Convenience Sites Closed Thursday for Thanksgiving

Convenience Sites Closed Thursday for Thanksgiving

NOVEMBER 20, 2017

 All convenience sites will be closed Thursday in observance of Thanksgiving.

 In addition, the following convenience sites will be closed Thursday in observance of Thanksgiving but will be open the Friday after Thanksgiving, November 25th.  These facilities will resume normal operating hours thereafter.

  • Atkinson
  • Hampstead
  • Rocky Point
  • Shiloh
  • Whitestocking
  • Transfer Station

DEQ issues violation notice to Chemours for unreported chemical spill

DEQ issues violation notice to Chemours for unreported chemical spill

RALEIGH – The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality has cited Chemours with violating the conditions of its wastewater discharge permit because the company failed to report an Oct. 6 chemical spill at its Fayetteville Works facility.

The violation notice demands that Chemours submit within 10 days to DEQ information about the duration and quantity of the dimer acid fluoride and any other chemicals spilled, as well as a description of all actions the company took to stop the spill.

Chemours faces a possible fine for this violation, depending on the outcome of DEQ’s investigation into the spill. The Chemours permit requires that DEQ be notified within 24 hours of any discharge of significant amounts of waste that are abnormal in quantity or characteristic, as well as any non-compliance that potentially threatens public health or the environment.

DEQ questioned Chemours officials in early November after receiving preliminary data from water samples the state agency collected that indicated elevated concentrations of GenX at Chemours’ primary wastewater discharge outfall.

After being questioned by DEQ, the company admitted to DEQ that a spill had occurred four weeks earlier on Oct. 6 from a manufacturing line at the Chemours facility. The company told state officials that dimer acid fluoride, a precursor to GenX, had spilled.

“It is both unlawful and unacceptable for a company to fail to report a chemical spill to the state and public as soon as possible,” said Michael Regan, Secretary for the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality. “We will take all appropriate enforcement action to hold Chemours accountable for failing to comply with its permit.”

By state law, Chemours must be provided an opportunity to respond to a notice of violation before a civil penalty can be assessed. DEQ will review the company’s response and any additional information the company submits before determining further enforcement.

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2019 Revaluation

Pender County Tax Assessor Announces Field Work for the 2019 County-wide Revaluation to begin

BURGAW –  Fieldwork to update images and tax data on all parcels in Pender County will commence on Oct. 16. The Pender County Tax Office has contracted with Tyler Technologies, Inc. of Dayton, Ohio to provide detailed, high-resolution street-level images.

Tyler Technology field staff will photograph properties from customized vans that will be marked as part of the Pender County Imaging Project. The imaging crews will be working throughout the County for approximately twelve weeks.

Please note the following:

  • All personnel assigned to this project have been issued photo ID bangles that must be visible at all times.
  • The Pender County Sheriff’s Department has been notified of van descriptions, locations, and crew information.
  • All photographs will be taken from the public right of ways, however, when this is impractical; every effort will be made to be unobtrusive. Crew members have been authorized to access driveways or private lanes when necessary.

The tax assessor greatly appreciates the cooperation of the citizens of Pender County during this project.

For more information, please contact the Office of the Tax Assessor at 910- 259-1221.

Up- to-date Pender County Revaluation information can be found at www.pendercountync.gov/txa/reval.

Routine maintenance set for Pender Utilities water storage tank

Routine maintenance set for Pender Utilities water storage tank

 

HAMPSTEAD –  Pender County Utilities will begin routine maintenance on the Hampstead elevated storage tank, located near Topsail High School.

“The tank will be drained to allow access for maintenance,” said Bryan McCabe, Interim Director of Pender County Utilities.

Although the Hampstead storage tank will be out of service for up to three weeks, Pender County Utilities does not foresee any immediate issues of concern or loss of service.  The Topsail Elevated Storage Tank will still be in service to provide fire protection in the event of an emergency.

“It is possible residents in the Hampstead and Scotts Hill areas may experience less water pressure or a possible episode of discolored water,” said McCabe.

