Lock and Dam No. 1 on the Cape Fear River
Photo: Army Corps of Engineers
NCSU Researchers find PFAS in Samples from 2014 and 2015
The Wilmington Star News has reported that recent analysis of preserved water samples from 2014 and 2015 have shown elevated levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). NC State professor Detlef Knappe sent an email Monday October 7, 2019 to state regulators and the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority (CFPUA), saying that total PFAS concentrations of 130,000 parts per trillion (ppt) were found in a 2015 water sample taken just above Lock and Dam No. 1 at Kings Bluff, 39 miles above Wilmington. Dr. Knappe considers the results for this sample to provide a reasonable snapshot of PFAS levels in drinking water of communities that sourced their water at Lock and Dam No. 1 prior 2017 when the Chemours' Fayetteville Works suspended discharge to the river.
The North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services health goal for GenX is 140 ppt. GenX is the trade name for a PFAS used in manufacturing nonstick coatings and for other purposes.
Dr. Knappe and others including Mark Strynar of the EPA in Research Triangle Park published their findings this month in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Science & Technology Letters. The research was partially funded by the NC Policy Collaboratory, according to Lisa Sorg, NC Policy Watch.