Amends GS 143-215.3 to authorize the Governor to require a facility to stop operations and activities in the state that result in the production of a pollutant if (1) the facility has a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit, (2) the facility has received more than one notice of violation from the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) within two years, (3) DEQ has determined that the facility has had unauthorized discharges of per‑ and poly‑fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) into the air, surface water, and groundwater and these discharges have resulted in the violation of federal drinking water standards or health goals established by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), and (4) DEQ has been unable to stop all further unauthorized discharges from the facility that may result in the violation of federal drinking water standards or health goals established by DHHS within one year from the time the DEQ first learned of the unauthorized discharges. Effective when the act becomes law and expires December 31, 2020.
Requires the Secretary of Environmental Quality (Secretary) to, upon direction of the Governor, order any person who is found to be responsible for discharging waste that includes PFAS, including GenX, into the air, groundwater, surface water, or land that results in the contamination of a private drinking water well, to establish permanent replacement water supplies for each house with a contaminated well. Sets out requirements for the permanent replacement water supply. Requires the Secretary's order to include a deadline by which the replacement supply must be established and sets out requirements for delivery and content of the order. Allows a person who is subject to the order to commence a contested case within 30 days after receipt of the notice of the order. Makes a person required to establish a permanent replacement water supply jointly and severally liable for all associated costs. Requires State entities and local governments to expedite any permits and approvals required to establish a replacement water supply.
Appropriates $2 million in nonrecurring funds for 2017-18 from the unappropriated balance remaining in the General Fund to the Division of Water Infrastructure of DEQ to provide funding to local governments for expenditures that they may incur because of activities to connect households to public water supplies according to an order issued under GS 143-215.2A. The funds are to be deposited in the PFAS Recovery Fund, to be established within DEQ. Funds are nonreverting. Allows distribution of the funds to local governments only for the purposes of planning, analysis, and surveying of waterline extensions for households subject to an order. Sets out procedure for issuing an order demanding reimbursement from the person responsible to whom an order was issued; if the responsible party refuses to pay or does not do so within the specified time frame, requires the Secretary to bring an action of reimbursement of the PFAS Recovery Funds in the name of the State in the superior court of the county in which the funds were expended. Requires DEQ to report quarterly to the Environmental Review Commission on activities conducted and funds expended, with the first report due September 1, 2018.
Appropriates $450,000 in nonrecurring funds for 2018-19 from the unappropriated balance remaining in the General Fund to the Division of Water Resources of DEQ for grants to the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority to implement a program to perform nontargeted sampling of finished drinking water from the Authority’s Sweeney Water Treatment Plant and its Aquifer Storage and Recovery Well to identify levels of PFAS including the chemical known as GenX that may be included in the water and identify whether other contaminants may be present, including 1,4-dioxane, total organic halogens, and proxies of wastewater contaminants in water samples. After establishing the baseline of pollutants using these tests, the Authority must test the effectiveness of ion exchange and activated carbon technologies for treatment of PFAS and any other contaminants that may be identified during testing. The Authority must install temporary ion exchange and carbon treatment systems suitable to treat 500 gallons per minute minimum and modify existing piping from the Plant and ASR to connect to the temporary treatment systems. After treatment systems are installed, the Authority must test the treated water weekly, before and after treatment, over a period of six weeks at increasing flow rates to determine the relative effectiveness of ion exchange and activated carbon technologies in reducing contaminants. After determining the most effective treatment technology at high flow rates, the Authority is to continue sampling treated water at two week intervals.
Directs DEQ to develop a plan for remediation of groundwater and surface water which through testing has been found to contain PFAS and GenX from industrial waste discharge. The plan must include: (1) a process for identifying all water sources for which testing has demonstrated the presence of PFAS from industrial waste; (2) a process for identifying all drinking water supplies that are currently impacted or are expected to be impacted by the presence of PFAS based on investigations that provide a reasonable basis to predict that drinking water may be polluted by PFAS in the future; (3) proposed methods for developing information on the source of the PFAS; (4) proposed methods for eliminating PFAS in water supplies; (5) a proposed schedule for implementation of plans to treat water supplies contaminated with PFAS by the persons responsible for discharging it into the environment; (6) a monitoring plan for evaluating the effectiveness of treatments and detecting movement of contaminant plumes; and (7) any other information the Department deems relevant. DEQ must submit this plan to the Environmental Review Commission by January 1, 2019.
Directs DHHS to consult with the US Environmental Protection Agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, and the North Carolina Policy Collaboratory at UNC Chapel Hill, which will coordinate with faculty experts in public and private institutions of higher learning across the state, on the Department’s process for the establishment of health goals for PFAS.
Appropriates $530,839 in recurring funds for 2018-19 from the unappropriated balance remaining in the General Fund to DHHS to establish a Water Health and Safety Unit in the Division of Public Health for the assessment of the toxicity of and impacts on human health from per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances, including GenX.
Sets out General Assembly findings on emerging contaminants, and the expertise, technology, and instrumentation at the state's universities.