For more information regarding water service in Hampstead and Scotts Hill, please call Pender County Utilities at 910-259-1570.

Planned Lane Closure I40 East

The NC Department of Transportation Bridge Maintenance Unit plans to close a single  lane of the East Bound lanes of I40, 2.19 miles West of Exit 390.  Weather permitting crews will close the lane beginning at 8:00 am on Wednesday, September 27th at 8:00 am.  Plans are for the work to be completed by 3:00 pm.

The lane closure is necessary to allow the Bridge Maintenance Unit to make repairs to a reinforced concrete column.

There will be no planned detour for this closure.   A vicinity map is below.

I40 Closure

NCDOT urges motorists to use caution when traveling in the work zone.

For real-time travel information at any time, call 511, visit http://www.ncdot.gov/travel or follow NCDOT on Twitter. Another option is NCDOT Mobile, a phone-friendly version of the NCDOT website. NCDOT Mobile is compatible with the iPhone, Android and some newer Blackberry phones.

For further information, please contact Mark Stroud at 910-296-8730.

Pender County residents urged to prepare for Hurricane Irma

The Pender County Office of Emergency Management urged residents to prepare for Hurricane Irma.

“We’re tracking this storm,” said Tom Collins, Pender County Emergency Manager. “Every Pender County resident should take precautions to prepare for Hurricane Irma.”

Collins said families should have emergency kits ready.

“Be sure your emergency supplies kit has enough bottled water and non-perishable food to sustain each family member for three to seven days,” Collins said. “Include a weather radio, flashlight, extra batteries, toiletries, change of clothes, blankets or sleeping bag, rain gear and appropriate footwear. Also include copies of important documents, such as birth certificates and insurance policies.”

While preparing for a family emergency, don’t forget to plan for your pets. Gather supplies for your pet and put them in an easily-accessible container.

“Now is the time to prepare your home,” said Collins. “Clean out gutters and clear property of debris that could damage buildings in strong winds”

The Pender County Office of Emergency Management urges all residents to secure lawn furniture, gas grills, and items that can be become flying debris. Collins said residents should prepare for possible power outages.

Homeowners will need to purchase items such as lumber and shutters now. Pre-drill the window casings, Collins said.

“Residents in flood-prone areas should know local evacuation routes,” Collins said. “We are not issuing a voluntary evacuation at this time, but we want all Pender County residents to know the routes.”

“We are monitoring Hurricane Irma,” said Collins. “It’s important for residents to keep up with weather advisories.”

Residents may register for CodeRed, the county’s emergency alert system, at http://www.penderem.com.

Pender County Emergency Management will post updates on the Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/penderem and on the website http://www.penderem.com.

If you need assistance call the EM office at 910- 259-1210.

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State seeks to stop additional chemical discharges into the Cape Fear River

State seeks to stop additional chemical discharges into the Cape Fear River
DEQ looking at all legal options to end discharge, again demands Chemours provide complete list of chemicals in waste stream 

RALEIGH – As part of its ongoing investigation, the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality this week urged Chemours to stop discharging two additional chemical compounds into the Cape Fear River. The compounds were identified in the company’s waste stream by a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency preliminary analysis shared with the state this week.

DEQ is looking at all legal options including going to court to get the company to stop the discharge.

At a meeting on Monday, EPA scientists told the state they have identified two compounds they are calling Nafion byproducts 1 and 2 in Chemours’ waste stream and that estimated concentrations of these compounds are not decreasing. The new information prompted DEQ to write Chemours on Tuesday urging the company to stop the release of the two compounds. DEQ also repeated its demand for Chemours to provide the state agency with a complete inventory, sampling data and test results for all chemicals included in the company’s waste stream.

Details on the EPA’s findings are included in a report shared by the federal agency with DEQ today.

“Our top priority is to protect the state’s citizens,” said Michael Regan, secretary of the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality. “Until we know more about the health effects of these byproducts, the company needs to stop discharging them. We’re also repeating our demand that Chemours give us information about all other chemicals in its waste stream.”

