MAYSVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency visited Jones County on Monday for a community discussion surrounding water quality improvements.
Local and state officials met to hear about President Joe Biden’s efforts to provide clean water throughout the country. Agents from the EPA announced a $2 billion investment from Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to work to remove PFAS, or per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances from the water systems, including in Maysville.
Back in 2019, high levels of PFAS contamination were detected in the town of Maysville’s only well, affecting over 450 customers throughout the county.
“These forever chemicals are pervasive throughout our environment. In 2019, Maysville learned that lesson firsthand. They also learned a lot about the impacts of PFAS that they are linked to health effects,” said N.C. Department of Environmental Quality Secretary Elizabeth Biser.
It resulted in them having to rely on supply from Jones County Water until now.
U.S. EPA Administrator Michael Regan, who is from North Carolina, announced their new Emerging Contaminants in Small or Disadvantaged Communities (EC-SDC) grant program, to help areas like Maysville.
“Through this grant program, this year alone, this one year alone, North Carolina will receive nearly $62 million for projects that specifically address PFAS and emerging contaminants in drinking water in our small and rural communities,” said Regan.
That also applies to over $5 billion between now and 2026 to help other areas throughout the country.
“We are on the path to building a brighter future where every single person, in every single corner of this country can feel safe to drink the water that flows through their tap,” he added.
It was a proud moment for Town Manager Schumata Brown to be able to bring the residents of Maysville.
“We need this water to live, I mean water is the quality of life. And I believe if we provide it to our citizens, they deserve that quality,” said Brown.
As of right now, Maysville will be making the switch to its new well treatment system in the next six months. During the round table, officials also spoke on the importance of informing and educating other communities on PFAS contamination, as well as testing.
Click here to read more about the grant program.