Welcome to the Brunswick Environmental Action Team

(BEAT) Homepage and Current Information Update Site

The entire membership of Brunswick Environmental Action Team (BEAT) remains resolute with the more than 100 communities and organizations along the North Carolina coast that have said "NO!" to offshore drilling and seismic testing. We suspected, from the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic that the administration, in Washington, would take underhanded advantage of the "distraction," to pull down environmental protections. They have proven us correct in our appraisal of their character. BEAT will continue to fight alongside, our sister and brother organizations and municipalities against any organization that seeks to undermine environmental bouindaries that protect our water, air and soil for future generations. This is far from over.

Sent: 6/15/2020 4:21:47 PM

Subject: RELEASE: DEQ Secretary statement on WesternGeco seismic testing decision

 

                               Roy Cooper, Governor                       Michael S. Regan, Secretary

 

 

 

Release: IMMEDIATEContact: Sharon Martin

Date: June 15, 2020Phone: (919) 707-8670

 

DEQ Secretary statement on WesternGeco seismic testing decision

 

RALEIGH – The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality is disappointed to learn of U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’s decision to override North Carolina's Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) Consistency Objection to WesternGeco’s proposal to conduct Geological and Geophysical (Seismic) surveys off the North Carolina coast. The effect of this decision is that the North Carolina Division of Coastal Management’s (DCM) consistency objection no longer prohibits the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) from issuing a permit to WesternGeco. Numerous studies, including several new studies completed in the last few years, indicate the proposed seismic testing poses an unacceptable threat to North Carolina’s marine life and its coastal recreational and commercial fisheries. 

 

“This proposed seismic testing for oil and gas exploration has no place off our coast,” said DEQ Secretary Michal S. Regan.  “Our coastal resources are too precious to risk from these proposed activities. We stand with all of the coastal communities who have made their opposition to the proposed seismic testing and offshore oil and gas clear.”

 

Local leaders have met with state officials and signed a resolution to oppose seismic testing and the offshore drilling that would follow.  https://deq.nc.gov/news/press-releases/2019/05/16/bipartisan-coastal-leadership-signs-resolution-opposing-drilling-oil

 

North Carolina can appeal Secretary Ross’ decision to the federal courts and the state is reviewing the next steps. 

 

Documents can be found on the DCM website at: https://deq.nc.gov/about/divisions/coastal-management/coastal-management-permits/federal-consistency/national-oil-and#seismic-surveys

After reviewing the actual permits, BEAT would like to revise it's statement of concern for CPI USA. 

 

BEAT was originally pleased with the outcome of the NCDPES Permit results based on the March 30th statement from Lauren Garcia, an Environmental Specialist at the NCDEQ, in which she stated, "In response to public input, the final NPDES wastewater permit excludes the discharge of bottom ash transport water in the outfall and increases the monitoring frequency for multiple compounds. The final NPDES stormwater permit incorporates additional monitoring requirements and the development of a hurricane preparedness plan, among other updates.”

Now that BEAT has had time to review the permit in detail, it comes to light that, the wastewater permit does NOT require CPI to stop discharging the “wash water” it uses to wash out its “drag-chain pit,” which is where it collects bottom ash for removal off-site. That water then goes into two settling basins, from there (without any other treatment than settling) into the BSEP canal and into the ocean.

 

The new permit states that technically this is not bottom-ash transport water, as the draft had said, meaning discharge is not absolutely prohibited by federal law.  In short, this "relatively small" annual discharge will continue, including whatever contaminants the wash water picks up from ash residue in the drag-chain pit that do not settle out in the settling basins. This wash water, flushing into the ocean less than a quarter mile off of Caswell Beach, with no treatment process,  was the initial and primary cause for concern for BEAT and county municipalities.

 

Essentially, the state has changed the name of the discharged water from: "bottom ash transport water" to: "wash water." The primary process has not changed at all, only the what they call it. Our minimal request, that CPI USA contain the approximately two tanker truck loads of wash-water and dispose of it in a proper facility was not approved. Instead there will essentially be two tanker truck loads of bottom ash water dumped into the oceanfront of Caswell Beach at least annually, with no notice to residents. We find these results unacceptable and hope that the Brunswick County Towns of Caswell Beach, Oak Island and Southport will join with BEAT in this assertion.

Warmest Regards,

Pete Key

President, Brunswick Environmental Action Team (BEAT)

Dear Concerned Citizens of Brunswick County, NC

Please send comments on Chenmours' groundwater plan to the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) at:

publiccomments@ncdenr.gov

 before March 6, 2020.

