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.

Flood Map and Ordinance Changes

Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance

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Flood Resource Links

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Code Administration

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Stormwater Management

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Information About New Flood Maps and Flood Ordinance Changes

Brunswick County has adopted new flood maps and amended the County’s Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance, to participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

Brunswick County adopted the flood maps and ordinance effective August 28, 2018, during the scheduled public hearing held on Monday, July 16 in the Commissioners’ chambers. (public hearing details can be found here).

Background

FEMA regularly updates Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) using studies to improve the maps and ensure their accuracy. The last maps FEMA approved for our area were adopted in 2006; since then, FEMA has worked to study and improve these maps. Now that FEMA has approved updated maps, Brunswick County can adopt them and continue to participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

The previous Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) and Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance that were in place for Brunswick County were adopted June 2, 2006. The current Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) and Flood Insurance Study (FIS) were issued by FEMA on March 31, 2015 with a 90-day appeals period to submit Technical Information on flood elevations. All the appeals submitted during the appeal period were resolved and FEMA issued a Letter of Final Determination on February 28, 2018, which states the maps and ordinance will become effective on August 28, 2018.

View Maps and Ordinance

To view the current effective maps, visit the State’s Flood Risk Information System (FRIS)- Flood Maps, which will automatically show the current effective maps. To view the preliminary maps, in the top right corner of the page, click on “Effective” and change to “Preliminary.” This will allow the viewer to see the maps being adopted on August 28, 2018.

View the current Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance here.

View Flood Risk Information at Flood.NC.gov here.

View FEMA Letter of Revalidation of Existing Letter of Map Changes

If you have any further questions, please contact Brunswick County Floodplain Administration at 910.253.2046 or by email at floodplain.administrator@brunswickcountync.gov.

If Brunswick County Did Not Adopt the Proposed Changes, Then:

  1. Flood insurance would no longer be available. No building owner would be able to purchase a new flood insurance policy or renew an existing flood insurance policy.
  2. No Federal Grants or Loans for structures would be made in identified flood hazards areas. This includes all Federal agencies such as Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Economic Development Administration (EDA), Small
    Business Administration (SBA), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
  3. No Federal disaster assistance would be provided to repair or replace structures in identified flood hazard areas for any flood-related damages. This includes FHA, the Farmers Home Administration and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
  4. Conventional Mortgages. Lenders would make loans on structures in identified flood hazard areas of not-participating communities, but they:
    a. would be required to notify the buyer or lessee that the property is in flood hazard area;
    and
    b. would be required to notify the buyer or lessee that the property in a flood hazard area is not eligible for Federal disaster relief in a flood-related declared disaster.
  5. Loss of subsidized insurance for older structures. Actuarial rates would go into effect regardless of a community’s status in the program. Lacking proper controls, insurance premiums on non-compliant construction could prove prohibitive and
    affect future property salability and values. Such a condition would be triggered by a community’s re-entry in the program at a later date.
BUILDING I

Contact

75 Courthouse Drive
Building I
Bolivia, NC 28422

(910) 253-2046
Floodplain Administrator
open mon-fri:
8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

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