Former Wilmington mayor: ‘I think we shouldn’t be drinking the water.’

“And I can’t answer that.
I take a precautionary approach, and I think we all should.
I think we shouldn’t be drinking the water.” Wilmington is downstream of the Fayetteville Works plant run by Chemours (formerly by DuPont), which has for years been discharging a chemical called GenX into the Cape Fear River that serves as the main source of drinking water for southeastern North Carolina.
Charlie Rivenbark, a city councilman there, is heavily involved in local water issues.
“I’ve been drinking that water all my life, and I don’t have a problem drinking it,” said Rivenbark, a Wilmington native.
He said that’s enough evidence for him to state that Peterson shouldn’t be telling people not to drink the water, “unless there’s something he knows that we don’t know.” Peterson acknowledged after the meeting that he didn’t have hard evidence to back up his worries.
“I can’t connect it to water quality, but there are a lot of other families in Wilmington that have had that problem,” Peterson said after the meeting Thursday.
Roy Cooper requested several months ago, and that while he appreciates the legislature’s work Thursday moving forward a bill that will call for more studies into pollution and regulations, he believes it also should have come with more funding to accomplish those goals.
He blamed the state regulators at the time – who were led by a Democratic governor, Mike Easley – for not taking them seriously.
So we’re here today.” While none of the lawmakers on the committee went as far as Peterson did in casting doubt on the safety of the state’s drinking water, the bill approved by the committee asks for a study of whether people can sue their local water utilities over pollution issues.

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