REGULATORY REFORM ACT OF 2014 (NEW).

View NCGA Bill Details2013-2014 Session
Senate Bill 734 (Public) Filed Wednesday, May 14, 2014
AN ACT TO PROVIDE FURTHER REGULATORY RELIEF TO THE CITIZENS OF NORTH CAROLINA BY PROVIDING FOR VARIOUS ADMINISTRATIVE REFORMS, BY ELIMINATING CERTAIN UNNECESSARY OR OUTDATED STATUTES AND REGULATIONS AND MODERNIZING OR SIMPLIFYING CUMBERSOME OR OUTDATED REGULATIONS, AND BY MAKING VARIOUS OTHER STATUTORY CHANGES.
Intro. by Wade, B. Jackson, Brock.

Status: Ch. SL 2014-120 (Senate Action) (Sep 18 2014)

SOG comments (3):

Identical bill

Bill as filed is identical to H 1136, filed 5/20/14.

Long title change

Committee substitute to the 1st edition changed the long title. Original title was A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT TO CLARIFY THE AUTHORITY OF LOCAL GOVERNMENTS TO ADOPT CERTAIN AGRICULTURAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL ORDINANCES, AS RECOMMENDED BY THE ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW COMMISSION.

Long title change

House committee substitute to the 4th edition changed the long title. Original long title was AN ACT TO PROVIDE FURTHER REGULATORY RELIEF TO THE CITIZENS OF NORTH CAROLINA BY PROVIDING FOR VARIOUS ADMINISTRATIVE REFORMS, BY ELIMINATING CERTAIN UNNECESSARY OR OUTDATED STATUTES AND REGULATIONS AND MODERNIZING OR SIMPLIFYING CUMBERSOME OR OUTDATED REGULATIONS, BY MAKING VARIOUS OTHER STATUTORY CHANGES, AND BY UPDATING AND AMENDING CERTAIN ENVIRONMENTAL AND NATURAL RESOURCES LAWS.

 

Bill History:

S 734/S.L. 2014-120

Bill Summaries:

  • Summary date: Sep 23 2014 - More information

    AN ACT TO PROVIDE FURTHER REGULATORY RELIEF TO THE CITIZENS OF NORTH CAROLINA BY PROVIDING FOR VARIOUS ADMINISTRATIVE REFORMS, BY ELIMINATING CERTAIN UNNECESSARY OR OUTDATED STATUTES AND REGULATIONS AND MODERNIZING OR SIMPLIFYING CUMBERSOME OR OUTDATED REGULATIONS, AND BY MAKING VARIOUS OTHER STATUTORY CHANGES. Enacted September 18, 2014. Effective September 18, 2014, except as otherwise provided.

     

  • Summary date: Aug 15 2014 - More information

    Conference report makes the following changes to the 6th edition:

    Eliminate, as Obsolete, the Small Business Contractor Authority, the Committee on Dropout Prevention, the State Education Committee, the State Education Commission, the National Heritage Area Designation Commission, the Governor's Management Council, the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Center for Nursing, and the Board of Corrections

    Adds the repeal of GS 115C, Article 6B, titled "Dropout Prevention Grants."

    Representation of Small Business Entities in Administrative Appeals

    Amends GS 150B-23(a) to add that a business entity may represent itself in an administrative appeal using a non-attorney representative who is one or more of the following of the entity: (1) officer; (2) manager or member-manager, if the entity is a limited liability company; (3) employee whose income is reported on a W-2, if the entity authorizes the representation in writing; or (4) the owner, if the owner’s interest in the entity is at least 25 percent and the entity authorizes the representation in writing. Makes the same additions to GS 105-290 (appeals to the Property Tax Commission).

    Merchant Exemption from Locksmith Licensing

    Deletes proposed changes to GS 74F-16(6).

    Amends GS 74F-16 to clarify the exemption for merchants from locksmith licensing requirements, providing that merchants are specified as exempt if they are (1) lawfully duplicating keys or maintaining locks in the normal course of business, (2) maintaining a physical location in North Carolina, (3) maintaining a sales and use tax permit pursuant to GS 105-164.16, and (4) not representing themselves as locksmiths.  

    Permit Choice

    Enacts new GS Chapter 143, Article 80, titled Permit Choice, providing that if a permit applicant submits a permit for any type of development but a rule or ordinance changes between the time the permit application was submitted and the permit was granted, then the permit applicant can chose which version of the rule or ordinance will apply to the permit.  Applies to all development permits issued by the state and local governments; does not apply to any zoning permits. Enacts new GS 153A-320.1 and GS 160A-360.1, concerning permit choice, providing that if a rule or ordinance changes between the time a permit application is submitted and a permit decision is made, then GS 143-750 will apply. Effective when the section becomes law and applies to permits for which a permit decision has not been made by that date.

    Community College Brewing Course Waiver

    Enacts new GS 18B-1114.6 to allow the holder of a brewing, distillation, and fermentation course authorization to (1) manufacture malt beverages on the school’s campus or the school’s contracted or leased property for providing instruction and education on making malt beverages; (2) possess malt beverages manufactured during the brewing, distillation, and fermentation program for the purpose of conducting malt beverage tasting seminars and classes; (3) sell malt beverages produced during the course to wholesalers or retailers upon obtaining a malt beverages wholesaler permit; and (4) sell malt beverages produced during the course, upon obtaining a permit. Limits the authorization for the course to community colleges or colleges offering a brewing, distillation, and fermentation program as a part of its curriculum. Allows the holder of the course authorization who obtains a malt beverage wholesaler permit to obtain a malt beverage special event permit and where the permit is valid, allows participation in approved events and selling at retail at those events any malt beverages produced incident to the operation of the program. Sets limitations on the events. Makes conforming changes to GS 18B-1114.5, GS 18B-1101, and GS 66-58.

    Good Samaritan Law

    Amends GS 90-21.14 to clarify that, in order to be exempt from liability, a person must voluntarily and without expectation of compensation provide first aid or emergency health care (previously, in order to be exempt from liability, the person must not receive compensation for services as an emergency medical care provider).

    Pharmacy Benefits Management

    Enacts new Article 56A, Pharmacy Benefits Management in GS Chapter 58. Provides that in order for a prescription drug to be placed on the maximum allowable cost price list, the drug must be available for purchase by pharmacies in the state from national or regional wholesalers, must not be obsolete and either (1) be listed as “A” or “B” rated in the most recent version of the US Food and Drug Administration’s Approved Drug Products with Therapeutic Equivalence Evaluations or (2) have an “NR” or “NA” rating, or similar rating, by a nationally recognized reference. Requires a pharmacy benefits manager to remove a maximum allowable cost price for a prescription drug, or modify a maximum allowable cost price, as necessary for a cost of a prescription drug to remain consistent with changes in the national marketplace. Requires a review of the maximum allowable cost prices for removal or modification to be completed by the pharmacy benefits manager at least once every seven business days and any removal or modification to occur within seven business days. Requires a pharmacy benefits manager to provide a way for the contracted pharmacies to promptly review current prices within one business day of the change or removal. Effective January 1, 2015, and applies to contracts entered into, renewed, or amended on or after that date.

    Requires the Department of Insurance, in collaboration with the Department of Commerce and the NC Board of Pharmacy, to study pharmacy benefits management company regulation. Specifies issues to be studied. Requires a report to the General Assembly by January 20, 2015.

    Limited Food Services at Lodging Facilities

    Amends GS 130A-247 to add that limited food service establishments includes lodging facilities serving only reheated food that has been pre-cooked. Amends GS 130A-148 to add lodging facilities that serve only reheated food that has been pre-cooked to those establishments that may be issued a limited food service establishment permit. Requires the Commission for Public Health to adopt rules to conform to these provisions.

    Amend Hotel Carbon Monoxide Alarm Requirement

    Repeals Section 19(c) of SL 2013-413, which was to become effective October 1, 2014, and was to require that carbon monoxide detectors receive primary power from the building's wiring where the wiring is served from a commercial source and receive power from a battery when the primary power source is interrupted. Makes conforming changes to defunct effective dates in SL 2013-413.

    Amends GS 143-138(b2), concerning carbon monoxide alarms (CMAs), providing updates to the requirements for CMAs in hotels, allowing, in lieu of requiring a CMA in a lodging establishment a carbon monoxide detection system, with detectors and audible notification appliances installed and properly maintained. Requires CMAs in every dwelling unit having a combustion (was, fossil fuel) heater. Makes the rules for lodging establishments also applicable to tourist homes providing accommodations for seven or more days, bed and breakfast inns, and homes. Defines combustion heater, appliance, or fireplace for use in this section.

    Directs the Building Code Council (BCC) to modify the NC State Building Code (Code) to reflect and regulate the provisions of GS 143-138(b2) in new and existing lodging establishments. Provides that the BCC can establish more stringent rules regulating CMAs and detectors if so desired. Directs the BCC to modify the Code to include an annual inspection for the purpose of verifying compliance with GS 143-138(b2).

    Outlines procedure for when a violation that poses an imminent hazard is discovered and is not corrected upon inspection.  Procedures include the code official immediately contacting the local health director/designee for the county where the violation was discovered by verbal contact and also submitting a written report documenting the violation to said director. The local health director is then obligated to investigate and take appropriate action regarding the permit of the lodging establishment within one working day of the receipt of the written report.

    Violations that are discovered but do not pose imminent hazards but are not corrected during an inspection are subject to a correction period of three working days during which the owner or operator can submit a notice, verbal or written, that the violation has been corrected. If the code official receives such notice, a re-inspection can be performed. If no such notice is received, the code official will submit a report to the local health director within three working days. The local health director is then obligated to investigate and take appropriate action regarding the permit of the lodging establishment.

