A recent media report has touched on the presence of the chemical GenX in the Cape Fear River, from which Brunswick County Public Utilities (BCPU), Cape Fear Public Utility Authority and Pender County Utilities draw portions of their raw water supply. This chemical is made by a company named Chemours, located on the Cape Fear River upstream from Wilmington, where it is suspected the chemical’s presence in the river originates.
Water from BCPU meets all EPA and state standards regarding water quality, including monitoring for the presence and concentration of dozens of different chemicals and substances, with the results of more than 25 of those substances reported annually. The EPA has a process to evaluate new chemicals to determine their potential impact at different levels and to set quality and safety standards, if any are needed; currently, GenX and approximately 700 other chemicals are in this process and being monitored. At this time, data is not readily available on whether or not this is a chemical of concern, nor are commercial labs currently testing for the presence or concentration of this specific chemical. The EPA is in a better position, with greater resources, than Brunswick County to make these evaluations and set these standards and guidelines.
Brunswick County Public Utilities and other public utility providers are sharing information about this new chemical. Local utilities have requested additional information from the NC Department of Environmental Quality, and BCPU looks forward to receiving any additional information provided. BCPU will follow any additional information or guidance resulting from this inquiry or the EPA process.
Brunswick County Public Utilities takes seriously its commitment to providing safe, quality drinking water to its citizens and customers.