State legislative leaders announced the joint legislative Environmental Review Commission will meet on Wednesday to investigate the discharge of GenX into the Cape Fear River, according to a Friday release.
Speaker of the House Rep. Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) and Senate Leader Sen. Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) announced the commission will convene at 1:30 pm on Wednesday, Aug. 23 at the New Hanover County Government Center.
“It is important for legislators to visit the lower Cape Fear region and hear from local families, public officials and environmental experts,” Moore and Berger said in a joint statement. “Legislative hearings will provide a transparent process to help lawmakers and the public understand what happened, review the administration’s handling of this matter, and hopefully begin the process of identifying ways for the administration to address the immediate problem of GenX contamination in our water.”
GenX is a by-product of Teflon production from the chemical company Chemours, an offshoot of DuPont, that is currently not regulated for discharge into water.
Rep. Ted Davis (R-New Hanover), a state House member who represents the affected lower Cape Fear region, said, “My priority is to protect the people of New Hanover County, guarantee they have clean drinking water and get to the bottom of the GenX discharge as soon as possible.”
Davis will serve as an advisory member on the commission.
In a letter Gov. Cooper requested $2.58 million to study the GenX contamination, to which the Senate has said it will need more information about what his administration knew about GenX, and when, before agreeing to provide moneys.
The hearings are meant to accomplish just that.
The commission membership consists of:
From the House,
Rep. Jimmy Dixon, Co-Chair
Rep. Chuck McGrady, Co-Chair
Rep. Pat McElraft, Vice-Chair
Rep. Kyle Hall
Rep. Pricey Harrison
Rep. Bob Steinburg
Rep. Chris Millis
Rep. William Brisson
Rep. Larry Yarborough, Advisory Member
Rep. Holly Grange, Advisory Member
Rep. Frank Iler, Advisory Member
Rep. Ted Davis, Advisory Member
From the Senate,
Sen. Trudy Wade, Chair
Sen. Dan Bishop
Sen. Angela Bryant
Sen. Bill Cook
Sen. Brent Jackson
Sen. Norman Sanderson
Sen. Erica Smith-Ingram
Sen. Andy Wells
Also invited to the meeting are public officials from the lower Cape Fear region, the secretaries of the state Department of Environmental Quality, the Department of Health and Human Services and Chemours officials.
The hearing is expected to be the first of multiple meetings the commission will hold regarding the GenX discharge.
Members of the public are invited to comment at the hearing.