    Exempts property subject to GS 42-42 (Landlord to provide fit premises) or GS 42A-31 (Landlord to provide fit premises) from the requirements of GS 143-138(b2)(2) through (d).

    Makes technical and conforming changes, updating language of GS 143-138(b2).

    Amends GS 130A-248(g), deleting language that required all hotels, motels, tourist homes, and other establishments that provide lodging for pay to install either a battery-operated or electric carbon monoxide detector in every enclosed space meeting specified conditions. Provides new language that requires those establishments to comply with requirements of GS 143-138(b2)(2).  Provides that after receiving notification of a violation of GS 143-138(b2)(2) by a specified code official, the local health department can suspend permits issued pursuant to GS 130A-248.

    Requires the Building Code Council, by March 31, 2015, to adopt a rule to amend the NC State Building Code (Fire Prevention) as it applies to structures required to comply with GS 143-138(b2)(2), as amended, to adopt the standards for carbon monoxide alarms in the 2015 International Fire Code. The effective date of the rule must be no later than June 1, 2015.

    Contested Cases for CAMA Permits

    Amends GS 113A-121.1(c) to provide that when an applicant seeks administrative review of a decision concerning a minor or major development permit under subsection (a) of this section, the permit is suspended from the time that a person seeks administrative review of the decision until the Commission makes a final decision in the contested case and no action may be taken during that time that would be unlawful in the absence of a permit. Adds subsection (d) to provide that a permit challenged under subsection (b) remains in effect unless a stay is issued by the administrative law judge or by a reviewing court.

    Open Burning

    Provides that no air quality permit is required for the open burning of leaves, logs, stumps, tree branches, or yard trimmings if the six specified conditions are met, including that there are no public pickup services available, that the burning occurs within the specified time of day, and that the burning does not create a nuisance. Requires the Commission to adopt a rule amending current rules that is substantively identical to these provisions. The provisions expire on the date that the adopted rules become effective. Exempts the rules from Part 3 of Article 2A of GS Chapter 150B and provides that the rules become effective as though 10 or more written objections had been received. Requires that the current rule for open burning without an air quality permit be implemented as provided in these provisions until the effective date of the revised rule.

    Amends GS 143-215.112 to prohibit a local air pollution control program from limiting or regulating any combustion heater, appliance, or fireplace in private dwellings.

    Amends GS 160A-193 to add that the authority granted by the statute (concerning the abatement of public health nuisances) does not authorize the application of a city ordinance banning or limiting outdoor burning to persons that live within one mile the city, unless the city provides those individuals with either trash and yard waste collection services or access to solid waste drop-off sites on the same basis as city residents.

    Provides that the provision and requirements applicable to any grandfathered development activity subject to (a)(2) of 15A NCAC 02H .1005 is also applicable to an expansion of the development activity. Defines grandfathered development activity. Requires the adoption of a rule to amend 15A NCAC 02H .1005 consistent with the bill requirements.

    Amend Transplanting of Oysters and Clams Statute

    Amends GS 113-203 to also make it unlawful to (1) transplant oysters or clams taken from permitted aquaculture operations to private beds except from waters in the approved classification; (2) transplant oysters or clams from public grounds or permitted aquaculture operations using waters in the restricted or conditionally approved classification to private beds except when the transplanting is done in accordance with the provisions of the statute and implementing rules (was, it is not unlawful to transplant oysters taken from public grounds to private beds when it is done in accordance with the statute and implementing rules); and (3) transplant oysters or clams taken from permitted aquaculture operations to private beds except from waters in the approved classification.

    Makes it unlawful to transplant seed oysters or seed clams taken from permitted aquaculture operations using waters in the restricted or conditionally approved classification to private beds pursuant to an Aquaculture Seed Transplant Permit that set times during which transplant is allowed and other reasonable restrictions when (1) transplanting seed clams less than 12 millimeters in their largest dimension or (2) transplanting seed oysters less than 25 millimeters in their largest dimension. Also makes it unlawful to conduct a seed transplanting operation under these provisions if the operation is not conducted in compliance with its permit.

    Amends the statute to make it legal to transplant from public bottoms to private beds (was, to transplant to private beds) oysters or clams taken from waters in the restricted or conditionally approved classifications (was, from polluted waters) with a permit setting out specified types of restrictions.

    Exempt Construction and Demolition Landfills from the Minimum Financial Responsibility Requirements Applicable to Other Solid Waste Management Facilities

    Amends GS 130A-295.2 to require owners or operators of a sanitary landfill for the disposal of construction and demolition debris waste to establish financial assurance sufficient to cover at least $1 million in costs for potential assessment and corrective action. Makes conforming changes.

    On-Site Wastewater Approval Clarification

    Amends GS 130A-343 to add that in considering the application by a manufacturer of a wastewater system using expanded polystyrene synthetic aggregate particles as a septic effluent dispersal medium for approval of the system under the statute, an application may not be conditioned, delayed, or denied based on the particle or bulk density of the expanded polystyrene materials. Requires the reissuance of approvals already issued that include conditions or requirements related to the particle or bulk density of the expanded polystyrene material. The reissued approval must delete the conditions and requirements related to the density of the expanded polystyrene material. Provides that until the reissuance of approvals, conditions or requirements in existing approvals relating to the particle or bulk density of expanded polystyrene have no further force or effect.

    Reform Agency Review of Engineering Work

    Requires each Regulatory Authority to, by December 1, 2014, review and make any necessary revisions to its procedures for review of Regulatory Submittals, defined as an application to a Regulatory Authority for a permit, license, or approval; for local governments, an application to a program approved by or delegated from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) or Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Regulatory Authority is defined as DENR, DHHS, and any local government operating a program that (1) grants permits, licenses, or approvals to the public and (2) is either approved by or delegated from DENR or DHHS. Sets out goals of the review and revision process, including standardizing the provision of review and comments on Regulatory Submittals. Requires each Regulatory Authority, by December 1, 2014, to create a process for each regulatory program it administers for an informal internal review at the Submitting Party's request in the following circumstances: (1) the inclusion in a Regulatory Submittal of a design or practice sealed by a Professional Engineer but not included in the Regulatory Authority's existing guidance, manuals, or standard operating procedures (sets out procedures for the review); (2) a disagreement between the reviewer of the Submittal and the Submitting Party regarding whether the authority identified by the Authority for revisions or requests for additional information designated as required justifies a required change.

    Requires DENR, by March 1, 2015, to complete a pilot study on the Pretreatment, Emergency Response and Collection System (PERCS) wastewater collection system permitting program and the stormwater permitting program and perform specified activities with cooperation of the NC Board of Examiners for Engineers and Surveyors and the Professional Engineers of North Carolina. Requires a report to the Environmental Review Commission (ERC) by April 15, 2015.

    Requires each Regulatory Authority, by December 1, 2014, to (1) review the working job titles of every employee with duties that include the review of Regulatory Submittals and (2) propose revisions to the titles or other measures that will eliminate the public identification as engineers of people conducting reviews who are not engineers.

    Requires each Regulatory Authority to report to the ERC before the convening of the 2015 Session of the General Assembly on implementation of the standardized procedures, informal review process, and job title review. Requires annual reports to the ERC beginning in 2016; the reporting requirement expires on January 1, 2019.

    Speed Limit Waiver in State Parks and Forests

    Amends GS 143-116.8 to allow a person to petition DENR, or the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, for a waiver allowing the person to operate a vehicle in the state parks road system, or the state forests road system, as applicable, at a speed exceeding 25 miles per hour in connection with a special event. Allows conditions to be imposed on the waiver and requires a provision requiring that the recipient execute an indemnification agreement and obtain general liability insurance in an amount not to exceed $3 million covering personal injury and property damage that may result from the higher speed. 

    Scope of Local Authority for Ordinances

    Repeals Section 10.2 of SL 2013-413, which placed temporary limitations on the enactment of environmental ordinances by local governments and required a related study. Requires the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DACS) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to report to the Environmental Review Commission by November 1 of 2014 and 2015 on any local government ordinances that impinge or interfere with areas regulated by those departments. Requires DENR and DACS to receive input from the public regarding any local government ordinances that impinge on or interfere with any area subject to regulation by the department.

    Fee Rollback for Oyster Permits Under Private Docks

    Repeals GS 113-210(m), concerning the advance sale of Under Dock Oyster Culture permits. Effective July 1, 2014.

    Local Government Leases for Renewable Energy Facilities

    Amends GS 160A-272 to allow a city council to approve a lease for the siting and operation of a renewable energy facility for up to 25 (was, 20) years without treating the lease as a sale of property and without giving notice by publication. Makes the subsection statewide, deleting the provision limiting the provisions to 19 counties, cities, and towns.

    Inlet Hazard Areas

    Prohibits the Coastal Resources Commission from establishing any new and requires the repeal of any existing inlet hazard area where (1) the location is the former location of an inlet but the inlet has been closed for at least 15 years; (2) due to shoreline migration, the location no longer includes the current inlet location; and (3) the location includes an inlet providing access to a state port via a channel maintained by the US Army Corps of Engineers. Requires the Commission to adopt a rule amending current rules that is substantively identical to these provisions. The provisions expire on the date that the adopted rules become effective. Exempts the rules from Part 3 of Article 2A of GS Chapter 150B and provides that the rules become effective as though 10 or more written objections had been received. Requires that the current rule for AECs within ocean hazard areas be implemented as provided in these provisions until the effective date of the revised rule.

    Hunting Trials

    Requires the Wildlife Resources Commission to adopt rules to clarify the requirements in 15A NCAC 10B .0114 addressing which participants in retriever field trials are required to possess a hunting license. Requires holding public hearings and consulting with field trial groups.