Requires the North Carolina Policy Collaboratory at UNC Chapel Hill (NCPC) to identify faculty expertise, technology, and instrumentation, including mass spectrometers, located within institutions of higher education in the state and coordinate these faculty and resources to analyze emerging contaminants at all public water supply surface water intakes and one public water supply well selected by each municipal water system that operates groundwater wells for public drinking water supplies as identified by DEQ, to establish a water quality baseline for all sampling sites. Requires NCPC, in consultation with the participating institutions of higher education, to establish a protocol for the baseline testing, as well as a protocol for periodic retesting of the municipal intakes and additional public water supply wells. Requires NCPC, by July 1, 2019, to report the sampling results to the Environmental Review Commission, DEQ, DHHS, and the US Environmental Protection Agency.
Requires NCPC to report at least quarterly, beginning October 1, 2018, to the Environmental Review Commission, DEQ, and DHHS on all activities conducted according to this section.
Appropriates $8 million in nonrecurring funds for 2017‑18 from the unappropriated balance remaining in the General Fund to the UNC Board of Governors to be allocated to the NCPC to manage and implement the requirements of this act and specifies costs that are to be covered by the funds. Funds do not revert.
Provides that NCPC should pursue public and private funding opportunities that may be available to address the impacts of emerging contaminants on surface water and groundwater quality, as well as air quality, in order to leverage appropriated funds.
Provides that NCPC should coordinate water quality sampling analysis in the most cost-effective manner using relevant faculty expertise, technology, and instrumentation existing throughout institutions of higher learning in the State in the event the US Environmental Protection Agency no longer provides access to its analytical information at no cost for analyses related to PFAS and other emerging contaminants or if DEQ determines that analysis is not being performed in a sufficiently timely manner, until DEQ can perform the analysis with instrumentation acquired pursuant to Section 11 of the act. Requires NCPC to consult with DEQ and relevant experts across institutions of higher learning in establishing protocols for the delivery of samples taken by DEQ to the entity designated to perform analysis of the samples, chain of custody protocols, and other matters ensuring proper handing and processing.
Directs NCPC to identify faculty expertise within institutions of higher education in the state and use technology and instrumentation existing throughout the institutions to conduct research to: (1) develop quantitative models to predict private wells most at risk of contamination from the discharge of GenX and other emerging contaminants, (2) test the performance of granular activated carbon in removing those compounds, and (3) study the air emissions and atmospheric deposition of GenX and other emerging compounds. Permits NCPC to evaluate and conduct other research, using relevant faculty expertise, technology, and instrumentation as described, related to the improvement of water quality sampling and analysis techniques, data interpretation, and potential mitigation measures with respect to the discharge of GenX and other emerging contaminants.
Reallocates $1.3 million in nonrecurring funds for DEQ to carry out this act. These funds were initially appropriated to DEQ for 2016-17 for in situ nutrient management. Transfers $25,000 in nonrecurring funds to DEQ. These funds were initially appropriated to the Rural Economic Development Division of the Department of Commerce for 2017-18. Allocates these funds as follows: (1) $613,000 to the Division of Water Resources for time-limited positions, operations support, and supplies for operation of a mass spectrometer for the purpose of water quality sampling for PFAS and other emerging contaminants; (2) $200,000 to the Division of Water Resources to address permitting backlogs; (3) $232,950 to the Division of Air Quality for sampling and analysis of atmospheric deposition of PFAS and other emerging contaminants; and (4) $279,050 to the Division of Waste Management for sampling and analysis of PFAS and other emerging contaminants in groundwater. Funds reallocated by this section will not revert.
Appropriates $479,736 in recurring funds for 2017-18 from the unappropriated balance remaining in the General Fund to DEQ to support sampling and analysis activities in response to the statewide sampling directed by Section 7 of this act.
Appropriates $537,000 in nonrecurring funds for 2017-18 from the unappropriated balance remaining in the General Fund to DEQ to support the purchase of a triple quadrupol mass spectrometer to perform targeted analysis of water samples related to discharges of PFAS and other emerging contaminants. Funds appropriated by this section will not revert.
Requires every person with an individual NPDES permit issued by DEQ to electronically submit documentation to DEQ by September 1, 2018, as prescribed by DEQ, to facilitate immediate public disclosure of the pollutants included in the person's discharge identified in the person's NPDES permit. Requires the CAS number to be provided for every pollutant identified if available, and if not available, requires the pollutant to be described sufficiently as to adequately identify the pollutant's characteristics. Requires the person submitting the documentation to certify under oath the data is complete and accurate to the best of the person's knowledge and belief.
Exempts the act from the provisions of GS 143C-5-2 regarding order of appropriations bills.
Includes a severability clause.
Bill S 724 (2017-2018)Summary date: May 17 2018 - View summaryEducation, Higher Education, Environment, Environment/Natural Resources, Government, Budget/Appropriations, State Agencies, UNC System, Department of Commerce, Department of Environmental Quality (formerly DENR), Department of Health and Human Services, State Government, Executive, Health and Human Services, Health, Public Health