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Q&A Session Set: Well Testing for GenX

RALEIGH – The state departments of Environmental Quality and Health and Human Services will host from 6-7:30 p.m. Thursday a community information session for those interested in the state’s plans to test private wells near Chemours’ Fayetteville Works facility in Bladen County.

State officials plan to start collecting water samples for testing from residential wells adjacent to the facility on Friday as part of an ongoing investigation into the chemical GenX, which is produced by Chemours.

The information session will be at St. Pauls Middle School, 526 West Shaw St., St. Pauls, in Robeson County. The information session will give the community an opportunity to ask state officials questions about the state’s plans for testing. Eligible residents will also be able to sign up to have their wells tested.

State officials issued last week Chemours a notice of violation after preliminary state test results detected GenX in violation of state groundwater standards in 13 of 14 industrial wells at the company’s Fayetteville Works facility. The wells tested are used for environmental monitoring at the facility and are not a source of drinking water. Based on the test results, DEQ and DHHS notified local officials and initiated plans to start testing the private wells of residents nearest the facility.

Michael Regan

“People in this community deserve to know about the safety of their well water and we’re working to get them answers,” said Michael Regan, secretary of the state’s DEQ. “Thursday’s meeting will give people who use these wells an opportunity to learn more about the well sampling process and next steps.”

State officials must have a resident’s permission to conduct private well sampling. The water samples will be taken to Gel Laboratories in Charleston, S.C., for analysis of GenX, PFOA and PFOS, which were detected in the preliminary test results from the industrial wells at Chemours’ facility.

DEQ began investigating the presence of GenX in the Cape Fear River in June. At DEQ’s request, last Friday a judge signed an order requiring Chemours to not discharge GenX and two other chemicals, Nafion byproducts 1 and 2, into the state’s waterways.

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The story was compiled by staff members of Coastal Review Online.