    Expedited IBT Process for Certain Reservoirs

    Amends GS 143-215.22L (w) to add a petition for a certificate to withdraw or transfer water stored in any multipurpose reservoir constructed by the US Army Corps of Engineers and partially located in a state adjacent to North Carolina, provided the Corps of Engineers approved the withdrawal or transfer on or before July 1, 2014, to those that are to be considered and a determination made according to the specified procedures.

    Eliminate Outdated Air Quality Reporting Requirement

    Amends GS 143-215.3A to delete the requirement that DENR report to the Environmental Review Commission (ERC) and the Fiscal Research Division on the cost of the Title V program. Repeals sections 10, 11 as amended, 12, and 13 of SL 2002-4, concerning reductions in emissions of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) in relation to GS 143-215.107D and related reports, reports on issues related to monitor mercury emissions from coal-fired generating units and studying issues related to the implementation of plans to control emission of CO2, evaluating technologies, and estimating costs of alternative strategies. Repeals GS 143-215.108(g) (requiring any person who is required to hold a permit under this section to submit a written description of current and projected plans to reduce the emission of air contaminants under such permit by source reduction or recycling). 

    Clarifying Changes to Statutes Pertaining to the Management of Venomous Snakes and Other Reptiles

    Amends GS 14-419 to require a museum or zoo that finds a seized reptile is a venomous reptile, large constricting snake, or crocodilian regulated under the Article to determine the final disposition of the reptile in a manner consistent with public safety, which in the case of a venomous reptile for which antivenin approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (was, antivenin) is not readily available, the reptile must be euthanized unless the species is protected under the federal Endangered Species Act of 1973 (was, may include euthanasia).

    Reform On-Site Wastewater Regulation

    Amends GS 130A-334 to add and define the term ground absorption system. Amends the definition of plat to provide that it also means, for subdivision lots approved by the local planning authority, if a local planing authority exists at the time of application for a permit under this Article, a copy of the subdivision plat that has been recorded with the county register of deeds and is accompanied by a site plan that is drawn to scale. Amends the term wastewater system to include a ground absorption system. Adds that a wastewater system located on multiple adjoining lots or tracts of land under common ownership or control must be considered a single system for purposes of permitting under this Article. 

    Amends GS 130A-335 to require the local health department, following the preconstruction conference, to advise the owner or developer of any rule changes for wastewater system construction that incorporates current technology that can reasonably be expected to improve the system's performance. Requires the local health department to issue a revised authorization for wastewater system construction incorporating the rule change, upon request.

    Amends GS 130A-336 to remove the five-year limit on the authorization for wastewater system construction.

    Repeal Waste Management Board Rules

    Requires the Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources to repeal 15A NCAC Chapter 14 (Governor's Waste Management Board) on or before December 1, 2014.  Prohibits implementing the rule until the effective date of the repeal.

    Well Contractor Licensing Changes

    Amends GS 87-43.1 to exclude from the Article (electrical contractors) the installation, construction, maintenance, or repair of electrical wiring, devices, appliances, or equipment by a person certified as a well contractor under GS Chapter 87, Article 7A, when running electrical wires from the well pump to the pressure switch.

    Amends GS 87-98.6 to require the Well Contractors Certification Commission, with the Secretary's assistance, to establish minimum requirements of education, experience, and knowledge for each type of certification for well contractors for specified activities. The developed requirements apply only to the initial certification of an applicant and are not required as part of continuing education or as a condition of certification renewal.

    Standardize Local Well Programs

    Amends GS 87-97 to require local well programs to use the standard forms created by the Department for all required submittals and prohibits creating their own form unless the local program petitions the EMC for rule making and the EMC finds that circumstances unique to the area served by the program constitute a threat to public health that will be mitigated by the use of a local form. Requires that the registry of private drinking water wells maintained by local health departments be searchable by addresses served by the well.

    Prohibits DENR and any local well program from requiring that well contractor identification plates include the well construction permit numbers. Allows local well programs to install a plate with the permit number or other relevant information at the program's expense. Requires the EMC to adopt a rule consistent with these provisions. 

    Prohibits the local well program from requiring the contractor to be on-site during the predrill inspection if the contractor is available by phone when the well location marked on the map submitted with the application is also marked with a stake on the property.

    Senator Jean Preston Marine Shellfish Sanctuary

    Requires the Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to designate a contiguous area of appropriate acreage in the Pamlico Sound as a recommendation to the Environmental Review Commission (ERC) for establishing the Senator Jean Preston Marine Shellfish Sanctuary. Also requires DMF to create a plan for managing the sanctuary that includes components concerning specified issues related to the location and duration of the sanctuary, administration of the sanctuary, funding, commercial fisherman relief including free or discounted leases to fishermen meeting specified conditions, and recommendations for statutory or regulatory changes needed to expedite the expansion of shellfish restoration and harvesting. Requires DENR to report to the ERC on implementation no later than December 1, 2014, and quarterly thereafter until the final plan is submitted.

    Clarify Gravel under Stormwater Laws

    Amends GS 143-214.7(b2) to remove gravel from those items excluded from the term built-upon area. Also provides that the term does not include a slatted deck (was, a wooden slatted deck). Applies to projects for which permit applications are received on or after the date that the act becomes law. Requires the Environmental Management Commission (EMC) to amend its rules to be consistent with this definition of built-upon area.

    Provides that the EMC and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), unless authorized by the General Assembly, do not have the authority to define gravel for purposes of implementing stormwater programs. Any rule adopted by the EMC or DENR defining gravel for purposes of implemeting stormwater programs is not and will not become effective.

    US Postal Service Cluster Box Units/No Stormwater Permit Modification Required

    Provides that the addition of a cluster box unit to a single-family or duplex development permitted by a local government does not require a modification to any stormwater permit for that development. Only applies when the individual curbside mailboxes are replaced with cluster box units whereupon the associated built-upon area supporting the cluster box units are considered incidental and are not required in the calculation of built-upon area for the development for stormwater permitting purposes. Effective when the act becomes law and expires December 31, 2015, or when regulations on cluster box design and placement by the US Postal Service become effective and those regulations are adopted by local governments, whichever is earlier.

    Modifications of Approved Wastewater Systems

    Requires the Commission for Public Health to adopt a rule amending 15A NCAC 18A .1969(j) so that the rule is implemented so as to not require a survey or audit of installed modified systems in order to confirm the satisfactory preform of those systems. The provisions expire on the date that the adopted rules become effective. Exempts the rules from Part 3 of Article 2A of GS Chapter 150B and provides that the rules become effective as though 10 or more written objections had been received. Requires that the current rule be implemented as provided in these provisions until the effective date of the revised rule.

    Capstone Permitting

    Amends GS 150B-23 to add that where multiple licenses are required from an agency for a single activity, the agency's Secretary or chief administrative officer may issue a written determination that the decision reviewable under Article 3 of GS Chapter 150B occurs on the date the last license for the activity is issued, denied, or otherwise disposed of. Any licenses issued for the activity before the date of the last license identified in the written determination are not reviewable until the last license for the activity is disposed of.

    Changes to the Residential Property Disclosure Act

    Amends the Residential Property Disclosure Act, GS Chapter 47E, as follows. Enacts new GS 47E-4.1, requiring the owner of the property in transfers in GS 47E-1 (specified transfers of  residential real property consisting of not less than one nor more than four dwelling units) and GS 47E-2(b) (transfers involving the first sale of a dwelling never inhabited; lease with option to purchase contracts where the lessee occupies or intends to occupy the dwelling; and transfers where both parties agree not to complete a residential property disclosure statement or an owners' association and mandatory covenants disclosure statement) to furnish the purchaser with a mineral and oil and gas rights mandatory disclosure statement. Sets out the required format and language of the disclosure concerning the severance of mineral and/or oil and gas rights from the title to real property. Requires the NC Real Estate Commission to develop and require the use of a mineral and oil rights mandatory disclosure statement to comply with the statute's requirements. Provides that the rights of the parties to a real estate contract as to the severance of minerals or the oil and gas rights by the previous property owner and of which the owner had no actual knowledge are not affected by this Article unless the mandatory disclosure statement says that the owner makes no representations as to the severance by the previous owner. Provides that if the statement says that an owner makes no representations as to the severance by the previous owner, then the owner has no duty to disclose the severance by a previous owner, whether or not the owner should have known of any severance. Makes conforming changes to GS 47E-2, GS 47E-4, GS 47E-5, GS 47E-6, GS 47E-7, and GS 47E-8. Effective January 1, 2015, and applies to contracts executed on or after that date.

    Reports on Minimum Design Criteria

    Amends Section 1 of SL 2013-82 to require DENR to submit interim reports to the ERC on its progress in developing the Minimum Design Criteria for permits issued by the stormwater runoff permitting programs. The reports must be submitted by September 1, 2014, and December 1, 2014. Extends the deadline for the final report from September 1, 2014, to February 1, 2015.

    Statewide Venus Flytrap Penalties

    Enacts new GS 14-129.3 making it a Class H felony to dig up, pull up, take, or carry away or aid in such, any Venus flytrap plant or seed that is growing on another’s land, or in the public domain, with the intent to steal. Exempts anyone with a permit to perform the act, signed by the land owner, and requires the permit to be in the person’s possession at the time of the act.

    Amends GS 14-129 to increase the minimum fine from $10 to $75 and the maximum fine from $50 to $175 for digging up, pulling up, or taking any of the plants listed in the statute from another's land or any public domain. Adds that each plant taken constitutes a separate offense. Requires the clerk of court for the jurisdiction in which a conviction occurs involving any species listed in the statute that also appears on the NC Protected Plants list to report the conviction to the Plant Conservation Board so that the Board may consider a civil penalty. Makes the statute statewide, removing the exemption for 22 listed counties.

    Applies to offenses committed on or after December 1, 2014.

    Expand Daily Flow Design Exemption for Low-Flow Fixtures

    Amends Section 34(b) of SL 2013-413 to add that notwithstanding the Daily Flow for Design rates listed for dwelling units in 15A NCAC 18A .1949(a), a wastewater system must be exempt from the Daily Flow for Design and other design flow standards provided flow rates less than those in 15A NCAC 18A .1949 (was, in Table No. 1 of the rule) can be achieved through engineering design that uses low-flow fixtures and low-flow technologies and the design is prepared, sealed, and signed by a professional licensed engineer. Allows establishing by rule lower limits on reduced flow rates but adds the requirement that the Commission for Public Health rely on scientific evidence specific to soil types found in the state that the lower limits are necessary for those soil types. Adds that rules adopted under this section must become effective as provided in GS 150B-21.3(b1) as though 10 or more written objections had been received.

    Amend Isolated Wetlands Regulation

    Requires the Environmental Management Commission to adopt a rule to amend 15A NCAC 02H .1305 (Review of Applications) so that when implementing the rule (1) the amount of impacts of isolated wetlands under 15A NCAC 02H .1305(d)(2) is less than or equal to 1 acre of isolated wetlands east of I-95 for the entire project and less than or equal to 1/3 acre of isolated wetlands west of I-95 for the entire project; (2) the mitigation ratio for impacts greater than 1 acre for the entire project under 15A NCAC 02H .1305(g)(6) is 1:1 and may be on the same parcel; and (3) for purposes of Section 5.9(b) of the act, isolated wetlands means a Basin Wetland or Bog, as described in the specified manual, that is greater than 1 acre in size. Identical provisions are in effect when the act becomes law and expire on the date that the required rule is adopted.

    Requires the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to study three specified issues, including the surface area thresholds for the regulation of mountain bog isolated wetlands and report to the Environmental Review Commission on or before November 1, 2014.

    Energy Audit Requirements

    Amends GS 143-64.12 to require state agencies and state institutions of higher learning to update their utility management plan biennially instead of annually. Requires the State Energy Office to report by December 1 of every odd-numbered year (was, every year) to the Joint Legislative Energy Policy Commission (was, Joint Legislative Commission on Governmental Operations) on the program to manage energy, water, and other utility use for state agencies and state institutions of higher learning.

    Study Use of Contaminated Property

    Requires DENR to study ways to improve the timeliness of actions necessary to address contaminated properties so that the property is safe for productive use, threats to the environment and public health are minimized to acceptable levels, and the risk of taxpayer fund remediation is reduced. Specifies five items to be considered. Requires a report to the Environmental Review Commission (ERC) by November 1, 2014.

    Hardison Amendment Clarification

    Amends GS 150B-19.3, concerning limitations of environmental rules, providing that rules required by a subdivision of GS 150B-19.3(a) will be treated as if they had received 10 written objections under GS 150B-21.3(b2), thus requiring a delayed effective date pursuant to GS 150B-21.3(b1), the earlier of the 31st legislative day or the day of adjournment of the next regular session of the General Assembly that begins at least 25 days after the date the rule was approved.  Effective September 1, 2014. 

    Forestry Act Correction

    Amends GS 106-1004 (as enacted by SL 2014-100) to delete the reference to Article 83 of GS Chapter 106.

    Recourse When Agency Fails to Act

    Amends GS 150B-23 to add that if any agency fails to take any required action within the legally required time period, a person whose rights are substantially prejudiced by the failure to act may commence a contested case seeking an order that the agency act. If the administrative law judge finds that the agency has failed to act as legally required, the judge may order the agency to take the required action within a specified time period. Amends GS 150B-44 to delete the provision making unreasonable delay on the part of any agency or administrative law judge in taking any required action justification for any person adversely affected by the delay to seek a court action compelling action. Also deletes the provisions making the Board of Trustees of the NC State Health Plan for Teachers and State Employees a board for purposes of the statute.

    Deletes provisions of the bill concerning the following topics:

    Committee on Dropout Prevention, deleting a set termination date of July 1, 2014, for the Committee.

    Prohibit Certain Headlights

    Study Service of Process in Summary Ejectment

    Study Membership under Insurance Guaranty Association Act

    Specialty Markets

    Jump-Start Our Business Start-Ups Act

    Study Insurance Rates

    Remove Sunset for Certain Columbarium

    Study Statutory Changes Related to Corporations Law

    Notify Property Owners of Right-of-Way Transfers

    DOT Condemnation/Corridor Map Changes

    Notice to Chronic Violators

    Allow for Differential Treatment of Fraternities and Sororities in Zoning

    Repeal Supermajority Effect of Protest Petitions

    Repeal Obsolete Department of Insurance Statutes

    Study Post-Arrest Photographic Images Not Public

    Compliance With Building Code Inspection Requirements

    Study Ethics Requirements for Certain City Officials

    Building Code Study

    BRAC Related Amendments

    Extend Deadline for Adoption of Division of Employment Security Rules

    Building Code Alternate Approval Methods Study

    Clarify Official Misconduct for Code Officials

    Clarify When a County or Municipality May Enact Zoning Ordinances Related to Design and Aesthetic Controls

    Permanent License Plates for Charter Schools


  • Summary date: Aug 14 2014 - More information

    The conference report is to be summarized.


  • Summary date: Jun 25 2014 - More information

    House amendments makes the following changes to the 5th edition:

    Amendment #1

    Amends GS 160A-200.1, concerning annual notice to chronic violators of public nuisance ordinance, providing that when the annual notice is sent by registered or certified mail it will be sent to the address of record for the property owner. Amends the definition of chronic violator to a person who is the property owner of record (was, who owns property) and received city notice of violation of the public nuisance ordinance at least three times in the previous calendar year in accordance with GS 160A-200.1(b) (was, under any provision of the public nuisance ordinance). 

    Amendment #2

    Amends the expiration deadline for rules that have not been readopted by the Division of Employment Security in accordance with GS 150B, Article 2A, to December 31, 2014 (was, December 31, 2015). 

    Amendment #3

    Amends GS 58-71-40(d1), concerning bail bond shields, deleting language that set requirements for the lettering on bail bond shields. Also deletes a reference to a picture in 12 NCAC 07D.0405.

    Amendment #4

    Amends GS 143-151.8, definitions concerning official misconduct for code officials, providing that the terms "willful misconduct," "gross negligence," or "gross incompetence" includes the enforcement of a requirement when the code enforcement official has actual knowledge that the requirement is more stringent than or otherwise exceeds the Code requirement (previously, this standard did not require "actual knowledge").

    Amendment #5

    Directs the Department of Insurance (DOI), with the Treasurer's Office and the Department of Commerce, to study issues regarding requiring life insurance companies to determine if a policyholder is deceased and whether or not the insurance company should be required to provide notice to the beneficiaries on submitting a claim if the policyholder is deceased. Findings are to be reported to the 2015 General Assembly on or before January 20, 2015. 


  • Summary date: Jun 25 2014 - More information

    House committee substitute deletes all of the provisions of the previous edition, unless otherwise indicated. and makes the following changes: 

    ELIMINATE, AS OBSOLETE, THE SMALL BUSINESS CONTRACTOR  AUTHORITY, THE COMMITTEE ON DROPOUT PREVENTION, THE STATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE, THE STATE EDUCATION COMMISSION, THE NATIONAL HERITAGE AREA DESIGNATION COMMISSION, THE GOVERNOR'S MANAGEMENT COUNCIL, THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE NORTH CAROLINA CENTER FOR NURSING, THE BOARD OF CORRECTIONS; AND TO ENCOURAGE THE CHIEF JUSTICE TO ABOLISH THE ACTUAL INNOCENCE COMMISSION

    Included in the previous edition, but deletes the provision which encouraged the Chief Justice of the NC Supreme Court to take action to formally abolish the NC Actual Innocence Commission. Also provides that the committees and commissions termination dates as provided for in this section are August 1, 2014 (was, July 1, 2014 in the previous edition). 

    Terminates the Committee on Dropout Prevention August (was, July) 1, 2014. Terminates the National Heritage Area Designation Committee on August (was, July) 1, 2014.

    CLARIFY PROCESS FOR READOPTION OF EXISTING RULES

    Included in the previous edition but makes technical changes.

    AUTHORIZE LICENSING BOARDS TO ADOPT RULES FOR PROFESSIONAL CORPORATIONS 

    Included in the previous edition.

    OCCUPATIONAL LICENSING BOARD REPORTING AMENDMENTS

    Included in the previous edition.

    OAH ELECTRONIC FILING

    Included in the previous edition but makes technical changes.

    STREAMLINE RULE-MAKING PROCESS

    Included in the previous edition.

    PROHIBIT CERTAIN HEADLIGHTS

    Amends GS 20-131 (Requirements as to headlamps and auxiliary driving lamps) by creating a new subsection, GS 20-131(b1), that provides that no person will operate a vehicle with headlamps that change the original design or performance of the headlamps and do not comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 108. A violation of this subsection will result in a $100 infraction. Effective December 1, 2014, applying to offenses on or after that date. 

    BAIL BOND SHIELD AMENDMENT

    Amends GS 58-71-40 to allow the design of the shield carried by licensed bailbondsmen and runners to be altered by enameling or other specified processes to accommodate the license number, as long as the digits of the number are gold in color and at least 3/8 inches in height. Requires the size of the shield to be 1.88 inches wide and 2.36 inches high. 

    Amends GS 15A-540, concerning the surrender of a defendant by a surety, providing that a surety may utilize the services and assistance of any surety bondsman, professional bondsman, or runner licensed under GS 58-71-40 to effect the arrest or surrender of a defender.

    REPEAL OUTDATED PUBLIC UTILITIES STATUTES OR REPORTS

    Repeals GS 62-36.1 and GS 62-36A (both concerning natural gas planning). Amends GS 62-158(d) and 62-159(d), making conforming changes and deleting the specified reporting requirements. 

