The Latest: Health official resigns in cancer warnings flap


RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The Latest on the fallout over the safety of drinking from North Carolina water wells near Duke Energy coal ash pits found to contain a cancer-causing chemical. (all times local):

6:10 p.m.

A North Carolina epidemiologist is quitting her state job because she says health agency officials are trying to mislead the public about warnings concerning well water near Duke Energy coal ash pits containing a cancer-causing chemical.

Dr. Megan Davies resigned Wednesday. She said a letter from top members of Gov. Pat McCrory’s administration falsely blamed a colleague for contributing to fear and confusion of people who live near the pits and whose well water is tainted with cancer-causing hexavalent chromium.

State officials on Tuesday criticized state toxicologist Ken Rudo for his work urging people near the Duke Energy plants not to drink their well water. The officials blamed Rudo for “questionable and inconsistent scientific conclusions.”

State officials reversed the warnings in March and said the water is safe.

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7:45 a.m.

A state toxicologist says officials in North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory’s administration are the ones responsible for fear and confusion about the safety of well water near Duke Energy coal ash pits found to contain a cancer-causing chemical.

Toxicologist Ken Rudo says in a statement issued by his attorneys late Tuesday that the state’s environmental and health agencies last year agreed on a safety standard for hexavalent chromium in groundwater after intense scientific discussions. Officials this year decided that standard was too high and declared the water safe to drink.

North Carolina’s public health director and an assistant secretary at the Department of Environmental Quality on Tuesday blamed Rudo for sowing fear about dangerous chemicals near Duke Energy sites with “questionable and inconsistent scientific conclusions.”

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