EPA Identifies Two More Chemicals In Cape Fear River

Aug 31, 2017

There are more concerns about drinking water in Wilmington. The federal Environmental Protection Agency has identified two more chemical compounds that are discharging into the Cape Fear River.

The compounds are identified as Nafion byproducts 1 and 2. Each enters the water at the Chemours chemical production facility in Fayetteville.

The Cape Fear is considered one of the nation’s most contaminated rivers. It also provides drinking water to about 300,000 people, and has been under investigation since June. That’s when the compound GenX – a replacement chemical for a toxic carcinogen – was found in the river.

Gen X is unregulated. And little is known about the health effects of these two additional compounds found by the EPA.

The state has asked the company to stop discharging all three of the compounds. Under pressure from residents and local officials, state lawmakers today approved $435,000 to monitor and study Gen X.

The measure now goes to Gov. Roy Cooper, who wanted several times more money approved to improve statewide water quality regulation. Almost all of his fellow Democrats opposed the Republican measure also because of unrelated provisions in the bill.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.