    Repeals GS 62-133.2(g), which required the Utilities Commission to report, on July 1 of every odd-numbered year, to the Joint Legislative Commission on Governmental Operations on specified proceedings. 

    Repeals SL 2002-4, Section 14; SL 2007-397, Section 14; and SL 1995-27, Section 6.1, all of which contained various public utilities reports.

    MERCHANT EXEMPTION FROM LOCKSMITH LICENSING

    Amends GS 74F-16, providing that the provisions and limitations of this section regarding locksmith licensing does not apply to a merchant or hardware store that does not purport to be a locksmith and duplicates keys, including the duplication of a transponder type key that requires programming (previously, did not allow for the duplication of a transponder type key without a license). 

    CLARIFY PROFESSIONAL ENGINEER EXEMPTION

    Amends GS 89C-25 to provide that GS Chapter 89C (engineering and land surveying) does not prevent (in addition to those items listed in the statute): (1) the practice of architecture, as defined in GS Chapter 83A, landscape architecture as defined in GS Chapter 89A, or contracting as defined in Articles 1, 2, 4, and 5 of GS Chapter 87; (2) engaging in engineering or land surveying as an employee or assistant under the responsible charge of a professional (deletes employees or assistants of a nonresident professional provided that the work may not include responsible charge of design or supervision); and (3) the engineering or surveying activities of a person as defined in GS 89C-3(5) who is engaged in manufacturing, processing, producing, or transmitting and delivering a product, and which activities are reasonably necessary and connected with the primary services performed by individuals regularly employed in the ordinary course of business by the person, provided that the activity is not a holding out or an offer of engineering or surveying services (deletes current language concerning the internal engineering or surveying activities of a person, firm, or corporation engaged in manufacturing, processing, or producing a product, including activities of public service corporations, public utility companies, authorities, state agencies, railroads, or membership cooperatives, or the installation and servicing of the product in the field, and so forth). Specifies what is included in activities reasonably necessary and connected with the primary service and requires activities performed under this third category to be under the responsible charge of a licensed professional engineer or licensed professional surveyor when the safety of the public is directly involved.

    Amends GS 89C-19 to prohibit the state or its political subdivisions from engaging in engineering or land surveying involving public or private property where the safety of the public is directly involved without the project being under the direct supervision of a professional engineer or land surveyor.

    STUDY SERVICE OF PROCESS IN SUMMARY EJECTMENT 

    Directs the Legislative Research Commission to study to what extent service of process should be accomplished by an entity other than the local sheriff for summary ejectment proceedings. Findings and recommendations are to be reported to the 2015 General Assembly on or before January 20, 2015. 

    CLARIFY EFFECTIVE DATE OF DEFINITION OF DISCHARGE WASTE

    Amends Section 17 of SL 2012-187 to provide that Section 11 of the act (which amended the term "discharge" to provide that it does not include an emission which is a release into the outdoor atmosphere of air contaminants) is effective when the act became law and applies to contested cases filed or pending on or after the date that the act became law.

    STUDY MEMBERSHIP UNDER INSURANCE GUARANTY ASSOCIATION ACT

    Directs the Department of Insurance, in consultation with the Departments of Labor and Commerce, to study issues related to whether claims by a workers' compensation group self-insurer, merging with a NC Insurance Guaranty Association member insurer on or after January 1, 1997, should be covered by the Association. The study should also consider when a group self-insurer's membership in the Association terminates in the event of merger with a mutual or stock insurance company. Recommendations from the study will be reported to the 2015 General Assembly on or before January 20, 2015.

    SPECIALTY MARKETS

    Amends GS 66-255 to add that for purposes of the registration list kept by a specialty market operator or the operator of an event where space is provided to a vendor, the exemptions in GS 66-256 applicable to farmers markets and tailgate markets apply

    ADA REQUIREMENTS FOR PRIVATE POOLS

    Requires swimming pools to be accessible only to the extent required by the Americans with Disabilities Act and federal rules and regulations adopted under the act. Requires the Building Code Council to adopt a rule to amend Section 1109.14 of the 2012 NC State Building Code that is consistent with this requirement.

    REMOVE SUNSET FOR CERTAIN COLUMBARIUM

    Amends GS 65-47, providing that a columbarium that is built on or before January 23, 2015 (date previously not included in the section) on the grounds of a private or a self-contained retirement community in a county where no commercially available columbarium exists, funded only by the residents of that community and reserved for the residents' use, will be exempt from the provisions of the NC Cemetery Act (previously, included an expiration date for the section, January 23, 2015, which has now been deleted).

    Amends SL 2013-335, concerning the exemption for certain columbariums, providing that the act is effective when it becomes law (previously, expired 18 months after the act became law).

    STUDY INSURANCE RATES

    Directs the Legislative Research Commission to study whether the Commissioner of Insurance should have the authority to specify overall rates that do not exceed the rates proposed by the Bureau filing. The findings from the study, along with any legislative recommendations, are to be submitted to the 2015 General Assembly prior to the convening of the 2015 Regular Session. 

    STUDY STATUTORY CHANGES RELATED TO CORPORATIONS LAW

    Directs the Joint Legislative Economic Development and Global Engagement Oversight Committee to study the creation of statutory language which would permit a NC corporation to be merged, without shareholder authorization, into a direct or indirect wholly owned subsidiary of the NC corporation as well as allowing a NC corporation to designate an exclusive forum for shareholder disputes.  The findings from the study, along with any legislative recommendations, are to be submitted to the 2015 General Assembly prior to the convening of the 2015 Regular Session. 

    JUMP START OUR BUSINESS START-UPS ACT

    Amends GS 78-17 to add a new exemption to the list of transactions that are exempt from the registration and filing requirements to include the offer or sale of securities conducted in accordance with proposed GS 78A-17.1, the Invest NC exemption.

    Adds new GS 78A-17.1, Invest NC Exemption, to Article 3 of GS Chapter 78A. Provides for an exemption from the registration requirements of GS 78A-24 and GS 78A-49(d) for the offer or sale of a security if the offer or sale is conducted in accordance with each of the specified 13 requirements. The requirements include specified caps (which must be adjusted every fifth year to reflect changes in the Consumer Price Index) on the sum of all cash and other consideration received for all sales of the security in reliance upon the exemption, with the cap amount varying depending on whether the issuer has undergone a financial audit; the issuer has not accepted more than $2,000 from any single purchaser except accredited investors; the issuer files appropriate and timely notice containing specified information; the issuer informs prospective purchasers that the securities have not been registered and are subject to limitations on resale, including displaying specified information in the disclosure document; and specified requirements are met when the offer and sale of securities is made through a website.

    Requires an issuer of security for which the offer of sale is exempt under this section to submit a free-of-charge quarterly report to the issuer's investors until there are no outstanding securities issued under this section. Permits the reporting requirement to be satisfied by making the information available on a website if the information is made available within 45 days of the end of each fiscal quarter and remains available until the succeeding quarterly report is issued. Requires an issuer to provide a written copy of the report to any shareholder upon request. Specifies content required to be in the report. Provides criteria for offers and sales to controlling persons, defined as an officer, director, partner, trustee, or individuals having similar status or performing similar functions as the issuer, or a person owning 10 percent or more of the outstanding shares of any class or classes of securities of the issuer. Provides for a disqualification for the exemption if an issuer or person affiliated with the issuer or offering is subject to any of the specified disqualifications.  However, makes the disqualification provisions inapplicable if there is a (1) showing of good cause and without prejudice to any other action by the Administrator, the Administrator determines that it is not necessary that an exemption be denied and (2) the issuer shows that the issuer made factual inquiry as to the existence of any disqualification and could not have known that a disqualification existed even with the exercise of reasonable care. Authorizes the Administrator to adopt rules to implement the statute and protect investors who purchase securities under this statute.

    Makes a conforming change to GS 78A-49(d) regarding the informational filing requirement.

    Requires the Secretary of State (Administrator) to adopt rules to implement this act within 12 months. Provides for a 15-day notice and comment period and requires the Administrator to hold at least one public hearing on the rules. Provides that the rules become effective on the first day of the month following the date the rules are adopted and sent to the Codifier of Rules for entry into the Administrative Code. Provides that this provision expires 12 months after the effective date of this act.

    These provisions are effective when the act becomes law and expire on July 1, 2017, unless otherwise indicated.

    NOTIFY PROPERTY OWNERS OF RIGHT-OF-WAY TRANSFERS

    Amends GS 136-66.10 (dedication of right-of-way under local ordinances) to require local governments that require or accept right-of-way dedications in exchange for transferred density credits to notify the applicant and the property owner when the local government begins review of or negotiations for a right-of-way dedication and associated density credit transfer, whichever occurs first. Provides details for sending the notification and providing notification when the property owner is not the applicant. Applies to dedications occurring on or after October 1, 2014. 

    DOT CONDEMNATION/CORRIDOR MAP CHANGES

    Amends GS 136-113 to provide that interest on the damages awarded a DOT condemnation is calculated from the date of the taking to the date the judgment is paid (was, to the date of the judgment). Applies to condemnation actions filed on or after July 1, 2015.

    Amends GS 136-119 to require the court to award the owner of the condemned property costs, disbursements, and expenses, including attorneys' fees, if the final judgment exceeds the amount of the initial deposit by 35 percent or more. Limits attorneys' fees to one-third of the difference between the verdict, plus interest, and the initial deposit, and prohibits the fee from exceeding the prevailing hourly rate in the county where the land is located. Applies to condemnation actions filed on or after July 1, 2015.

    Amends GS 136-44.51 to prohibit an application for a building permit issuance or subdivision plat approval for a tract subject to a valid transportation corridor official map from being delayed for more than two years (was, three years) from the date of its original submittal. Effective July 1, 2014.

