As samples are collected for testing, chemical company decides to clean up GENX prior to discharge

And that timing is more than a little suspect:

Beginning tomorrow, the Chemours company will “capture, remove, and safely dispose of wastewater” that contains the byproduct GenX generated at its manufacturing plant in Fayetteville. The company announced late this afternoon that it would eliminate discharge containing GenX into the Cape Fear River, a drinking water supply. GenX has been detected in the Cape Fear near Wilmington; the chemical isn’t removed during traditional treatment at municipal plants.

The timing of the announcement is notable. The NC Department of Environmental Quality started sampling water in the Cape Fear and at the Chemours plant yesterday. The agency and will continue those tests through Thursday, and then resample at the same locations over the next three weeks. Also tomorrow the Cape Fear River Watch is hosting a community forum about GenX and the company.

Had a conversation recently with someone holding an MBA, in which I had to explain the difference between a chemical compound and a base element. Dude was waffling between Libertarianism and Bernie-ish "all politicians are owned by the corporations," and he said something about how we've known what these chemicals can do for close to 100 years, so when he reads about the EPA "still testing" something it's evidence of a payoff. Or something. There are literally thousands of new chemical compounds created every year, mostly by industry, and the bulk of their research is proprietary. Meaning, even if they did discover dangers to the environment or people associated with their new chemical, we probably won't know until that danger is detected by someone outside the company. Here's some background on GENX's predecessor, and the Du Pont spinoff Chemours:

Wednesday News: The way the ball bounces

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JON OSSOFF FALLS SHORT OF FLIPPING GEORGIA'S 6TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT: Ossoff’s campaign had nothing if not an abundance of election-obsessed supporters, who helped him raise an unprecedented amount of money and assemble a small army of door-knocking volunteers. Many of them were political neophytes, men and women who once rarely voted but now served as precinct captains and social-media advocates. But Ossoff still lost in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District because his supporters, even when combined with politically moderate independents, couldn’t outnumber Republican partisans. “This is not the outcome many of us were hoping for,” Ossoff told supporters during his concession speech. “But this the beginning of something much bigger than us.”
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article157305869.html

How Dale Folwell responds to reports of State Health Plan overpayments

I trust you've seen DG Martin's piece on Dale Folwell.

http://www.journalnow.com/opinion/columnists/d-g-martin-treasurer-dale-folwell-s-quick-response/arti...

My local paper ran it front and center in the Letters to the Editor.

Reminded me of my letter to the Journal in 2016 about Folwell.

Tuesday News: Prepping for the 2020 "we own the maps" Election

REPUBLICANS PASS MASSIVE TAX CUT TO GO INTO EFFECT IN 2019: The final budget compromise announced by House and Senate leaders Monday would sharply cut personal and corporate income taxes – but the new rates won’t kick in until 2019. “Millions of middle class families will also keep more of their own earnings,” Senate leader Phil Berger said during a news conference Monday, adding that 99 percent of taxpayers will see a tax cut or pay no income taxes under the plan. House Speaker Tim Moore said the change in the standard deduction will mean 95,000 people will no longer owe income taxes. The 5.25 percent personal income tax rate will be “the lowest rate in the Southeast among states that tax earnings,” according to a news release from House Republicans.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article157061604.html

Tuesday Twitter roundup

It's what you don't do that defines your budget:

Taking something that was already critically underfunded and slashing it more:

When is a clinic not a clinic? When it's an anti-abortion propaganda mill

Republicans should be ashamed of themselves:

Here in North Carolina, the news been similarly discouraging as lawmakers have mostly abandoned the idea of taking affirmative public action to promote women’s health. Remarkably, this is true despite the presence of data showing a number of poor health outcomes for the women of North Carolina as compared to other states. Unfortunately, one “women’s health” initiative the North Carolina General Assembly has managed to find money for is the anti-abortion ministry of so-called crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs).

In 2015, despite making cuts to social safety net programs that many North Carolina women and children depend on, lawmakers managed to increase this funding to $300,000. And in this year’s budget, it appears they are appropriating $1.3 million in state general funds for CPCs, in addition to $400,000 in federal maternal health grant money.

Aside from being a coldly calculating attempt to undermine women's rights, it is also a patently irresponsible use of taxpayer dollars. These "centers" offer very little in the form of maternal health, and zero assistance in helping make child birth affordable, not to mention the costs of raising those children:

ZSR's Mo Green takes the pulse of North Carolina communities

And finds there is a lot of work to be done:

As the new executive director of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation – an 80-year-old family foundation committed to improving the quality of life in North Carolina – Green set out in May 2016 on a statewide tour dubbed “Mo wants to know.” Seeking to learn where the state is hurting, where it’s doing well and what it needs to ease its pains and enhance its strengths, he spoke with hundreds of people, from one-on-one sessions with community leaders to community forums to private talks with people who poured out their stories of loss and hope. In all, he visited 19 counties from the coast to the mountains.

“We were trying to figure out what was going on in the state and how we could be responsive to that,” he said.

I'm pleased by this, but not surprised. ZSR has done great work over the years supporting research and organizations that help people, and now (more than ever) that help is needed. But the only way to solve some of these problems is in the ballot box:

Monday News: Right-wing terrorism

WHITE MAN DRIVES VAN INTO CROWD OUTSIDE LONDON MOSQUE: A white man plowed a van into a crowd of Muslim worshippers outside a north London mosque early Monday in an attack that police say they are investigating as a terrorist incident. Ten people were injured in the attack and police said another man died at the scene, though he was receiving first aid at the time and it wasn't clear if he died as a result of the attack or of something else. "We have a witness saying that the guy who did what he did, the driver of the van, said 'I did my bit,' which means he's not mentally ill," Kacimi said. "This person was conscious. He did what he did deliberately to hit and kill as many Muslims as possible, so he is a terrorist." British security officials, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with official policy, said hate crimes directed at Muslims have increased nearly five-fold in the wake of several attacks in Britain.
http://www.newsobserver.com/latest-news/article156901629.html

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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STILL TIME TO FIX STATE BUDGET INTO ONE THAT HELPS ALL NORTH CAROLINIANS: Word is that the remaining differences – whatever they might be -- between the N.C. House of Representatives and Senate over the state budget are being worked out by the legislature’s top-most leaders. However, before they wrap things up, lawmakers still have the chance to correct their course on some misguided proposals remaining on the table as well as to incorporate some needs that have been ignored or forgotten. First, stop giving the state’s revenue to people who don’t need it. Continued cuts in the corporate income tax are unnecessary and jeopardize the ability of state government to meet the most basic needs of citizens. Reverse the foolish neglect of public education. Take care of those in need. Reject spiteful cuts to important education programs that help disadvantaged students in the eastern part of the state; Discard mean-spirited cuts to food stamps – that would throw 133,000 people – children and the elderly included – off the program while not saving the state a dime.
http://www.wral.com/editorial-still-time-to-fix-state-budget-into-one-that-helps-all-north-carolinia...

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