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Public Calls for Stronger EPA Action on PFAS

FAYETTEVILLE — Residents and officials during a meeting Tuesday urged the Environmental Protection Agency to take a stronger role in managing potentially harmful compounds such as GenX, the Fayetteville Observer reported.

EPA officials told the hundreds in attendance at the forum in Crown Ballroom that they are working to develop ways to deal with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, that contaminate drinking water supplies.

The EPA has held a national leadership summit on PFAS and visited three other communities affected by contamination, and have announced their intent to release a PFAS management plan in the fall of 2018,  the Wilmington StarNews reported.

During the meeting Tuesday, the focus was mostly on GenX, a PFAS compound manufactured by Chemours at its Fayetteville Works plant on the Cumberland-Bladen county line, according to the Fayetteville Observer. The contamination of the Cape Fear River and private wells has been investigated for more than a year.

Michael S. Regan, secretary of the state Department of Environmental Quality, asked the agency to find ways for officials to more quickly understand the toxicity of one compound or a family of chemicals. Mike Abraczinskas, director of the DEQ Division of Air Quality, asked them to develop ways of measuring PFAS compounds in the air.

Peter Grevatt, director of the EPA’s Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water, said agency officials are working on how to address GenX and similar compounds and working with state officials to develop a toxicity value for GenX. They are also thinking about how best to deal with the whole family of PFAS chemicals.

Andrew Gillespie, associate director for ecology in the EPA’s National Exposure Research Laboratory, said the agency is working on ways to measure PFAS compounds and researching drinking water treatment options.

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Staff Report

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