    NOTICE TO CHRONIC VIOLATORS

    Repeals GS 160A-200 (city annual notice to chronic violators of overgrown vegetation ordinance).

    Amends GS 160A-200.1 (annual notice to chronic violators of public nuisance ordinance) to add that cities may also give notice to a chronic violator of the municipality's overgrown vegetation ordinance in accordance with this statute.

    ALLOW FOR DIFFERENTIAL TREATMENT OF FRATERNITIES AND SORORITIES IN ZONING

    Amends GS 153A-340 (applying to counties) and GS 160A-381 (applying to cities) to allow a zoning or unified development ordinance to differentiate, with respect to fraternities and sororities, in terms of the regulations applicable to fraternities or sororities between those that are approved or recognized by a college or university and those that are not, as follows: (1) the ordinance must allow a fraternity or sorority suspended or not recognized at least two years to reestablish approval or recognition, (2) the ordinance must allow a fraternity or sorority seeking approval or recognition at least three years to establish approval or recognition, and (3) the ordinance must require that a property may not be occupied successively by a fraternity or sorority seeking to reestablish approval or recognition and one seeking approval or recognition, and vice versa, unless the property is occupied by a fraternity or sorority approved or recognized for at least 12 successive months between the two.

    REPEAL SUPERMAJORITY EFFECT OF PROTEST PETITIONS

    Repeal protest petitions (new) Repeals GS 160A-385(a) (stating the General Assembly's finding that it is necessary and desirable to provide for the establishment of certain vested rights in order to ensure reasonable certainty, stability, and fairness in the land use planning process, secure the reasonable expectations of landowners, and foster cooperation between the public and private sectors in the area of land use planning). Repeals GS 160A-386 (protest petition; form; requirements; time for filing). Makes conforming changes to GS 122C-403. Provides that the section also repeals any local act authority for submission, review, or action by any city upon any zoning protest petition, whether or not enacted as a provision in a municipal charter.

    REPEAL OBSOLETE DEPARTMENT OF INSURANCE STATUTES

    Repeals GS 58-2-170 (Annual statements by professional liability insurers; medical malpractice claim reports); GS 58-3-191(a) (which required each health benefit plan to annually file in the office of the Commissioner the specified information for the previous calendar year) and (b1) (when provided that effective March 1, 1998, insurers shall make the reports that are required under subsection (a) of this section and that have been filed with the Commissioner available on their business premises and shall provide any insured access to them upon request); GS 58-67-140(a)(7) (allowing HMO license suspension or revocation for knowingly publishing or making any false statement or report, including any report or any data that serves as the basis for any report, required to be submitted under GS 58-3-191); GS 58-36-3(c) (requiring the Department of Insurance to report annually to the President Pro Tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives on the effectiveness of SL 2001-389 in assuring the provision of insurance coverage to motorcyclists at fair and economical rates); GS 58-40-130(e) (concerning a report that was to be made by July 1, 1988); and GS 58-50-95 (the Commissioner shall report annually to the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Health and Human Services regarding the nature and appropriateness of reviews conducted under this Part). Makes conforming changes.

    STUDY POST-ARREST PHOTOGRAPHIC IMAGES NOT PUBLIC

    Requires the Administrative Office of the Courts and the Department of Public Safety to study whether photos of individuals charged with a crime should be a public record. Requires a report to the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Justice and Public Safety by December 31, 2014.

    COMPLIANCE WITH BUILDING CODE INSPECTION REQUIREMENTS

    Amends GS 153A-360 (county inspections of work in progress) to provide that the statute's provisions are subject to GS 153A-235(a) (which provides that a county may not adopt a local ordinance or resolution or any other policy that requires regular, routine inspections of buildings or structures constructed in compliance with the North Carolina Residential Code for One- and Two-Family Dwellings in addition to the specific inspections required by the North Carolina Building Code without first obtaining approval from the North Carolina Building Code Council).

    Amends GS 160A-420 (city inspections of work in progress) to provide that the statute's provisions are subject to GS 160A-412(b) (a city may not adopt a local ordinance or resolution or any other policy that requires regular, routine inspections of buildings or structures constructed in compliance with the North Carolina Residential Code for One- and Two-Family Dwellings in addition to the specific inspections required by the North Carolina Building Code without first obtaining approval from the North Carolina Building Code Council). 

    STUDY ETHICS REQUIREMENTS FOR CERTAIN CITY OFFICALS

    Requires the State Ethics Commission and the UNC School of Government to study the implications and impact of requiring city and county elected officials to file a statement of economic interest. Requires a report to the Joint Legislative Administrative Procedure Oversight Committee on or before December 31, 2014.

    BUILDING CODE STUDY

    Requires the NC Building Code Council to study the authority given to local building inspectors in those counties and cities where building plans are reviewed and approved before the issuance of a building permit pursuant to specified statutes. Requires a report to the 2015 General Assembly.

    BRAC RELATED AMENDMENTS

    Retains provisions from Section 3.37 and makes the following additions.

    Enacts new GS 127C-5 to allow the NC Military Affairs Commission (Commission) and the Department of Commerce (Department) to share documents and discussions protected from disclosure with other public bodies; shared information is confidential and exempt from GS Chapter 132 to the same extent that it is confidential in the Commission’s or Department’s possession. Also allows the Commission and Department to share documents and discussions protected from disclosure, with any third party in its discretion, in carrying out the Commission’s purposes. Shared information must be shared under an agreement to keep the information confidential to the same extent that it is confidential in the Commission’s or Department’s possession.

    Amends GS 132-1.2 to add that nothing in GS Chapter 132 requires disclosure of documents related to the federal government’s process to determine closure or realignment of military installations until a final decision has been made in that process. Amends GS 143-318.11 to allow holding a closed session to discuss matters relating to military installation closure or realignment. Effective for meetings held on or after October 1, 2014.

    ABC PERMITS/SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES

    Amends GS 18B-1006(a) to prohibit a permit for the sale of alcoholic beverages (was, sale of malt beverages, unfortified wine, or fortified wine) from being issued to a business on the campus or property of a public school, college, or university (was, just of a public school or college). Adds to and amends the exemptions.

    EXTEND DEADLINE FOR ADOPTION OF DIVISION OF EMPLOYMENT SECURITY RULES

    Amends Section 1.10(c) of SL 2011-401 by extending the deadline by which the Division of Employment Security (Division) must adopt all existing rules and regulations under GS Chapter 150B, Article 2A, from December 31, 2012, to December 31, 2015. Effective December 31, 2012.

    Requires the Division to report to the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Unemployment Insurance on its progress by September 3, 2014. Amends GS 120-70.156 to add to the powers of the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Unemployment Insurance the ability to review rules adopted by the Division and recommending policies and procedures to ensure the Division is operating in conformity with GS Chapter 96 and federal laws and regulations.

    BUILDING CODE ALTERNATE APPROVAL METHODS STUDY

    Requires the NC Building Code Council to study the policies and procedures for the approval of alternative materials, designs, or methods. Specifies three elements that must be included in the study. Requires a report to the 2015 General Assembly on or before January 20, 2015.

    CLARIFY OFFICIAL MISCONDUCT FOR CODE OFFICIALS

    Amends GS 143-151.8 to provide that for purposes of the Article (North Carolina Code Officials Qualification Board), willful misconduct, gross negligence, or gross incompetence also includes four additional items, including the enforcement of a code requirement applicable to a certain area or set of circumstances in other areas or circumstances not specified in the requirement, and the enforcement of a requirement that is more stringent than or otherwise exceeds the code requirement. Requires the NC Code Officials Qualification Board to, by October 1, 2014, notify all Code enforcement officials in the state of the clarification to the grounds for disciplinary action enacted by this section.

    ENFORCE MUNICIPAL FLOODPLAIN ORDINANCE IN ETJ

    Amends GS 160A-360(k) to add that for complying with 44 CFR Part 60, Subpart A, property that is exempt from the exercise of extraterritorial jurisdiction under subsection (k) is subject to the county’s floodplain ordinance or all floodplain regulation provisions of the county’s unified development ordinance.

    Amends GS 20-84(b) to allow the Division of Motor Vehicles to issue permanent plates for a motor vehicle owned and exclusively operated by a nonprofit corporation authorized to operate a charter school and identified by a decal or marking showing the nonprofit’s name.

    CLARIFY WHEN A COUNTY OR MUNICIPALITY MAY ENACT ZONING ORDINANCES RELATED TO DESIGN AND AESTHETIC CONTROLS

    Amends GS 160A (Cities and Towns) and GS 153A (Counties) by adding new GS 160A-381(g) and GS 153A-340(k), prohibiting zoning and development regulation ordiances related to building design elements adopted under the Part, or under recommendations made under GS 160A-452(6)c. (a governing development board's recommendation for the adoption of certain regulations that will enhance the appearance of the municipality or its surrounding areas) from applying to structures subject to North Carolina's Residential Code for One- and Two-Family Dwellings except in the following situations: (1) structures in areas designated as local historic districts; (2) structures in areas designated as a historic district on the National Registry of Historic Places; (3) structures designated as local, state, or national historic landmarks; (4) the regulations are directly and substantially related to applicable safety codes under GS 143-138 (North Carolina State Building Code); (5) where the regulations apply to manufactured housing, consistent with GS 160A-383.1 (zoning regulations for manufactured homes) and federal law; and (6) where such regulations are adopted as a condition of participation in the National Flood Insurance Program.

    Regulations prohibited by this section cannot be applied in any zoning district, special use district, conditional use district, or conditional district unless voluntarily consented to by all of the owners of all of the property to which they can be applied. Such regulations also cannot be applied indirectly as part of the review pursuant to GS 160A-383 or GS 153A-341 (accordance of zoning regulations with a comprehensive development plan) or any other applicable adopted plan. The subsections do not affect the validity or enforceability of private covenants or other contractual agreements among property owners relating to building design elements. Effective when the act becomes law and applies to development approvals granted on or after that date.

