House panel backs more legislation on unregulated chemicals | The Wichita Eagle
A House committee looking at river quality unanimously approved a bill on Thursday to address unregulated chemicals in North Carolina’s drinking water supplies by seeking better calculations of the pollution levels that would do no harm.
The committee is taking action following the recent public disclosure that for decades, The Chemours Co. had been releasing GenX, a chemical used to make Teflon and other coatings, from its Bladen County plant into Wilmington’s main water supply.
The proposal doesn’t contain additional funds for state health and environmental regulators to pay for more chemical testing, high-tech equipment and discharge permitting, which Democratic Gov.
House Republican leaders say separate spending legislation is still being worked on.
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Cooper said that bill failed to address underlying issues with emerging contaminants, whose health effects not well understood.
GenX is just one of tens of thousands of unregulated chemicals that are routinely being discharged into drinking water supplies nationwide under a federal discharge permit program.
The Department of Environmental Quality said in a release later Thursday it has "no issue with the study legislation, but a short-term solution requires funding as the state works to address emerging contaminants."
Thursday’s bill in part would: — direct the Department of Health and Human Services to work with science advisers to the health and environment department secretaries on how to set better "health goals" for contaminant levels.
— order DEQ to study and recommend improvements to the state’s administration of the federal discharge permit program, which allows industrial operations like Chemours to release chemicals into bodies of water.