Chemical company told to provide bottled water to nearby residents

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - State environmental officials are directing a chemical company to provide bottled water to 11 homes near its North Carolina plant.

The state Department of Environmental Quality said Thursday that preliminary test results showed residential water wells containing the little-studied compound GenX in amounts exceeding a state health target. The need for bottled water wasn't established in 21 other nearby wells.

Delaware-based Chemours Co. said in a statement that it will provide neighbors whose wells showed elevated levels of the chemical free bottled water until a long-term solution is found.

GenX is a relatively new, unregulated chemical with little scientific data about its health effects. It is similar to other chemicals suspected of increasing cancer risks.

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Gov. Roy Cooper is vetoing legislation that contains some money to address a little-studied chemical in a North Carolina river because he says it doesn't help state agencies improve protections for drinking water statewide.

Cooper said Thursday he would veto the measure sent to him three weeks ago. Now Republican legislators returning in early October must decide whether to try to override the veto - his 12th since taking office in January.

The wide-ranging environmental measure contained $435,000 for Wilmington-area utilities and the local university to clean up and monitor the chemical known as GenX. A plant upstream from Wilmington discharged the chemical into the Cape Fear River until recently. Two departments in the Democratic governor's administration had wanted $2.6 million to hire more water quality monitors and scientists.

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