And that timing is more than a little suspect:
Beginning tomorrow, the Chemours company will “capture, remove, and safely dispose of wastewater” that contains the byproduct GenX generated at its manufacturing plant in Fayetteville. The company announced late this afternoon that it would eliminate discharge containing GenX into the Cape Fear River, a drinking water supply. GenX has been detected in the Cape Fear near Wilmington; the chemical isn’t removed during traditional treatment at municipal plants.
The timing of the announcement is notable. The NC Department of Environmental Quality started sampling water in the Cape Fear and at the Chemours plant yesterday. The agency and will continue those tests through Thursday, and then resample at the same locations over the next three weeks. Also tomorrow the Cape Fear River Watch is hosting a community forum about GenX and the company.
Had a conversation recently with someone holding an MBA, in which I had to explain the difference between a chemical compound and a base element. Dude was waffling between Libertarianism and Bernie-ish “all politicians are owned by the corporations,” and he said something about how we’ve known what these chemicals can do for close to 100 years, so when he reads about the EPA “still testing” something it’s evidence of a payoff. Or something. There are literally thousands of new chemical compounds created every year, mostly by industry, and the bulk of their research is proprietary. Meaning, even if they did discover dangers to the environment or people associated with their new chemical, we probably won’t know until that danger is detected by someone outside the company. Here’s some background on GENX’s predecessor, and the Du Pont spinoff Chemours: