H2GO proposes end to 2-year lawsuit

H2GO proposes end to 2-year lawsuit

LELAND, N.C. (WECT) - H2GO, the Brunswick Regional Water and Sewer Authority, has sent a proposal to the Town of Leland and the Town of Belville to end an ongoing lawsuit about H2GO water and sewer assets.

“With Brunswick County and Belville Elementary School topping the list of PFAS contamination levels according to the January 21, Environmental Working Group study, H2GO felt it was imperative to find a solution to the current two-year litigation so we can get clean water to the most vulnerable population of our community, our children,” said Ron Jenkins, H2GO Chairman in a press release.

The proposed settlement was sent out on Friday and involves the following key points:

  • The Town of Belville will transfer back to H2GO all the assets transferred by H2GO to the Town of Belville in 2017;
  • H2GO will agree to pay the Town of Leland $800,000 toward the costs and attorney’s fees incurred by the Town of Leland in filing and pursuing the litigation;
  • The Towns of Leland and Belville and H2GO will have the appeals that have been filed with the Court of Appeals withdrawn by counsel within ten days of the execution of a written settlement agreement;
  • The Towns of Leland and Belville and H2GO will jointly move the Court in the pending litigation to modify the preliminary injunction that was entered on December 28, 2017 to remove and delete decretal paragraph 8, which prohibits H2GO and the Town of Belville from constructing or making arrangements to construct the RO Plant permitted by NPDES Permit NC0089613;
  • The Town of Leland will withdraw, with prejudice, the claim in the pending litigation asserting that H2GO violated the North Carolina Open Meetings Law as well as the request that the Town of Leland has made for costs and attorney's fees;
  • The Town of Leland will agree to facilitate and not to oppose, obstruct or impair, the construction and operation by H2GO of the RO Plant permitted by NPDES Permit NC 0089613.

In 2017, the outgoing H2GO Board of Commissioners voted to transfer $56 million of H2GO assets to Belville in a last ditch effort to save the controversial reverse-osmosis plant. Voters, some of whom thought the reverse-osmosis plant was unnecessary and expensive, had voted in a new board of commissioners opposed to the plant. The vote to transfer assets for a mere $10 to Belville came before the new H2GO board had been sworn in. For the last two years, H2GO has been in a legal battle with Belville to regain control of the assets.

Belville and Leland have until February 21 to decide whether they want to accept or decline the settlement.

The town of Leland says they’re considering the proposal at this time.

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