Bill Summaries: H444 (2021)

  • Summary date: Mar 29 2021 - View summary

    Includes whereas clauses. Changes the requirements related to the discharge or release of industrial waste that includes poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) under GS 143-215.2A. No longer requires the Secretary of Environmental Quality (Secretary) to be directed by the Governor before ordering persons responsible for discharge that results in contamination of a private drinking water well to establish permanent replacement water supplies for affected parties. Adds a new authority for the Secretary to order any person found to be responsible for the discharge or release of industrial waste that includes PFAS that results in the contamination of a water source supplying a public water system to pay any actual and necessary costs incurred by a public water system to remove, correct, or abate any adverse effects upon the water supply resulting from the contamination for which the person is responsible. Lists included costs, such as costs to procure technology to reduce PFAS concentration in finished drinking water. Provides for order delivery and content; allows filing a contested case petition; and deems an uncontested order final. Provides for joint and several liability for all actual and necessary costs ordered under the new authority. Specifies the effect on other legal remedies and rights of contribution for costs incurred. Requires a public water system to reimburse ratepayers through a reduction in future rates if the system has expended funds and charged ratepayers to remove, correct, or abate any adverse effects resulting from PFAS contamination which have subsequently been reimbursed by the person responsible for the contamination as the result of an order under this statute. Excludes from the statute discharges from publicly owned treatment works occurring as a result of pass through from indirect discharge of PFAS by an industrial user, as those terms are defined by federal law. Replaces the definition given for contamination. Adds a nonexhaustive list of PFAS compounds. Defines public water system. Makes organizational and conforming changes.