Chemours GenX cleanup means bottled water, drinking systems

A proposed agreement between the state, a chemical company and an environmental group is intended to keep high levels of potentially harmful compounds out of drinking water, a state official said Thursday.
The proposed consent order, signed Nov. 21 by the state Department of Environmental Quality, Chemours and Cape Fear River Watch, requires the company to pay a $12 million penalty and $1 million in investigative costs to the state.
The company also must provide drinking water to homes near its Bladen County plant that have elevated levels of GenX.
Chemours officials say the levels of GenX in the private wells are not harmful.
The order requires Chemours to provide, install and maintain three under-sink reverse osmosis drinking water systems for the owners of wells that have combined levels of 12 PFAS compounds above 70 parts per trillion or any one of those PFAS compounds above 10 parts per trillion.
The order does not require health monitoring of residents near the plant, but the company must pay for health studies on five PFAS compounds, according to the agreement.
The five that will be used in the health studies are of “more immediate concern,” she said.
The company also must provide permanent drinking water supplies in the form of either a public waterline connection or whole building filtration systems to homes with drinking water wells that have GenX levels above 140 parts per trillion or applicable health advisory, according to the agreement.
Some residents have expressed concern that the level of GenX might make the cost of running water lines to homes so high that Chemours would only be required to provide water filtration systems.
DEQ is seeking public comment on the proposed order until Dec. 21.

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