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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Heating and Cooling Emergency Assistance

Several programs are available to help residents facing emergency heating and cooling situations.

Crisis Intervention Program

The Crisis Intervention Program (CIP) provides financial assistance to low-income residents facing emergency heating and cooling situations. Payments are made directly to the heating or cooling vendor, and there is a limit to how much can be paid to a household per fiscal year. For more information, call 910-253-2077 or apply in person at the Social Services office.

LIEAP

The Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) is a federally-funded program that provides a one-time payment to help with heating bills. Payments are made directly to the heating vendor.  The LIEAP program is administered December 1st through March 31st.

Only households containing an elderly person age 60 and above or a disabled persons receiving services through the Division of Aging and Adult Services (DAAS) are eligible to potentially receive benefits from December 1st through December 31st or until funds are exhausted.

Any household can potentially receive benefits from January 1 through March 31 or until funds are exhausted.

For more information call 910-253-2077 or apply in person during the applicable times of the year.

 

BUILDING B

Contact

60 GOVERNMENT CENTER DRIVE
BUILDING B

(910) 253-2077
DSS@BRUNSWICKCOUNTYNC.GOV
open mon-fri:
8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Please do not email reports of abuse or neglect.
If you need to make a CPS or APS report, please call 910-253-2077 during business hours.  After Hours call 911 and ask to speak to the on call social worker.

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