    SEVERABILITY CLAUSE AND EFFECTIVE DATE

    Identical to previous edition. 


  • Summary date: Jun 24 2014 - More information

    The House committee substitute to the 4th edition is to be summarized.


  • Summary date: May 29 2014 - More information

    Senate amendments make the following changes to the 3rd edition.

    Amendment #10 rewrites GS 150B-21.3A(d)(2) to clarify that any change in a readopted rule must be a "substantive change" in order to trigger the requirement in GS 150B-21.4 for the agency to prepare a fiscal note. Amends GS 150B-25.1(a) to provide that the petitioner in a contested case has the burden of proving the facts alleged in the petition by a preponderance of the evidence except as otherwise provided by law or by this section (was, except as provided by this section). Amends subsection (b) to provide that in a contested case involving the imposition of civil fines or penalties by a state agency for a violation of the law, the state agency has the burden of showing by a preponderance of the evidence that the person who was fined actually committed the act for which the fine or penalty was imposed. Also amends subsection (c) to make the standard for the burden of proof a showing by the state agency, by a preponderance of the evidence that a career state employee subject to GS Chapter 126 was discharged, suspended, or demoted for just cause.

    Amendment #11 rewrites GS 110-86(2)(f) which exempts certain nonpublic schools as described in Part 2 of Article 39 of GS Chapter 115c from the definition for "child care." Provides that the exemption includes nonpublic schools with early childhood standards that operate a child care facility for more than six and one-half hours per day, but do not receive NC Pre-K or child care subsidy funding. Deletes language declaring that thesix and one-half hours per day requirement only relates to instructional hours and excludes before or after school programs.

    Amendment #12

    Amends proposed GS 106-678, concerning local government authority to regulate fertilizers, setting out new limitations that provide that none of the provisions in this section will prohibit DENR or the Environmental Management Commission (EMC) from enforcing water quality standards. Also provides that no provision can prohibit local governments or political subdivisions from adopting ordinances that regulate fertilizers with the intent to protect water quality, provided the ordinances have been approved by DENR or the Environmental Management Commission as part of a local plan or NPDES permit application, and do not exceed the State's minimum requirements to protect water quality.

    Changes parts of the effective date clause for Section 3.4, concerning water supply watershed classifications, providing that this section is effective when it becomes law and applies to any petition for rule making regarding water supply watershed reclassification received by the EMC on or after January 1, 2013 and prior to January 1, 2014 (was, between January 1, 2012 up to the effective date of this section).

    Amends GS 89D-13, regarding who is exempt from specified regulations concerning landscape contractor to no longer require any person or business licensed pursuant to Article 1 of Chapter 87 of the General Statutes who possesses a classification as a building contractor, a residential contractor, or a public utilities contractor to use the contractor's own employees to perform landscape construction or contracting.Also deletes the limitation that a public utilities contractor exempted by this subdivision may only perform specified activities.

    Amendment #13

    Enacts new GS 143, Article 80, titled Permit Choice, providing that if a permit applicant submits a permit for any type of development but a rule or ordinance changes between the time the permit application was submitted and the permit was granted, then the permit applicant can chose which version of the rule or ordinance will apply to the permit. Applies to all development permits issued by the State and local governments. Effective when it becomes law and applies to permits for which a permit decision has not been made by that date.

    Amendment #14

    Enacts new GS 8-58.62 to require an owner or operator of a facility who makes a voluntary disclosure of a violation of environmental laws discovered through performance of an environmental audit must be only entitled to exercise of the privilege or immunity established under this Part once in a two year period, not more than twice in a five year period, and not more than three times in a ten year period.

    Amendment #15 makes the following changes.

    Amends GS 150B-21.4 to provide that before an agency publishes in the North Carolina Register the proposed text of a permanent rule change that would require the expenditure or distribution of funds subject to the Budget Act, it must submit the text of the proposed rule change, an analysis of the proposed rule change, and a fiscal note on the proposed change to the Office of State Budget and Management. Requires submission of the text of the proposed rule change and a fiscal note to specified entities before an agency publishes in the North Carolina Register (was, before adopting) a permanent rule change that would affect the expenditures or revenues of a local government. Establishes the same requirements for adoption of permanent rules having a substantial economic impact that are not identical to a federal regulation the agency must adopt.

    Amends GS 143-215.10J to amend the criteria to be met in order for any waste containment basin to be considered a fresh water storage facility meeting all requirements for closure to require that the basin be constructed before 2006 (was, before 1967), and to require that the only liquid currently entering the basin be from rainwater or rainwater runoff (previously, this requirement was only for basins that had not been used for the containment of dairy cattle waste after September 1, 2006).

    Changes Part 7D, Environmental Audit Privilege and Limited Immunity, to Article 7D and makes conforming changes. Also amends the proposed statutes in this Article to correct the statutory numbering and make conforming corrections.

    Adds that the changes in Section 3.23 of the act, increase certain penalties for taking of protected plants, become effective December 1, 2014, and applies to offenses committed on or after that date.

    Makes all of the changes in Section 3.31, rewrite landscape contractor licensing statutes, effective August 1, 2015.

    Corrections internal section references. Makes technical changes.

    Amendment #16 amends GS 143-215.108 to clarify that nothing in the statute is to be interpreted to give the Commission or the Department the power to regulate the emissions from any combustion heater, appliance, or fireplace in private dwellings, except to the extent required by federal law.


  • Summary date: May 22 2014 - More information

    Senate amendments make the following changes to the 3rd edition:

    Amendment #1

    Amends Section 3.12(c) of the act, providing that notwithstanding subparagraph (3) of 15A NCAC 07H .0304 (AECs Within Ocean Hazard Areas), the Commission will not establish any new and must repeal existing specified inlet hazard areas (previously, act did not require the repeal of inlet hazad areas).

    Inserts Section heading "Expedited IBT Process for Certain Reservoirs" for Section 3.14.

    Adds new Section 3.19 to the act, Reform On-Site Wastewater Regulation, amending GS 130A-334 to include a new defined term, ground absorption system. Makes clarifying changes to the definitions for plat and wastewater system.

    Amends GS 130A-335(f1), rules for the construction of a wastewater system, providing that following the required preconstruction conference, the local health department must advise the owner or developer of any rule changes for the wastewater system construction, including current technology that can be reasonably expected to improve performance of the system. Requires the health department to issue revised authorization for wastewater system construction with rule changes included after receiving a written request from the owner or developer.

    Amends GS 130A-336, concerning improvement permits and authorization for wastewater system construction, deleting the limitation that authorization for wastewater system construction cannot exceed five years.

    Makes technical changes.

    Amendment #3 makes the following changes:

    Changes the report date regarding the Senator Jean Preston Marine Shellfish Sanctuary, now requiring DENR to report to the Environmental Review Commission no later than December 1, 2014 (was, October 1, 2014), regarding the implementation of this sanctuary.

    Amendment #7 makes the following changes:

    Changes the report date for DENR to submit its findings and recommendations concerning the statutes and rules governing interbasin transfers to the Environmental Review Commission to November 1, 2014 (was, October 1, 2014).

    Amendment #9 makes the following changes:

    Changes the report date concerning the HIVE working group, requiring the HIVE group to submit a final report to the Environmental Review Commission by December 1, 2014 (was, November 30, 2014), on its findings and recommendations regarding the honeybee population.


  • Summary date: May 21 2014 - More information

    The Senate committee substitute to the 2nd edition makes the following changes.

    Adds that local governments must repeal local ordinances as required by Section 3.4 (water supply watershed classifications) on or before the date that the rules adopted under new GS 143-214.5(c1) become effective.

    Amends proposed GS 8-58.53 to remove the requirement that administrative proceedings from which an environmental audit report is immune from discovery and not admissible, be instituted by an enforcement agency. Amends proposed GS 8-58.60 to remove the reference to enforcement agencies in relation to fines from which owners or operations are immune.

    Adds that nothing in the section concerning inlet hazard areas is intended to prevent the Commission from modifying existing inlet hazard areas consistent with Section 3.12(c).

    Adds an amendment to GS 143-215.22L(w) to provide that a petition for a certificate to withdraw or transfer water stored in any mulitpurpose reservoir constructed by the US Army Corps of Engineers and partially located in a state adjacent to North Carolina, provided the US Army Corps of Engineers approved the withdrawal or transfer on or before July 1, 2014, is to be considered and a determination made upon the specified procedures.

    Deletes Section 3.19 which transferred rule making authority for wastewater systems from the Commission for Public Health to the Environmental Management Commission.

    Deletes Section 3.32, clarify rights of marine artifact donors.

    Adds new Section 3.37. Enacts new GS 143-135.29 requiring the State Construction Office to maintain, and make publicly available, maps of areas surrounding major military installations that are subject to the provisions of Article 9G of GS Chapter 143. Amends the definitions in GS 143-151.71 to remove the term Building Code Council and add State Construction Office. Makes conforming changes to GS 143-151.73, and GS 143-151.75. Repeals GS 143-138(j2).

    Adds new Section 3.38. Enacts new subsection (d), Meetings and Records, to GS 127C-1, which established the North Carolina Military Affairs Commission (Commission). Provides that regardless of Article 33C of GS Chapter 143 and GS Chapter 132, the Commission may withhold documents and discussions related to the federal government's process to determine closure or realignment of military installations until a final decision has been made by the federal government in that process.


  • Summary date: May 21 2014 - More information

    The Senate committee substitute to the 1st edition makes the following changes.

