Since our October 29, 2021 article about GenX, “GenX Contamination May Be More Toxic Than EPA Initially Thought“, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has ordered certain chemical makers to test the toxicity of their products.
The ruling comes following the petition of six North Carolina community and environmental groups, urging the government to require Chemours to start testing its products. Chemours, the company responsible for dumping GenX and other per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) into the Cape Fear River, will now be federally required to begin testing the risk PFAS chemical exposure may pose.
However, not everyone is happy with this outcome. In a January 2022 article, “EPA orders chemical makers to test toxicity of PFAS, giving NC residents a partial victory“, the six groups who initially petitioned the EPA expressed their concerns:
The EPA’s decision “deeply disappointed” the six groups in North Carolina who filed the petition, according to a news release from the groups. The groups felt EPA’s response was “inadequate” and doesn’t go far enough to hold Chemours and other companies responsible.
The environmental groups aren’t accepting the government’s decision, and said they are considering their options, including litigation, to compel it to do more, according to the news release.
The six groups include the Center for Environmental Health, Cape Fear River Watch, Clean Cape Fear, Democracy Green, the NC Black Alliance and Toxic Free NC.
“Simply put, EPA has had over a year to review the many letters and submissions of petitioners explaining the concerns of North Carolina communities but has completely missed the entire purpose of the petition to address the public health needs of a severely contaminated community,” according to the joint news release.
The six North Carolina groups originally asked the EPA to require Chemours to test 54 PFAS chemicals that the groups had found in the Cape Fear River. In announcing its decision this week, the EPA will require chemical companies to test for only 30 PFAS chemicals as part of its new national testing strategy.
Nine of the 24 PFAS substances excluded from the EPA’s decision could be part of future testing by the agency, according to the EPA, and the other 15 chemicals mentioned in the petition “do not fit the definition of PFAS used in developing the testing strategy.”
However, the EPA even approving the petition is a huge shift from the agency’s stance just a year prior. The same January 2022 article, “EPA orders chemical makers to test toxicity of PFAS, giving NC residents a partial victory” says:
EPA’s decision this week is a complete reversal from what the agency decided nearly a year ago. In the last days of the Trump administration, the EPA initially rejected the petition.
We will continue to observe the GenX situation and deliver information on any new findings or resolutions. To learn more about the background and specifics of GenX, you can visit our law firm’s website pages:
- GenX Cancers Overview
- Summary of Information
- Timeline: GenX Contamination of the Cape Fear River
- Timeline: GenX Study Results
- GenX: Cancer Evaluation Form
Written by: Lauren Schwab, Legal Assistant
Law Offices of Thomas J. Lamb, P.A.