Chemours releases GenX test results

Little Hocking officials to seek more sampling

PARKERSBURG — A local water system wants more sampling done to corroborate recent tests for the compound GenX.

The Little Hocking Water and Sewer Association on Monday notified customers that the sampling done by Chemours at the request of the Environmental Protection Agency found a concentration in pretreated water of 32 parts per trillion, but the substance was not detected in the treated drinking water. GenX succeeded C8 in the manufacture of Teflon at the Washington Works in Wood County.

A request will be made to the EPA for additional tests to check the accuracy, said Dave Altman, an attorney who represents the association.

“We’re going to try to do what we can to verify the accuracy of these tests,” he said.

Citing the presence of GenX in the water supplies around a Chemours facility in Fayetteville, N.C., and in wells at the Washington Works plant, Acting EPA Director Kate McManus in January requested Chemours test water from Little Hocking, Belpre and the Lubeck Public Service District; the Chemours site; and five private drinking wells each in West Virginia and Ohio.

GenX, also called C3 dimer, and C8 are of same chemical family of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances — PFAS. The science panel established by the C8 class action lawsuit against DuPont, from which Chemours was spun off, analyzed the health data of 70,000 residents of the Mid-Ohio Valley and found a possible link between C8, which is no longer used at the Washington Works, and six diseases in humans.

DuPont and Chemours installed granulated carbon filtration systems at some private wells and public water supplies in Belpre, Lubeck and Little Hocking as a result of the settlement of the lawsuit. A carbon filter system was installed in Vienna last year after C8 was detected in the untreated water above the EPA threshold of 0.07 parts per billion, which was set in 2016. The filters are removing C8, as it has not been detected in the treated water from the systems.

The results of the GenX testing of the pre-treated water in the private wells ranged from non-detected to 52 parts per trillion at a well south of Little Hocking on Ohio 124. The chemical was not detected in the treated water from the private wells, according to the data given to the EPA from Chemours by Andrew S. Harten, project director of the Chemours Corporate Remediation Group.

In the public wells, the concentration of GenX in the raw water ranged form non-detect to 81 ppt at a well at the plant site. GenX was not detected in finished treated water at all the public systems, according to the data from Chemours.

The results at Little Hocking indicate the carbon filters were effective for GenX as well, said Robin Ollis, a spokeswoman for Chemours.

“While results for water sampling at Little Hocking show extremely low levels of C3 dimer in water prior to treatment, granular activated carbon filtration installed there is effective at removing this compound and it was not detected in the finished drinking water delivered to customers,” she said.

Altman is not yet convinced of the effectiveness of the granulated carbon filtration system to remove GenX. That needs more study, along with additional tests for the presence of the compound, Altman said.

“We’re not going to sit on our hands,” he said.


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