LEGISLATIVE RESPONSE TO EMERGING CONTAMINANTS.

View NCGA Bill Details2017-2018 Session
House Bill 968 (Public) Filed Thursday, May 17, 2018
AN ACT TO ESTABLISH ENHANCED REQUIREMENTS FOR DISCHARGERS OF POLLUTANTS TO THE STATE'S AIR AND WATER, TO PROVIDE INCREASED FUNDING FOR THE DEPARTMENTS OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY AND HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, AND TO MAKE OTHER STATUTORY CHANGES NECESSARY TO ADDRESS CONTAMINATION OF DRINKING WATER SUPPLIES IN THE STATE IN ORDER TO PROTECT HUMAN HEALTH.
Intro. by Butler, Harrison, W. Richardson, Floyd.

Status: Ref to the Com on Rules, Calendar, and Operations of the House, if favorable, Appropriations (House Action) (May 21 2018)
H 968

Bill Summaries:

  • Summary date: May 17 2018 - More information

    Section 1

    Amends GS 143-213(9) to restore the term "emission" to the definitions of discharge or discharge of waste as defined in this section for use in Articles 21, 21A, and 21B of GS Chapter 143. Previously the law explicitly stated that terms would not be interpreted to include the term "emission."

    Section 2

    Repeals GS 150B-19.3, which prohibits any agency authorized to implement State and federal environmental laws from adopting rules for protection of the environment that impose a more restrictive standard, limitation, or requirement than those imposed by a federal law or rule, unless adoption of the rule is required under any of five exceptions.   

    Makes conforming changes to GS 130A-309.207 (rule making for Environmental Management Commission).

    Makes conforming changes to GS 130A-309.226 (amendment to rule regarding use of coal combustion products for structural fill).

    Section 3

    Amends GS 143-215.1, adding new subsection (a8), forbidding the discharge of toxic waste into the waters of North Carolina in any manner, when the United States Environmental Protection Agency or State has not established a health advisory standard, health goal, or effluent standard or limitation for that toxic waste. Requires that if a toxic waste does have a health advisory standard, health goal, or effluent standard or limitation, or is the subject of a consent order entered into by the Environmental Protection Agency, a permittee must comply with whichever health goal, health standard, or effluent standard or limitation is more stringent. This provision does not apply to municipal wastewater treatment facilities. Adds new (b)(6), allowing the Commission to suspend a permit immediately upon discovery that a permittee has caused or allowed any pollutant to be discharged into the waters of the State, when that pollutant is not authorized by the permit, or disclosed in the application for such permit. This provision does not apply to wastewater treatment facilities. Adds new subsection (l) requiring that every person applying for an individual National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit fully disclose in the application each pollutant in the person’s discharge that is at or above the practical quantitation limit for the pollutant, including emerging chemicals without applicable discharge standards established under State or federal law. The pollutant’s concentration to be discharged and chemical abstracts service number or details sufficient to adequately inform the Department of the pollutant’s characteristics must be disclosed.

    Section 4

    Amends GS 143-215.3(a) to add new subsection (12a), directing that if the Secretary finds that a permittee has caused or allowed any pollutant not authorized by permit to be discharged or intermixed with the waters of the State, or discharged a pollutant in exceedance of the limits in the permit, the Secretary must order the permittee to provide and maintain water filtration or treatment processes adequate to remove the pollutant for each local government located downstream from the point of discharge whose drinking water supplies would be impacted by the pollutant for as long as the pollutant persists in the environment. Permittees who have polluted in this manner will be financially responsible for the removal of the pollutant from drinking water supplies impacted by the pollutant.

    Section 5

    Appropriates $14,052,717 for 2018-19 from the General Fund to the Department of Environmental Quality as follows: (1) $6,996,333 in recurring funds for positions and operations support to collect and analyze data that can be used to make informed decisions about managing per-fluoroalkyl and poly-fluoroalkyl substances including the chemical known as GenX, and to address National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit backlogs; (2) $1,019,050 in nonrecurring funds for scientific analytical equipment, time-limited positions, and operations support to enable the Department to test the threat to public health and safety resulting from discharges of emerging compounds; (3) $1.5 million in nonrecurring funds for planning needed for upgrades to the Department’s Reedy Creek Laboratory; (4) $2,643,474 in recurring funds and $1,893,860 in nonrecurring funds for positions and operations support to launch a permitting transformation project to improve transparency and streamline the permitting process. Appropriates $250,000 in recurring funds for 2018-19 from the General Fund to the Department of Environmental Quality to partially restore funds eliminated by SL 2017-57, Section 13.26 (Department of Environmental Quality Reorganization Through Reduction).

    Section 6

    Appropriates $536,000 in recurring funds for 2018-19 fiscal year from the General Fund to the Department of Health and Human Services for positions to identify and prevent adverse health effects due to toxic substances.

    Section 7

    The provisions of GS 143C-5-2 (order of appropriations bills) do not apply to this act.

    Section 8

    Includes a severability clause. 


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