Chemours says it will now voluntarily "capture, remove and safely dispose of" wastewater containing the byproduct GenX. From April to August 2018, Belcher and his research team caught and collected blood samples from 58 striped bass in the river. Brander, who also researches the effect of pesticides and microplastic, also considers PFAS to be among the most troubling chemicals lurking in aquatic systems. The addendum under the consent order requires Chemours’ Fayetteville Works facility to stop 99% of GenX and other PFAS from entering the Cape Fear River, according to the Southern Environmental Law Center, which negotiated the agreement on behalf of Cape Fear River Watch, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality and Chemours.

Toxic ‘forever chemicals’ flow freely through this river—and now its fish, "I have been drinking this water my entire life.".

The Cape Fear River is polluted by more than PFAS, including agricultural runoff and coal ash. Shorter-chain PFAS chemicals generally don’t last as long, so in 2006, the Environmental Protection Agency encouraged eight of the U.S.’s leading PFAS manufacturers to phase out two long-chain PFAS chemicals: PFOA and PFOS, in favor of their shorter-chain cousins.

A survey done in 2014 found that, despite years of intervention and hundreds of thousands of off-site bass dumped into the Cape Fear River, a region capable of supporting more than 100,000 bass had just over 15,000. "How long has it been in the river? Privacy Policy | Comment Policy | Editorial Policy & Terms of Use | © 2019 North Carolina Coastal Federation. The Cape Fear Public Utility Authority co-authored a three-year study on the chemical's elevated presence in the water. Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the our 24/7 digital news network. That slow build means it’s hard to know for sure if PFAS is causing health issues rather than one of the many other pollutants the region’s humans and animals regularly interact with. Chemours has been accused of polluting the water supplies of cities downriver. "There is a loophole that needs to be looked at by Congress to make certain that we have safe drinking water in this country," said Mayor Saffo. DuPont was forced to pay the largest fine in EPA history -- $16.5 million -- for failing to report C8's substantial risk to human health. But as CBS News' Jericka Duncan reports, the findings were never made available to the general public -- not even to Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo.

PFAS has been manufactured in North Carolina since the 1950s, first by DuPont and then Chemours. Illustration: PFAST Network. “Today’s ruling means downstream communities will see continued improvements in water quality. “In clinical medicine, we can say if your cholesterol is over 200, that’s bad and we know what that means,” says Jane Hoppin, the lead investigator for the GenX Exposure Study, a project to understand the effects of GenX in people. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Though they aren't pointing fingers at DuPont or Chemours, Wilmington's self-proclaimed "cancer moms" showed up in full force.

Striped bass, often referred to as stripers, have been declining in the region for decades. The addendum builds on the success of the Consent Order, requiring Chemours to deal with the residual contamination from their years of pollution,” DEQ Secretary Michael S. Regan said in a statement.

Lee Ferguson, an environmental engineer from Duke University, says it’s plausible PFAS is behind the problem with the bass population in the area.

Court Approves GenX Cleanup Addendum. "Because of what our kids have been through, I think it's hard for people to look at us and say the water's probably OK, or, there's probably not too much toxin in there to cause health effects," said Grogan. But Belcher notes in his study that more commonly eaten species such as the bottom-dwelling catfish may present a health risk. D'Anthony Brown holds a bait fish. This unknown contaminant sparked fear and outrage across the area. Striped bass populations in the Cape Fear River have been dwindling for 50 years. There are currently no federal drinking water standards for GenX. GenX Information for Residents Fayetteville Works Vicinity / Upper Cape Fear Since 2017, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has stopped the discharge of process wastewater to the Cape Fear River and drastically reduced air emissions of PFAS from Chemours. To replace PFOA, Chemours and then Dupont began manufacturing a shorter-chain PFAS under the brand name GenX. Bladen County Superior Court Judge Douglas Sasser approved the agreement that went into effect Monday, immediately after approval. PFAS chemicals are loosely divided into two categories: short chain and long chain, depending on the number of carbon atoms in their molecular structure.

10/13/2020 by


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