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.

Planning Board Public Hearing (Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance)

10.04.2019

Brunswick County is considering adopting a revised Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance, an updated Flood Insurance Study (FIS) and its associated Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM), which is the minimum criteria in order to participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). FEMA regularly updates the 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 August 28, 2018. Since that time, FEMA has worked to study and improve thirty (30) map panels that border neighboring counties.  Now that FEMA has approved the updated maps, Brunswick County and the bordering counties can adopt them and continue to participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

The preliminary 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 which states the preliminary maps and ordinance will become effective on December 6, 2019.

Notice is hereby giving that the Brunswick County Planning Board will hold a public hearing on October 14, 2019 at 6:00pm in the Commissioners Chambers of the David R. Sandifer Administration Building located at 30 Government Center Drive at the Brunswick County Government Center concerning the following items:

  1. PROPOSED REVISIONS RELATED TO THE FLOOD DAMAGE PREVENTION ORDINANCE IN THE UNIFIED DEVELOPMENT ORDINANCE; AND
  2. UPDATED FLOOD INSURANCE STUDY AND ASSOCIATED FLOOD INSURANCE RATE MAPS (FIRMS) APPROVED BY FEMA.

The Board will consider all discussions during the public hearing.  All interested persons are encouraged to attend.  Copies of the proposed flood maps can be viewed online at https://flood.nc.gov/ncflood or http://www.ncfloodmaps.com

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT THE BRUNSWICK COUNTY CODE ADMINISTRATION DEPARTMENT AT 910-253-2021 OR 800-621-0609