Although researchers didn’t test the water of two other drinking water providers that also draw water from that area of the Cape Fear River, the entire watershed downstream of the Chemours discharge, which is a source of drinking water for some 250,000 people, is likely to be contaminated, according to Detlef Knappe, one of the authors of the study.
In both cases, the chemical was found in water near plants that were owned by DuPont and since 2015 have been operated by DuPont’s spinoff company, Chemours.
A resulting 2011 consent order between the company and the state agency allowed the company to emit wastewater containing as much as 17,500 ppt of GenX into a receiving stream near the plant, an amount that is 250 times the EPA drinking water standard for PFOA and PFOS.
In the agreement, DuPont promised to implement a variety of “environmental control technologies that reduce environmental release and exposure.” A 2009 consent order between DuPont and the EPA, which The Intercept obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, shows that the company agreed to recover or destroy 99 percent of the GenX it produces.
Meanwhile, a recent Dutch report found that the adverse effects of GenX are similar to those of PFOA.