BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Brunswick County leaders unanimously approved sending a letter to the state Department of Environmental Quality opposing an air quality permit for a logging company operating in Columbus County.
At Monday night's meeting, Brunswick County commissioners adopted the letter, which is addressed to William D. Willets with the permit section of the NC Division of Air Quality. It conveys Brunswick's stance on proposed fumigation operations of the Malec Brothers Transport site on Cronly Road.
Brunswick Board of Commissioners Chairman Frank Williams writes: "I am writing to express opposition to the issuance of an air quality permit allowing 140 tones of methyl bromide to be released into the atmosphere in the Delco/Riegelwood area of Columbus County. ... The people in this community have voiced their concerns and we ask that not issue the permit as written.
"We support industrial growth in our, and neighboring counties, but at the expense of the health and safety of our citizens. Again, we request that you not issue the permit for 140 tons of methyl bromide to be released into the atmosphere on Cronly Road."
At two public comment hearings and an informational session, community members from Delco and the surrounding areas have voiced their opposition to Malec Brothers' permit request. Columbus County has drafted and sent a similar letter to the Division of Air Quality.
In other business from Monday's commissioners' meeting, Williams signed Brunswick County's new budget, which the chairman said will benefit the county's residents.
"This budget maintains one of the lowest property tax rates in North Carolina, prioritizes education and public safety, and includes a lower general fund debt service than when I took office six years ago," Williams said in an emailed statement. "Thank you to our amazing staff for making Brunswick County one of the most fiscally well-managed counties in the state, if not the nation."
Read the county's full letter to DAQ below: