Amends GS 113-202, modifying several provisions relating to shellfish cultivation leases.
Modifies subsection (a), adjusting several standards which must be met when the Secretary grants shellfish cultivation leases. Specifically, removes requirement that grantees of shellfish cultivation leases reside in North Carolina. Defines natural shellfish bed as an area containing at least 10 bushels of of shellfish per acre that does not include a previously leased area terminated by the Secretary for failure to meet the requirements of this section within the 12 months directly preceding the date of the lease application. Requires that the cultivation of shellfish in the leased area need only be compatible with the public use of other marine and estuarine resources near the leased area. Previously required compatibility with public use generally, with no provision for proximity. Requires that the cultivation of shellfish in the leased area does not unreasonably conflict with the riparian rights of adjacent property owners. Previously required that cultivation would not impinge upon the rights of riparian owners at all. Adds new standard (4a), requiring that the leased area be located a minimum of 100 feet from the shoreline of any private property, unless the private property is owned by the lessee or the owner provides written and notarized consent. Requires that the area leased does not include waters that have been classified as prohibited, restricted, or conditionally approved closed with respect to shellfish harvesting at the time of the filing of the lease application. Previously only required that the area was not closed for shellfish harvest because of pollution. Adds new standard (7), requiring that the area leased under a single lease is between one-half acre and 10 acres large, except in areas designated by the Department of Shellfish Aquaculture Enterprise Areas.
Sets limits on the acreage of a lease depending on whether the coastal fishing waters are located in and south of Core Sound.
Modifies subsection (n), allowing the Secretary, upon termination of any leasehold, to either re-lease the area to the first qualified applicant to file an application, or to designate the area as a Shellfish Aquaculture Enterprise Area. Adds requirement that the former leaseholder remove all abandoned gear in addition to markers. Allows the State to bring suit to recover the cost of removal and cleanup of abandoned markers and gear, including legal fees. Previously, did not include requirement to remove gear, or provision granting legal fees.
Pursuant to SL 2017-57 Section 13.13, directs the North Carolina Policy Collaboratory and the Division of Marine Fisheries to study and recommend whether the establishment of a Shellfish Mariculture Commission to oversee shellfish bottom leasing and other aspects of shellfish aquaculture would substantially advance the State's shellfish aquaculture industry. Effective July 1, 2018.
Amends GS 143B-289.57, adding new subsection (f), requiring the Chair of the Marine Fisheries Commission to appoint a three-member Shellfish Cultivation Lease Review Committee (the committee) to hear appeals of decisions of the Secretary regarding shellfish cultivation leases issued under GS 113-202. The committee consists of one Commission member who will serve as hearing officer, and two public members, one with experience in shellfish aquaculture, and the other with experience in coastal property or property assessment. The Commission is to adopt procedures for the appeals.
Modifies GS 113-202(g) to amend the administrative remedy for shellfish bottom leasing appeals. Allows a dissatisfied applicant or other aggrieved person to appeal the decision of the Secretary to the committee under GS 143B-289.57(f). A party to such an appeal who is dissatisfied with the committee's decision may then commence a contested case by filing a petition under GS 150B-23 within 20 days after receiving notice of the committee's decision. If the applicant agrees with the decision of the committee or the Secretary, the applicant must furnish an amended map or diagram before the lease can be issued. Previously the statute did not provide for an appeal to the committee, so that the first stage of the remedy process was to commence a contested case.
Amends GS 113-203 subdivision (a2)(3), prohibiting transplant of oysters or clams from public grounds or permitted aquaculture operations utilizing waters in the prohibited classification to private beds except when transplanting is done in accordance with the provisions of this section. Modifies subsection (a3) to allow the transplant of seed oysters or seed clams taken from permitted aquaculture operations that use waters in the prohibited classification to private beds pursuant to an Aquaculture Seed Transplant Permit. Forbids the transplant of seed oysters or seed clams from permitted aquaculture operations that use waters in the prohibited, restricted, or conditionally approved classification to private beds if the Secretary determines that the nursery of shellfish in an area will present a risk to public health. Amends GS 113-210(c) to allow the Director of the Division of Marine Fisheries to issue an Under Dock Oyster Culture Permit for an area that the State Health Director has recommended be closed to shellfish harvest due to pollution or that has been closed to harvest by statute, rule, or proclamation due to suspected pollution only if the owner of the dock has signed a written acknowledgment that said oysters are intended for restoration purposes and not for consumption. Effective July 1, 2018.
Amends GS 113-202, adding new subsection (s), allowing the Secretary to establish Shellfish Aquaculture Enterprise Areas (Areas). The Secretary can only issue nontransferable leases to residents of North Carolina within designated Areas. Any leased parcel within an Area that is relinquished or terminated will revert to the State and be made available for other applicants.
Amends GS 113-201.1, adding new subdivision (3a), defining Shellfish Aquaculture Enterprise Area as an area designated and permitted by the Department that is subdivided into parcels and made available for shellfish aquaculture leasing.
Contains other clarifying language.
Amends SL 2016-94, Section 14.11(f), to allow the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to extend the deadline to report the result of its oyster studies from December 31, 2018, to June 30, 2019, on written notice to the Fiscal Research Division, if the University determines that additional time is needed to complete the study.
Amends SL 2017-57, Section 13.13(b), to allow the North Carolina Policy Collaboratory to extend the delivery date of the Shellfish Mariculture Plan from December 31, 2018, to June 30, 2019, on written notice to the Fiscal Research Division, if the Collaboratory determines that additional time is needed to complete the study.
Amends SL 2017-57, Section 13.13(d), as amended by SL 2017-97 Section 4.1, to include the North Carolina Sea Grant in the list of stakeholders to be included in the planning of economic development related to promotion of the State's shellfish harvesting heritage. Removes the requirement to create a North Carolina Oyster Festival, and adds an allowance to create other public engagement events. Allows the Collaboratory to extend the due date for the recommendations to June 30, 2019, on written notice to the Fiscal Research Division if the Collaboratory and stakeholders determine that additional time is needed to complete the study.
Appropriates $100,000 in nonrecurring funds for the 2018-19 fiscal year from the General Fund to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for the University's North Carolina Policy Collaboratory to study the impact of oyster restoration and shellfish mariculture on nitrogen and phosphorus levels in the Pamlico Sound and whether the use of oyster restoration and shellfish mariculture as mitigation or offsets for nutrient input to the Pamlico Sound from the Neuse and Tar-Pamlico river basins could contribute to achievement of the policy and water quality goals of the nutrient strategies for those basins. The report is due March 1, 2020.
Directs the Division of Marine Fisheries of the Department of Environmental Quality to review real estate owned by the State and allocated to the Division in Carteret, Hyde, and Dare counties that were acquired with funding from the Waterfront Access and Marine Industry Fund and develop an inventory of sites suitable to be used for commercial aquaculture, hatcheries, or other aquaculture support operations. The Division is to further develop a plan to publicize the availability of the sites and a streamlined process for lease of the sites. The Division must report on its implementation of this section by February 1, 2019.
Includes a severability clause.
Bill Summaries: S738 (2017-2018 Session)
Bill S 738 (2017-2018)Summary date: May 23 2018 - View summary