RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Gov. Roy Cooper has vetoed legislation that contains some money to address a little-studied chemical in a North Carolina river because he says it doesn't help state agencies improve protections for drinking water statewide.

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Cooper vetoed on Thursday the measure sent to him three weeks ago. Now Republican legislators returning in early October must decide whether to try to override the veto - his 12th since taking office in January.

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The wide-ranging environmental measure contained $435,000 for Wilmington-area utilities and the local university to clean up and monitor the chemical known as GenX. A plant upstream from Wilmington discharged the chemical into the Cape Fear River until recently. Two departments in the Democratic governor's administration had wanted $2.6 million to hire more water quality monitors and scientists.

Some 60,000 Wilmington, N.C., residents get their drinking water from the Cape Fear River. DuPont and its spinoff company Chemours manufacture chemicals at a plant upstream from the city.

House Speaker Tim Moore responded:

“It defies belief that Gov. Cooper is still making the false claim that GenX contamination is related to recent state budgets, and more shocking that he would reject emergency funds intended to protect the citizens of the Cape Fear region to continue this irrelevant assertion”