The new information is the result of the EPA’s analysis of water samples submitted by DEQ to the EPA’s lab in Research Triangle Park. Information about the presence of the Nafion byproducts comes from preliminary analysis of water samples gathered by DEQ at Chemours’ wastewater discharge outfall near Fayetteville and finished drinking water at the Sweeney Water Treatment Plant in Wilmington. Scientists at the EPA lab are conducting further analysis of the water samples.

Preliminary results shared by the EPA this week also include three perfluorinated compounds that along with GenX were previously identified in the Cape Fear River by a 2016 study by the EPA and N.C. State University. Estimated concentrations of these three perfluorinated compounds dropped significantly, similar to GenX levels after the company stopped discharging GenX. For that reason, state and federal officials believe the three perfluorinated compounds were part of the same wastewater discharge that included GenX and was stopped.

The accuracy of the laboratory analysis for the five chemicals included in the EPA’s preliminary results is more uncertain than those available for GenX because calibration standards for these chemicals are not commercially available. EPA is using new non-targeted screening methods to develop concentration estimates for these five chemicals. With non-targeted screening, researchers are able to test for and identify chemicals present, rather than testing to see if a particular chemical is present. This is different from the more commonly known targeted screening, which is when researchers identify what they are looking for in the water and then test for those specific things.

State officials began investigating the presence of GenX in the river in June. That ongoing investigation along with pressure from residents and local officials prompted Chemours to stop discharging GenX from its Fayetteville facility. DEQ is now asking Chemours to stop discharge of the Nafion byproducts, which preliminary results indicate come from the company’s wastewater but are unchanged since the GenX discharge ended.

Little is known about the health effects of any of the five compounds—Nafion byproducts 1 and 2 or the three other perfluourinated compounds – included in this week’s analysis from the EPA.

Public health experts with DHHS used available studies to establish a health goal for GenX. Since the GenX discharge stopped, concentrations of GenX have dropped well below the state health goal of 140 parts per trillion. No similar health studies have been identified for the Nafion byproducts or the other three perfluorinated compounds analyzed by the EPA, so DHHS is unable to establish a health goal for them at this time.

DHHS reiterated its health guidance that the public can continue to drink the water, based on ongoing testing for GenX and other compounds for which health information is available. This guidance has not changed following the preliminary results shared by the EPA this week.

“I know how frustrating it is to all of us that we have very little scientific information about these unregulated, emerging compounds,” said Mandy Cohen, secretary of the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. “We continue to work with the Environmental Protection Agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other scientists to get more information as quickly as possible.”

As part of the ongoing investigation, DEQ requested that the EPA analyze water samples for GenX and other unregulated chemical compounds included in the 2016 study conducted by the EPA and N.C. State University. Among those chemicals are the perfluorinated compounds the EPA reported this week. The EPA also chose to analyze the water samples for the Nafion byproducts based on a separate prior study by the federal agency. Specialists with the EPA’s lab in Research Triangle Park conducted the analysis using new technology and methodology and looked at water samples collected by DEQ over a six-week period starting June 19.

DEQ will review all this information as part of its investigation and the agency’s review of Chemours’ application for a new wastewater discharge permit.

The EPA informed state officials this week that it is working on a report that will include concentrations of other compounds at multiple sampling locations over multiple weeks.

As with the results for GenX, DEQ will make public test results for all the compounds when final data is available.

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Storm watch is canceled in Pender County

The Pender County Office of Emergency Management announced the storm watch was canceled.

“The storm stayed out to sea and we had no major issues,” said Tom Collins, Pender County Emergency Manager.

Collins said the Emergency Operations Center has resumed normal hours.

“Preparing for this tropical storm is good practice for our citizens and our emergency services,” said Collins. “While we are grateful the storm did not impact our utilities or cause flooding issues, we urge our citizens to prepare emergency kits.”

Pender County Emergency Management will continue to post updates on the Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/penderem and on the website http://www.penderem.com. If you need assistance call the EM office at 910- 259-1210.

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