DEQ needs to know that the public is paying attention. Here are four ideas to consider including in your letter of personal comments to DEQ about the current Chemours' plan.

1. Chemours has polluted 45,000 acres of local  groundwater with toxic chemicals and poisoned public water supplies for decades, yet now Chemours proposes to avoid paying what is needed to protect people and our communities.

2. Chemours' plan leaves highly contaminated groundwater at the site and does little to stop toxic pollutants from from leaking into people's wells AND local rivers & streams.

3. DEQ must ensure that families, county citizens and downstream communities do not bear any financial burden in paying all costs associated with cleaning up all toxic pollutant emissions. AND that Chemours does pay directly for all cleanup costs.

4. Also, please let DEQ know that Chemours (and stockholders) must commit to placing the health of North Carolinians living near the facililty, the Cape Fear River, and in downstream communities - before it's bottom line - which their proposed plan fails to do!

Here are a few images to provide information about the October 22nd 2019 BEAT meeting presentation by Cape Fear Riverkeeper Kemp Burdette. One idea among many that were discussed is that all citizens be aware of the simple opportunities that exist to help keep our waters untainted by a wide range of medications and drugs. By using information posted below (to the right) everyone can understand simple actions they can take to prevent disposal of ANY pharmaceutical by flushing it into a wastewater drain or toilet. Everyone was encouraged to dispose of EVERY unused (and expired) drug by turning in such medications and/or pharmaceuticals at a local and SAFE disposal sites as explained in the link posted here. http://www.brunswicksheriff.com/resources/medication-disposal

Top Left: River Watch Mission statement; Above: Dwight Willis extolling accomplishments of BEAT and introducing riverkeeper Mr. Kemp Burdette; Top Right: Mr. Burdette during the presentation; Also shown North Carolina Bald Cypress Slide and two Concluding Comments slides from Mr. Burdette's presentation.

 

Brunswick Environmental Action Team - Meeting for BEAT Members and General Public

 

 October 22, 2019

6:30 pm - 6:45 pm

Welcome and Introduction – BEAT President Pete Key

Review BEAT Accomplishments – Dr. Dwight Willis

What is in our Future – Jennifer Swift

Report on the Treasury – Pete Key

6:45 pm - 7:50 pm

          Guest Speaker - Kemp Burdette, Cape Fear Riverkeeper

          Closing Thoughts from Kemp Burdette’s BEAT Presentation - September 2019

  • Economic Development AND Environmental Protection are mutually interdependent; NOT mutually exclusive.

  • Industries that do not accurately account for their own waste management force me and you to pay for their waste treatment out of our own pockets. This is irresponsible, unethical AND illegal.

  • The public needs to more actively support application precautionary principles of risk assessment AND management.

  • Environmental regulatory agencies need to be openly empowered and encouraged to do their jobs.

  • The practice of environmental injustice is cunningly real, common, AND wrong.

  • Corporate influence on environmental policy in the NC General Assembly is often undue; AND also generally bad for North Carolina’s environment.

  • In many cases, efforts of private agencies and interests at state & federal levels to support policies that maximize their own short term profit at the expense of environmental sustainability are commonly more well-organized than public regulatory agencies that work to support long-term environmental protections. Strong local protections are critical factors in promoting long-term environmental sustainability.

7:50 pm - 8:00 pm

Suggestions for 2020

8:00 pm

Adjournment

Sunset Beach NCDEQ Public Comments - RE: Dredging of Jinks Creek - Deadline October 24, 2019

 

https://dredgewire.com/article/11788

Concerned Citizens:
 
As you are aware, after reviewing the SSB dredging application, the US Army Corps of Engineers determined it was necessary to have an independent federal review of the permit application.  Like the State review, the federal review requires a public comment period.  The federal public comment period was activated on 9/24/19 and continues until 5pm, 10/24/19.  If you have concerns about the dredging project submit your concerns to:
              
Mr. Tyler Crumbley
                Wilmington Regulatory Field Office       
                69 Darlington Ave
                Wilmington, NC 28403
                Phone: 910-251-4170
                Email:  Tyler.A.Crumbley@usace.army.mil
 
The attached public notice document outlines the Corps review of the application.  It is important to note that if the Corps doesn’t receive public comments, they will assume the general public is comfortable with all aspects of the dredging project.  I cannot emphasize enough the need in the next week to send a massive amount of email letters to Tyler Crumbly. VOLUME OF MAIL IS CRITICAL to Army Corps of Engineers request for public comment. They will interpret lack of volume as “there is no real problem”.
 
