Contaminants of Emerging Concern in North Carolina’s Rivers

North Carolina’s Cape Fear River is making headlines for the unregulated release of a potentially toxic chemical into its waters.

Cape Fear River | Photo: Jimmy Emerson DVM

The Cape Fear River in North Carolina has been making headlines in 2017 due to the unregulated release of a potentially toxic chemical – GenX – from the Chemours manufacturing plant in Fayetteville, NC. There are tens of thousands of unregulated chemicals in the United States that are only minimally managed before being released into our rivers and streams. This creates issues for drinking water systems that are using that water to provide clean water supplies for communities as well as for ground water supplies as those systems are not designed to filter out these unregulated chemicals.

PBS’ News Hour program did an indepth story of the problem on the Cape Fear.

The laws regulating chemicals in the U.S. and in the states have not been updated to protect communities from the potential threats of the constantly changing mix of chemicals that are used and discharged. A new system needs to be developed to keep untested chemicals from entering our clean water supplies.

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