News release from CFPUA:
1. The CFPUA Board of Directors held a special meeting today to discuss action items for CFPUA process enhancements following CFPUA's involvement in the NCSU study. These recommendations are a follow up to the review discussed at last Thursday's Board meeting.
Following are CFPUA staff recommendations for immediate process enhancements to ensure customers can easily reach information about the water supply, and to ensure water quality information is properly managed:
- Establish a page on the CFPUA web site titled “The Quality of Your Drinking Water.”
- Create a link to any detects of an unregulated contaminant, regardless of whether it is included on the EPA’s UCMR (Unregulated Contaminate Monitoring Rule) list. Advertise new data so customers are aware.
- Create a link to a rolling 12-month list of water quality test results for compliance.
- Include information about disinfection byproducts, UCMR, source water, FAQs, treatment processes, etc.
- Include links to EPA, CDC and other sources of health information.
- Report UCMR data at a Board meeting, not just through the annual CFPUA Water Quality Report.
- Issue a press release when new UCMR or other unregulated contaminant test results are available.
- Secure Board approval for water study partnerships. After they are complete, bring study results to the next meeting for Board review.
- Quickly escalate test data that appears unusual or concerning.
- Conduct quarterly or special reviews with the New Hanover County Health Department to discuss water quality trends and engage with NCDEQ and EPA who play a vital regulatory role in making sure contaminants don’t enter the Cape Fear River in the first place.
Executive Director Jim Flechtner, at direction from the Board, will begin developing draft policies for each recommendation. Draft policies are expected to be brought before the Board during the regularly scheduled August Board meeting.
The Board also discussed the following objectives for process enhancement, for which the Board will create policies and protocols:
- Create a communications protocol for dealing with unregulated contaminants.
- Create a mechanism for working with EPA and DEQ to ensure CFPUA is up to date on known information.
- When participating in studies or when made aware of unregulated substances in the Cape Fear River, create a classification system to classify risk level.
- Develop a clear protocol for escalating issues with EPA, DEQ, and public health officials. This might include a quarterly call to conference on different emerging contaminants with all regulatory stakeholders included.
- Set a clear process for escalating any matters of public interest within the organization, to the Board, and to the public.
- Develop processes that allow CFPUA and the Board to urgently pursue appropriate avenues to reach resolutions to any issue that may arise—from customer service issues to water quality issues—in a timely manner.
A copy of the review, the presentation from Thursday's meeting, and a full timeline of actions taken by CFPUA are available here. The Board continues its commitment to transparency through this process.
2. On Friday, CFPUA environmental counsel sent a letter to DEQ Secretary Michael Regan highlighting two documents of concern discovered during a review of documents from a public records request. These documents raise questions regarding the accuracy of data used in the issuance of Chemours' permit. CFPUA has asked DEQ for clarification on this matter. The letter to Sec. Regan asked for further clarification and explanation on these two documents. A copy of the letter is available here.