You may also use the following addresses:
1. Braxton.davis@ncdenr.gov
2. courteny.spears@ncdenr.gov
3. tanya.Pietila@ncdenr.gov
4. tara.MacPherson@ncdenr.gov

More information can be found at:  https://www.sunsetbeachnc.gov/vertical/sites/%7BA2C1D077-15B6-49E5-B8FD-53D65FA0DC5D%7D/uploads/Sunset_Beach_Navigation_Project_Update_and_Presentation_-_05-21-19_Revised.pdf

Warmest Regards,

Pete Key

President – Brunswick Environmental Action Team

 

Sample Letter

Mr. Crumbley:


As a resident of Brunswick County, and a citizen concerned about the health and welfare of our coastal barrier islands, and their ecosystems, that protect us from the full force of coastal storms, I am writing you to address the following concerns with the proposed dredging project in Jinks Creek near Sunset Beach.

  • Dredging a 1700 foot, 80-foot-wide and 5 feet MLW (Mean Low Water) channel in South Jinks Creek will increase the sediment load in North Jinks which will have a negative impact not only on the oysters but also the ecosystems of both North Jinks Creek and the surrounding PNAs (Primary Nursery Area).

  • Using computer modeling Moffatt and Nichol stated the navigational channel in Jinks Creek would not increase the risk of flooding and erosion on the east end of the island after storms when the surging water attempts to get back to the ocean.  Three independent coastal scientists using the same computer model, but additional input data suggests the navigational channel will increase this risk of flooding and erosion.  The continuing sea level rise, due to climate change, will most likely increase this risk even more!  For the sake of east property owners shouldn’t this risk be clarified prior to performing any dredging of South Jinks Creek?

  • The spoils from dredging South Jinks Creek will be placed on the ocean between 5th and 12th Street of SSB.  The proposed placement would enhance the existing berm width of 275 ft with a maximum height of +9.0 MLW.  To my knowledge the SSB beaches are actually accreting not eroding. Will the spoils alter the landscape to have a negative impact on the beach’s ecosystem?

  • North Jinks Creek is 2 feet MLW.  To access the ocean, Canal Bay boaters use South Jinks, North Jinks, ICW and then the Little River Inlet.  Feeder/finger canal boaters ONLY use North Jinks Creek to access the ICW.  It isn’t necessary to dredge South Jinks Creek to 5 feet MLW when North Jinks Creek is only 2 feet MLW.

  • Since the tide in Jinks Creek is 4 to 6 feet, the only time Canal Bay boaters will have a problem navigating the 1700-foot area of South Jinks Creek is around low tide.  Canal Bay boaters can simply navigate South Jinks Creek around the tides?  Especially when one considers the potential negative impact the navigational channel will have of the ecosystems of Jinks Creek/PNAs, flooding and erosion on the east end of the island and the impact of placing the spoils between 5th and 12th Street.

  • I’m especially concerned about the massive chunk (40,500 cubic yards) that will be removed from the prism (flood tide delta) that spans the Bay Area opening.  Jinks Creek is going to be turned into something it never was, and is unintended by natural forces to be. It will be robbed of its ability to hold back a massive daily flood of tidal waters in and out of the channel. Not to mention the protection offered from storms like Florence or Matthew pushing a storm surge into the area.  At the project-intended depths and widths using, and I quote Robert Neal from the commissioners meeting “we used a 35 foot Grady White as an average for our calculations”- a 35 foot Grady White is a deep water, ocean going, fishing vessel which can also be configured as a pleasure yacht. The few people that are pushing for this project purchased these vessels knowing that they would need to access the public boat launch or seek a rented berth to store and use them. Now they are seeking to alter, pristine and protected PNA’s for their pleasure and ease of use.

 

I am asking that the NCDEQ put a stop to this unnecessary project and protect these valuable primary nursery areas.
Sincerely,

(Your name and address)
 

Does it seem like every environmental law we have is being erased?

Read about "67 Environmental Rules on the Way Out Since 2016"

Messages in these 4 images are from information about Seismic Testing from the South Carolina Aquarium's Web Posts

What is your Brunswick County, NC Town's Position on Seismic Testing for Offshore Oil?

According to a report at the June 2019 BEAT board meeting information in the following list represents the present policy position of each Brunswick County township or community related to Seismic Blasting and Offshore Drilling.

