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.

Here’s what you missed at the Brunswick County Board of Commissioners’ Oct. 7 meeting

10.08.2019

Here’s what you missed at the Brunswick County Board of Commissioners’ Oct. 7 meeting

MEDIA RELEASE

BOLIVIA, N.C. – The Brunswick County Board of Commissioners met for their regular meeting this past Monday, Oct. 7 at 3 p.m. Here’s a quick recap of the actions taken on a few selected items from the agenda.

The Board of Commissioners will review and make a motion to accept the official minutes from the Oct. 7 meeting at a later meeting. Once approved, the county clerk will post them online at https://www.brunswickcountync.gov/agendas/

VI. Presentation
  • 2. Wilmington MPO – Alternative Funding Sources for Cape Fear Moving Forward 2045: The Board of Commissioners received information from the Wilmington MPO regarding the alternative funding sources for Cape Fear Moving Forward 2045.
VII. Administrative Report
  • 2. Administration – Fiscal Year End June 30, 2019 County Manager’s Report and Capital Project Funding: The Board of Commissioners received the county manager’s report with information for the end of Fiscal Year 2019. Some of the key highlights include:
    • The county population grew from 123,097 in 2015 to 139,829 in 2019
    • In 2019, the County grew to 42,934 water customers and 18,816 waste water customers (Note: These figures do not include wholesale water and waste water customer growth)
    • In 2019, the County’s average daily water treatment was 15,860,783 gallons with a daily capacity of 30,000,000 gallons; the average daily sewer treatment was 7,062,559 gallons with a daily capacity of 10,855,555 gallons
    • The general fund summary for FY19 had $205.1 million in revenue, $195.1 million in expenditures and $8.4 million in transfers to other funds
    • General fund debt service in FY19 was $13.5 million, which was $500,000 less than the previous year
    • FY19 general fund ad valorem tax revenues increased by nearly $4 million from the previous year for a total of $128.2 million
    • In FY19, the total property tax assessed value including registered vehicles was $26 billion—a 3.6 percent increase from the previous year
    • The real and motor vehicle property tax collection rates have improved significantly, from 95.81 percent in 2015 to 98.41 percent in 2019
      • The collection rate for property excluding motor vehicles increased from 98.15 percent to 98.31 percent in 2019
      • With the Tag and Tax Together program, registered motor vehicles were at 100 percent in 2019
  1. The board also approved with a 5-0 vote to appropriate a fund balance totaling $8,425,021 from the County’s savings to avoid debt to help fund the courthouse renovations/expansion project and the landfill transfer station. These projects are included in the Five-Year Capital Improvement Plan.
  • 3. Administration – Request from City of Northwest for Utility System Merger Agreement: The Board of Commissioners approved a request with a 5-0 vote to direct staff to forward a draft agreement to the City of Northwest concerning its request to merge the utility system into the County system.
  • 5. Board of Elections – Appropriation for Purchase of Voting Equipment: The Board of Commissioners accepted the Board of Elections’ recommendation to adopt and acquire the Hart Intercivic Verity 2.2 voting system with a 3-2 vote. Commissioners Sykes and Cooke voted no. Commissioners Forte, Williams and Thompson voted yes.
  • 6. Utilities – Northeast Brunswick Regional Waste Water Treatment Plant 2.5 MGD Expansion: The Board of Commissioners approved with a 5-0 vote the appropriation and execution of a series of contracts and notices of bids for the planned expansion project at the Northeast Brunswick Regional Waste Water Treatment Plant. The construction will increase the plant’s capacity by 2.5 million gallons per day (MGD) for a total capacity of 4.975 MGD to support the increasing demands on the plant due to growth in the northern region of the county. The board’s actions also include a request for funding approval from the Local Government Commission (LGC) and the closing of the revenue bond sale. Construction on the plant is expected to begin November 2019 and to receive full certification by November 2021.

The next regular Board of Commissioners meeting is scheduled for Monday, Oct. 21 at 6 p.m.

To view the full agenda items and accompanying reports, go to https://www.brunswickcountync.gov/agendas/

More information about the Board of Commissioners meetings is at https://www.brunswickcountync.gov/board-commissioners/faq/

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For media inquiries, contact the Public Information Officer at 910.253.2995 or email meagan.kascsak@brunswickcountync.gov