Public Notice

Public Notice

Brunswick County statement in response to Environmental Working Group January 2020 report

01.22.2020

Brunswick County began an extensive testing program for PFAS contaminants when academic studies revealed the presence of multiple PFAS in its drinking water, testing a suite of PFAS contaminants on a weekly basis. Brunswick County’s water samples have continuously remained below the EPA’s established health advisory levels for PFOA + PFOS and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services’ established provisional health goal for GenX, however the combined levels of all PFAS is concerning and the County continues to test and monitor for most known PFAS compounds and GenX during its routine testing.

At this time, the EPA does not have an established health goal for several of the other compounds listed in this report that are contributing to the overall 185.9 ppt sample level, however the PFOA + PFOS and GenX sample levels in this report are also below the provisional health goals mentioned above. Due to the fact that little or no study has been done on the health effects of combined PFAS or many of these individual PFAS found in the source water, Brunswick County has taken a proactive approach to install the most protective water treatment system at the Northwest Water Treatment Plant to remove these contaminants.

Brunswick County’s leadership recognizes that high quality water is of paramount importance to our customers and residents and agree that reverse osmosis is the most effective PFAS removal technology, which is why the Board of Commissioners and county administration are embarking on a project to install an advanced low-pressure reverse osmosis treatment system at the Northwest Water Treatment Plant, as well as increase capacity at the plant to support the county’s growth. Brunswick County Public Utilities has been working diligently with engineers at CDM-Smith and the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality to design, permit and build an economical low-pressure reverse osmosis system at the plant for the benefit of all Brunswick County water users.

Low-pressure reverse osmosis is considered one of the most advanced and effective methods to treat and remove both regulated and unregulated materials from drinking water, including GenX, 1,4-dioxane and other per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). In April 2018, the County conducted two rounds of testing on a pilot low-pressure reverse osmosis system at the Northwest Water Treatment Plant. The results showed that low-pressure reverse osmosis reduced most PFAS including GenX to undetectable levels, essentially removing all the components.

Not only do pilot studies indicate that low-pressure reverse osmosis is the most effective advanced treatment method for PFAS removal, but they also indicate that it is the most economical advanced treatment option for the removal of high percentages of PFAS at the Northwest Water Treatment Plant. Most previous studies focus on the high-energy cost when using reverse osmosis for the treatment of saline or brackish water, but the cost is considerably less when used to treat fresh water for PFAS contaminants, especially short-chain PFAS.

All of the County’s water sample test reports are available to the public at https://www.brunswickcountync.gov/genx/

Brunswick County would notify customers and residents should any of its test samples exceed the health advisory levels established for PFOA + PFOS or GenX.

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Board of Commissioners Meeting FAQs

Want to know more about how the Commissioners conduct business, when they meet, or how you can participate? You’re in the right place!

 

When and where do the Commissioners meet?

The Commissioners hold their Regular Meetings on the first Monday of every month, starting at 3:00 p.m., and the third Monday of every month, starting at 6 p.m.; if either of those Mondays are a holiday, the Commissioners will meet the Tuesday immediately following. Regular Meetings begin with the Invocation, the Pledge of Allegiance, public discussion and administrative items (Closed session is held at the end of the meetings). Meetings are held in the Commissioners’ Meeting Room in the David R. Sandifer Administration Building.

Occasionally, the Commissioners will call a special meeting, to discuss matters that cannot wait until the next meeting. Notice of these meetings will be sent to the media, sent to residents on the Sunshine list, and posted on the county’s website. These meetings will be held at the time stated in the notice.

Can I come?

All of the Commissioners’ meetings are open to the public. The Commissioners may move to a conference room for a private, or Closed, Session to discuss certain confidential matters (including discussing certain personnel matters or discussing pending legal matters with the County Attorney). However, all action (voting) is taken in open session. You are welcome to attend any meeting, and to wait until the completion of Closed Session discussions.

Can I speak/participate?

Each Regular Meeting has a public comment period, during which anyone can address the Commissioners with questions or concerns about county business. We ask that you sign in before you speak (there’s a sheet next to the agendas, near the entrance to the meeting room) so the Clerk can make sure she has the correct spelling of your name. You can view the Public Comment Policy online before the meeting. Additionally, some meetings have public hearings for specific issues. The public hearings are similar to a public comment period, but pertain to one topic. If you wish to provide a handout, please bring at least 8 copies, so we can share them with the Commissioners and county staff. If you would like to present an agenda item, there are additional requirements.

Where can I find the meeting agenda/find out what happened?

Paper agendas for the meetings are always available near the entrance to the Commissioners Meeting Room on the night of the meeting. Agendas may also be viewed online. Agendas are typically available online the Friday before the meeting.

If you would like to know what happened during a previous meeting, you may view the minutes from that meeting. Please note that minutes must be approved by the Commissioners, so they are typically not available for at least a month after the meeting. To view minutes from previous meetings; you can use the search features to look up minutes from a certain time frame, or to search for key words.

DAVID R. SANDIFER BUILDING

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P.O. Box 249
Bolivia, NC
28422

(910) 253-2017
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