Since the discovery of the chemical GenX in the Cape Fear River politicians in Raleigh have been using the crisis as a political football. Citizens have been clear on what they want: clean water NOW! So far we have seen nothing but stalling tactics and political games like repealing the ban on plastic bags in order to provide a small amount of funding to the problem. Eastern North Carolina deserves some answers and some real solutions.
Hurricane Harvey has a better sense of direction than our GenX crisis. Politicians debate equipping local academics to duplicate water testing now completed in a matter of days by an Indiana lab, vs. adding 60 workers to the state payroll. Promised frequent updates from the CFPUA are sporadic. They tell us it is urgently necessary to spend $500,000 to jettison 48 million gallons of safe water from a well that nobody drinks from, yet they say nothing about the GenX in Well #11. Going forward, they will reveal new test data only once a month, despite wanting to be transparent.
Frightened residents comment at a meeting of the General Assembly’s Environmental Review Commission. They try to link GenX to childhood obesity and to two geographically similar instances of a rare disease. It takes more than two dots to make a meaningful connection, folks. Another citizen wants legislators to remove GenX from my grandchildren. I wish.