The revelation that toxic GenX from Dupont’s discharge into the Cape Fear River – upstream of the drinking water supply for hundreds of thousands of us – is a stark and frightening reminder that our health is tied directly to the health of our river.
Clearly this discharge of GenX must stop – immediately, until we know more about the impacts. Federal and state regulators need to step in and require that DuPont fully disclose the details of its GenX discharge. Dupont, as the source of the hazardous discharge, needs to pay for increased monitoring and research on the impacts on GenX.
But the problem is bigger than this most recent incident. Sadly, GenX is not the only pollutant regularly discharged into the river. The river, our drinking water supply, needs protection. Industry along its banks, including the thousands of factory farms that discharge staggering amounts of untreated animal waste, must be monitored and regulated to protect the river, and ultimately our health.
Treating water, even with advanced treatment processes, is only treating the symptoms of the problem, not the problem itself. And as we see now, it isn’t always effective. The idea that we should treat our drinking water after it is polluted by industry, rather than keeping it clean in the first place, is flawed and very dangerous. It puts the cost on our Public Water Treatment facilities and ultimately on the public, while allowing industry a free pass to profits they should be spending on pollution reduction and treatment. That’s not right.
In today’s political climate, nationally and here in North Carolina, there is a clear agenda underway to weaken environmental protection laws, defund regulatory agencies, and scale back programs designed to protect and improve our environment. Clearly, placing an entire water supply in jeopardy demonstrates why this trend must be reversed. Our health and the health of our children hang in the balance.
Cape Fear Riverkeeper
If you have ever considered donating to CFRW or becoming a member – now is the time. Our very drinking water is being threatened and we need the Riverkeeper more than ever to fight for our right to clean water and protect the health of our families.