Raleigh, N.C. – On Thursday the North Carolina House of Representatives approved local funding and administrative accountability measures to begin addressing the discharge of the chemical GenX into the Cape Fear River.
Speaker Tim Moore and members of the North Carolina House held a press conference immediately following passage of the bill to discuss the proposal and detail the formation of the House Select Committee on North Carolina River Quality.
House Bill 56 Amend Environmental Laws provides $435,000 to local utilities and the University of North Carolina at Wilmington for water testing and treatment efforts.
It further initiates the development of an electronic filing system for chemical discharge permits to improve accountability and transparency of the administration’s water quality processes.
“In addition to appropriating funds for water treatment and testing, today’s proposal begins the development of an online, searchable database for the public and local officials to see what chemicals are discharged, heighten transparency and improve accountability of the administration’s permitting process,” said House Speaker Tim Moore.
The legislation also directs the Department of Environmental Quality to explain why it has yet to issue a Notice of Violation (NOV) to Chemours, the company responsible for the contaminant discharge, by September 8, 2017.
An NOV is an initial action to hold violators accountable, potentially requiring them to bear the cleanup costs of a non-permitted chemical discharge dumped into North Carolina waters.
Four state House members from the Cape Fear River Basin delegation also issued a joint statement:
“We’ve passed a targeted proposal to determine the scope of the GenX discharge in the Cape Fear River and develop a reliable treatment system to protect the people of Southeastern North Carolina’s drinking water,” said House Reps. Ted Davis (R-New Hanover), Holly Grange (R-New Hanover), Frank Iler (R-Brunswick) and Chris Millis (Pender).