Today, February 13, 2018, the NC House of Representatives will potentially vote on House Bill 189, which concerns how to address the GenX contamination issue.
This bill is referred to as the “Water Safety Act” and has undergone several revisions during its time in the Senate. However, some believe that the amendments are still not enough to get the bill passed in the House.
The main critiques of the bill center around the fact that it fails to provide the NC Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) with necessary resources.
While the bill does grant $2.4 million to the DEQ, $1 million of those funds will be given to the North Carolina Policy Collaboratory. Furthermore, the $2.4 million is a one-time allocation for the 2017-2018 fiscal year.
Here’s what an article in the Fayetteville Observer has to say on the matter:
Nearly half of the $2.4 million the Senate would allot to GenX research and response would go to the North Carolina Policy Collaboratory at UNC-Chapel Hill, which is run by Berger’s former science adviser, Jeffrey Warren. He’s the man behind much of the Republican-sponsored legislation in recent years that has diluted state responses to pollution and stripped local oversight of environmental hazards.
In addition, instead of granting the DEQ’s request for funds to put towards its own spectrometer, the bill states that the DEQ can use existing ones within the University of North Carolina System. At first glance, this may seem like a reasonable, cost-effective move. In reality, however, simply allowing the DEQ to use the scientific instruments that are already in use by the entities who own them will cause unnecessary delays in testing.
Going forward, it will be interesting to hear the House’s opinion on the bill, and any amendments that follow their review.
We will continue to monitor this situation, and report on any significant developments as we become aware of them.
- GenX Cancers Overview
- Summary of Information
- Timeline: GenX Contamination of the Cape Fear River
- Timeline: GenX Study Results
- GenX: Cancer Case Evaluation Form
Written by: Heather Helmendach, Legal Assistant
Law Offices of Thomas J. Lamb, P.A.