What does a local board of health do?

A local board of health is the policy-making, rule-making, and adjudicatory body for public health in the county or counties in its jurisdiction.[1] State statutes give boards of health specific powers and duties.[2] Every type of local board may make local public health rules that apply throughout the board’s jurisdiction. Each board has limited authority to set fees for public health services. Each board also influences the day-to-day administration of the local public health agency.

Public health authority boards have expanded powers and duties compared to county and district boards of health. Consolidated human services boards have all of the powers of county and district boards of health, except a consolidated human services board may not appoint the agency director (who is appointed instead by the county manager, with the advice and consent of the board). A consolidated human services board also plays a more active role in the development of the agency’s budget,[3] and has additional powers and duties related to its oversight of other human services programs. A table comparing the powers and duties of the different types of boards in more detail is available in the attached document.

For more detailed information about board of health powers and duties, see questions 10 through 15.


[1] G.S. 130A-35(a) (county board of health); 130A-37 (district board of health); 130A-45.1 (public health authority board); 153A-77(d)(4) (consolidated human services board).

[2] G.S. 130A-39 (county and district boards of health); 130A-45.3 (public health authority board); 130A-43(b) and 153A-77(d) (consolidated human services board).

[3] G.S. 153A-77(d)(7) (a consolidated human services board is authorized to plan and recommend a consolidated human services budget).Although it may plan and recommend the agency budget, the consolidated human services board may not present or transmit the budget for local health programs. G.S. 130A-43(b)(2).

Topics - Local and State Government