Brunswick County towns WITH resolutions opposing offshore drilling include:

1.    Bald Head Island
2.    Belville
3.    Calabash
4.    Carolina Shores 
5.    Caswell Beach
6.    Holden Beach
7.    Leland
8.    Oak Island 
9.    Ocean Isle Beach
10.    Southport
11.    Sunset Beach          
12.   St. James
13.   Shallotte

 
Brunswick County towns that have taken NO POSITION on policies or resolutions related Seismic Blasting and Offshore Drilling include:

1.    Boiling Spring Lakes
2.   Bolivia
3.   Navassa
4.   Northwest
5.   Sandy Creek
6.   Varnamtown

 

ONE LAST CHANCE ! 

​​​21 Day Public Comment Period ENDS JULY 17th!​

 

BEAT Action can decisively help a Brunswick County Town, Sunset Beach, preserve one of the best examples of an estuarine tidal marsh ecosystem on the NC coast.

 

the town of sunset beach recently resubmitted a CAMA dredging permit that includes dredging South Jinks Creek.

 

dredging South Jinks creek near the ocean raises a number of concerns addressed by coastal scientists and experts, not the least of which is that North Jinks creek bisects a Primary wildlife Nursery Area marsh ecosystem and will be directly degraded by the dredging. because of this degradation, BEAT is in opposition to the sunset beach request to conduct Maintenance dredging in this particular area of the jinks creek waterway.

 

other waterways between North and South Jinks creek known as the canal bay area and the feeder and finger canal system have all  been maintenance dredged in the past. BEAT is not in opposition to the Maintenance dredging these waterways.

 

Many of you are aware that the original massive dredging proposal has been questioned now for almost three years.  CAMA is now acting on the resubmitted permit.  Part of the process allows for just a 21 day public comment period. It is from June 26 through July 17th. The CAMA protocol creates a comment document file and sends it to the Department of Coastal Management, who then sends the file to the appropriate state agencies for review.  Reviewing agencies can access this file at any time.

 

We have been given 21 days to send comments for inclusion in this file.  please act now to ensure that your voice is heard.  Your comments should be based on facts and data, not emotion and opinion.  This is important.  The facts and data favor the environment.  They support the hard work so many of us have done to earn the respect of the DCM permit agencies.

 

In the permit protocol there are 5 categories for denial; we believe No.3 and No.5 apply.

3. significant adverse effect on public health, safety, and welfare.

5. significant adverse effect on wildlife or fresh water, estuarine or marine fisheries.

Please keep these two categories in mind when you write your comments.

 

information in the following paragraphs may provide you with ideas you may wish to use as talking point guidelines for your own written response (due by July 17, 2019). however while considering ideas provided below, please use your own words; and describe your own experiences and focused concerns.

Dredging South Jinks Creek (part a).

This portion of the creek near Tubbs Inlet has not been dredged in the 50 years since it was relocated. To do so now, at the proposed depth and width, raises concerns:  How will the change in velocity and volume of water, especially during storm surges, effect the tidal marsh estuary system?  Storms such as Mathew and Florence took out the man-made dike at Palm Cove.  Shouldn’t future storms and erosion be considered based on the width and depth of the dredge profile? This concern goes to public health, safety, and welfare.  Both storms put Riverside Drive underwater as do wind and high tide considerations.

 

Dredging South Jinks Creek (part B).

The dredge profile submitted by the contractor Moffat & Nichol shows that they will be altering a substantial portion of the massive Flood Tide Delta which for all these years has served as a metering device- an important role- especially during storm surges. M&N, using a computer model, stated in the public forum that there would be no specific change.  But scientists and coastal experts using the same model but, with additional input, came up with different conclusions and concerns.  The potential for damage to life and property and the estuary marsh ecosystem should be considered.

 

The Tidal Marsh Ecosystem.

There is a major concern that dredging will change the water and sediment volume and flow, the homeostasis of a balanced system, in North Jinks creek where it bisects, close at hand, Primary Nursery Area.  Well documented are the concerns of disturbing to a depth of 6 feet below MLW,  a bottom with contaminates and the ensuing sedimentation issues.  North Jinks Creek has never been dredged, but it now stands to be affected by a different flow and volume rate caused by altering the flood tide delta to dredge South Jinks creek.  Without further study, do we really want to mess with the plumbing?  What about the potential for damage to this unique and fragile estuary, its oyster population and filtering function, and all the marine life that gets it start here ?  All this goes to public welfare and most of all to wildlife and freshwater estuarine or marine fisheries.

