, 2017/Press

Need to Fully Fund State Regulators Grows as NC Expands GenX Testing

RALEIGH — Late last week, DEQ announced that GenX has been found at elevated levels in one-third of the private wells near the Fayetteville Works plant, located 100 miles upstream from Wilmington, sparking concerns over air emissions and renewing the need for the General Assembly to fully fund our state-regulators best positioned to address this issue. Republican legislators need to recognize the scope of this problem and support our state regulators, who are hard at work combatting this crisis.

So far, DEQ and DHHS have:

  • Successfully sued Chemours to stop the flow of GenX and Nafion byproducts into our water supply
  • Tested drinking water at three schools near the Fayetteville Works plant
  • Tested the water at multiple sites along the Cape Fear River

For DEQ and DHHS to continue, they’re going to need some help from a Republican General Assembly that seems to be blinded by partisan politics. Despite slashing DEQ’s budget and reducing its workforce since 2010, Republican lawmakers patted themselves on the back earlier this month for providing only $435,000 to Wilmington-specific researchers.

The move drew immediate criticism from editorial boards including the Fayetteville Observer, which called it a “level of self-delusion that would be comical if we weren’t dealing with an issue that affects the health, safety and lives of hundreds of thousands of people.”

Despite the scope of this problem and the good work done by our state agencies, Republican lawmakers continue to put North Carolina’s drinking water at risk by refusing to give DEQ and DHHS the funds necessary to adequately combat this crisis.

“Republicans in the General Assembly simply won’t stand up for our state-wide agencies when North Carolinians need them the most,” said NCDP Executive Director Kimberly Reynolds. “Putting clean drinking water before politics should be an easy choice. Our representatives can and should do better – and they can start by fully funding Governor Cooper’s request.”