 

Setting A Precedent 

Without further study and analysis surrounding the issues, facts, and data submitted by experts and scientists, but not deliberated in the public forum, to go ahead and permit the dredging of South Jinks Creek , is to mess with: 1. Tubbs Inlet, 2. the massive flood tide delta that nature is restoring after Tubbs was relocated some 50 years ago, and 3.  the welfare of Palm Cove.  And further to the North, 4.  the part of Jinks Creek that has never been dredged before and bisects a PNA.

Deep draft

Moffat & Nichol used a “ 35 foot Grady White as an average” for their planning - boats have never been a part of the marsh system at Sunset Beach. BEAT suspects this method for determining "an average depth" may act s a precedent for future dredging projects in Jinks Creek and beyond.

 

The Board of Directors of BEAT are asking you to DO something to invest in the future health of our environment.  Preserve, Conserve, and Advocate.  That is our mission.  Your personal letter via email will matter if you make the effort and cite non-emotional reasons and facts.

 

DCM Position:  If no comments are received, the citizenship has no objections to the proposed dredging project.

For the BEAT Board of Directors, Ted Janes

21 Day Public Comment Link

Dr. Braxton C. Davis, Director

Division of Coastal Management

braxton.davis@NCDENR.gov

If you are interested in learning more about harmful environmental impacts of exposure to chemicals in our environment, please remember to save the date: Sunday, September 22, 2019 to attend a talk presented by Dr. Leo Trasande. The talk is to be held at the Waccamaw Library on Pawley's Island, SC from 3:00PM to 4:00PM. It is sponsored by the Chirping Bird Society and Club 142 United.

 

Following in the footsteps of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring and Theo Colborn’s Our Stolen Future, best-selling author, researcher and pediatrician Leo Trasande reveals the far-reaching health implications of chemicals in our environment. He describes the recent research which exposes the subtle and long-lasting effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and proposes remedies that begin with the individual family and expand to worldwide economies.

https://www.leotrasande.com/events 

MAKE A DIFFERENCE - JOIN BEAT

 Click Button for Membership Form

A GREAT STEP FORWARD!

(BUT MORE STEPS TO GO)

On Thursday, July 27th, North Carolina's Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Air Quality. put a hold on plans by an Australian company to use methyl bromide in log-fumigation plants in Camden, Halifax, Columbus and Martin counties. In addition existing permits for five facilities in Bladen, Columbus, New Hanover, and Wayne counties will be modified within the next 60 days. Residents of these communities, BEAT, and many other environmental groups have strenuously objected to the use of methyl bromide and the lack of controls in place to eliminate its harmful effects.

 

DAQ said more information was needed on how the proposed facilities would safeguard public health from the toxic gas. Methyl bromide is used as a fumigant and pesticide, is highly toxic and an ozone-depleting compound, according to the EPA. The agency phased out most allowed uses of methyl bromide between 1999 and 2005, but it’s still allowed to fumigate logs. DAQ stated that a review of current and proposed facilities made it clear there is a need for state regulations for methyl bromide use. 

BEAT expresses appreciation to the state agencies and state officials who have stepped up to protect the health of our people and to all those who came together on this important cause. 

Read more:

 

BEAT's NEW ENVIRONMENTAL AWARDS HONOR TERRIFIC INDIVIDUALS!

 

Marilyn Priddy

2019 Friend of the Environment Award

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       

       Dr. Richard Hilderman

       

       2019 Distinguished

       Service Award

Randy Sturgill

Senior Campaign Organizer for the

Southeast Region, Oceana

2018 Distinguished Service Award

 

    Randy Thompson

    Brunswick County

        Commissioner -

              District 1

 2018 Friend of the

Environment Award

BEAT's EDUCATIONAL GRANTS COMMITTEE

DEVELOPS EXCITING AND AMBITIOUS PLANS

* Participate in Rockin Democracy

* Pilot Summer Environmental Program for

2nd and 3rd graders

* Reach out to other environmental groups

* Advocate for Skip the Straw Program

* Encourage all BEAT members to read

Coastal Review Online

Great going to Teddy Altreuter (Chair), Dianne Cherry, Rosemary D'Ettore,  Denise Donnelly, Nina Marable, Marty Mentzner, Anne Neeley, and George Yu!!!

To learn more about the dredging issue in Sunset Beach please read  Dr. Hilderman's

recent essays on the issue by clicking on the purple link below.

To read all of BEAT's Position Statements (Including the most recent statement on methyl bromide), click on the following link:

Have a suggestion for the BEAT Website? A group or agency that should be listed? An article, online reference, or video that could be included? A BEAT event that we overlooked? A creative idea? Please click on the "Suggestion Box for BEAT Website" in the footer and send it in!

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For more information about BEAT, contact:

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