    Part I. Administrative Reforms

    Hardison Amendment Clarification

    Amends GS 150B-19.3, concerning limitations of environmental rules, providing that rules required by a subdivision of GS 150B-19.3 will be treated as if they had received 10 written objections under GS 150B-21.3(b2), thus requiring a delayed effective date pursuant to GS 150B-21.3(b1), the earlier of the 31st legislative day or the day of adjournment of the next regular session of the General Assembly that begins at least 25 days after the date the rule was approved.  Effective July 1, 2014.

    Amends GS 150B-21.3A(a)(3), concerning periodic review of existing rules, providing that a rule will also be classified as necessary with public interest if the rule imposes a more restrictive standard, limitation, or requirement than those imposed by federal law. Makes technical and conforming changes. Effective August 23, 2013.

    Scope of Local Authority for Ordinances

    Amends previously new GS 106-678, changing title of the subsection to Authority of local government to regulate fertilizers (previously, Authority of Board of Agriculture to regulate fertilizers). Makes clarifying changes providing that cities and counties are not allowed to regulate the use, sale, distribution, etc. of fertilizer.

    Lottery Oversight Committee Eliminated

    Repeals GS 18C-172, eliminating the Lottery Oversight Committee.
    Amends GS 18C-115, making conforming changes.

    Representation of Small Business Entities in Administrative Appeals

    Amends GS 150B-23(a), concerning contested cases under the Administrative Procedure Act  and 105-290, concerning appeals to property tax commission, to provide that in contested hearings or appeals, involving a small business entity, that entity can be represented by one or more of its owners with the written consent of all owners and they cannot be compelled to retain or be represented by an attorney. Provides that a small business entity is a limited liability company owned by no more than two individuals.

    Exempt Small Business Entities Buying or Selling Entity-owned Property

    Amends GS 93A-2(c)(1), concerning license requirements of real estate brokers, providing that owners of an exempt closely held business as well as officers, managers, and employees of a closely held business entity owned by an exempt person are not subject to licensure or other requirements found in GS 93A-1 or 93A-2.

    Reduce State Agency Mobile Device Reporting Frequency

    Amends 6A.14(a) of SL 2011-145, concerning limiting the issuance of state cell-phones and other mobile devices, providing that agencies are now only required to report annually (was, quarterly)  information concerning mobile device usage and issuance.

    Eliminate, as Obsolete, the Small Business Contractor Authority, the Committee on Dropout Prevention, the State Education Committee, the State Education Commission, the National Heritage Area Designation Commission, the Governor’s Management Council, the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Center for Nursing, the Board of Corrections; and to Encourage the Chief Justice to Abolish the Actual Innocence Commission

    Repeals GS Chapter 143B, Part 20 Article 10, Small Business Contractor Act, thus eliminating the Small Business Contractor Authority.

    Amends Section 7.32(e) of SL 2007-323 to provide that the Committee on Dropout Prevention will terminate July 1, 2014 (previously, Committee did not have a termination date).

    Repeals Article 26 of GS 143, thus eliminating the State Education Commission. Repeals GS 116C-2, eliminating the State Education Commission, and amends GS 116C-1, making conforming changes.

    Amends Section 18.10 of SL 2001-491 to provide that the National Heritage Area Designation Commission will terminate July 1, 2014 (previously, Commission did not have a termination date).

    Repeals GS 143B, Article 9, Part 24, thus eliminating the Governor’s Management Committee.

    Repeals GS 90-171.71, eliminating the Board of Directors of the NC Center for Nursing.

    Repeals GS 143B-715, eliminating the Board of Corrections. Amends GS 143B-711, making conforming changes.

    Encourages the Chief Justice of the NC Supreme Court to abolish the Actual Innocence Commission, inasmuch as their work has been completed, and the General Assembly established the NC Innocence Inquiry Commission.

    Clarify Process for Readoption of Existing Rules

    Amends GS 150B-21.3A to require that the Rules Review Commission (RRC) report to the Joint Legislative Administrative Procedure Oversight Committee any agency that fails to conduct the existing rule review. Provides that for the readoption of rules, once the final determination report becomes effective, the RRC must establish a date by which the agency must readopt the rules. Allows the agency to amend a rule as part of the readoption process. Provides that if a rule is readopted without change, the agency is not required to prepare a fiscal note. Makes clarifying and conforming changes. 

    Authorizing Licensing Boards to Adopt Rules for Professional Corporations

    Adds new subsection (b) to GS 55B-12, Application of regulations of licensing boards, to provide that subject to the requirements of Article 2A of GS Chapter 150B, any licensing board subject to GS Chapter 55B (Professional Corporation Act) may adopt rules to implement the provisions of this Chapter, including any rules needed to set fees within the limits set by this Chapter.

    Occupational Licensing Board Reporting Amendments

    Amends GS 93B-2, concerning required annual reports of occupational licensing boards (OLB), adding reporting requirements that (1) each OLB must file electronically (previously, did not provide for electronic filing) their required annual reports, (2) required reports must also be filed with the Joint Legislative Administrative Procedure Oversight Committee (was, the Joint Regulatory Reform Committee), and (3) that the annual reports must also now include the total number of licensees supervised by the board as well as the number who failed the licensing examination. Makes similar changes to the requirements for financial reports.

    Adds language that requires the Joint Legislative Administrative Procedure Oversight Committee to notify any board that fails to file the reports as required.

    OAH Electronic Filing

    Enacts new GS 150B-23.3 providing that the Office of Administrative Hearings is authorized to electronically file and serve documents in a contested case by using an Electronic Filing Service Provider (EFSP).

    Sets out and defines the following terms for use in this new subsection: electronic filing, EFSP, and electronic service.

    Section is effective when it becomes law, and applies to contested cases filed on or after that date. 

    State Board of Education Rulemaking Clarification

    Amends GS 115C-12 to provide that the State Board of Education (State Board) is subject to Article 2A of GS Chapter 150B, and may not implement or enforce a policy that meets the definition of a rule if the policy has not been adopted as a rule according to Article 2A.

    Amends GS 150B-23 to provide that if an agency fails to take any required action within the specified time period, any person whose rights are substantially prejudiced by the failure to act may commence a contested case seeking an order that the agency act. If the judge finds that the agency failed to act as required, the agency may be ordered to take the required action within a specified time period. Makes conforming changes to GS 150B-44.

    Streamline Rule-Making Process

    Repeals GS 150B-19.1(h), which required agencies to obtain a certification of adherence to rulemaking principles before submitting the proposed text of a rule for publication.

    Amends GS 150B-21.4(b1) adding language to provide that when an agency's proposed rule change would have a substantial impact, they must also obtain a certification from the Office of State Budget and Management that they adhered to regulatory principles as set out in GS 150B-19.1(a)(2), (5), and (6).

    This section is effective when it becomes law, and applies to proposed rules published on or after that date.

    Burden Of Proof in Certain Contested Cases

    Enacts new GS 150B-25.1, in the Administrative Procedure Act, concerning the burden of proof in certain contested administrative hearings, clarifying that in most contested cases the petitioner has the burden of proof. However, in a contested case involving a civil fine or penalty by a state agency the burden of proof rests with the state agency. Further clarifies that in cases where a career state employee subject to GS Chapter 126 (State Personnel System) was discharged, suspended, or demoted for just cause, the burden of proof rests with the agency employer.

    Directs the Joint Legislative Administrative Procedure Oversight Committee to study whether there are other contested cases where the burden of proof should rest with the agency.

    This section is effective when it becomes law, and applies to contested cases beginning on or after that date.

    Legislative Appointments

    Amends GS 120-121 by adding two new subsections, (e) and (f) regarding legislative appointments. Under subsection (e), when the Speaker of the House of Representatives (Speaker) or the President Pro Tempore of the Senate (President Pro Tem) is directed by law to make a recommendation for an appointment by the General Assembly, and the legislator is also directed to make the recommendation in consultation or upon the recommendation of a third party, the following applies: (1) the recommendation or consultation is discretionary and not binding upon the legislator; (2) the third party must make the recommendation or consultation at least 60 days before the expiration of the Term or within 10 business days from the occurrence of a vacancy; (3) failure by the third party to submit the recommendation or consultation to the legislature within the required time periods are to be viewed as a waiver by the third party of the opportunity.

    Provides that subsection (f) applies when the Speaker or the President Pro Tem is directed by law to make a recommendation for an appointment by the General Assembly and the legislator is also directed to make the recommendation from nominees provided by a third party. Under subsection (f), the third party must submit the nominees at least 60 days before the expiration of the term or within 10 business days from when the vacancy occurs; if the third party fails to submit the nomination to the legislator within the time periods required under this subsection, the failure to submit the nomination is deemed a waiver on the part of the third party.

    Enacts new GS 120-124, Appointments made by legislators, to provide that in any case where a legislator is called upon by law to appoint a member to a board or commission on the recommendation or in consultation with a third party, the recommendation, or consultation is discretionary and is not binding on the legislator. Requires the third party to submit the recommendation or consultation at least 60 days before the expiration of the term or within 10 business days from the occurrence of a vacancy. Provides that in any case where a legislator is called upon by law to appoint a member to a board or commission from nominees provided by a third party, the third party must submit the recommendation or consultation at least 60 days before the expiration of the term, or within 10 business days from the occurrence of a vacancy. Provides that this subsection does not apply to nominations that are made under GS 120-99(a) (creation and composition of the Legislative Ethics Committee), nor under GS 120-100(b) (filling a vacancy on the Legislative Ethics Committee). Failure to submit the recommendation, consultation, or nomination within the time periods required under this section shall be deemed a waiver of the opportunity by the third party.

    Makes this section effective when it becomes law and applies to recommendations, consultations, and nominations made on or after that date.

    Part II. Permitting Reforms

    Capstone Permitting

    Adds new subsection (g) to GS 150B-23 to provide that when multiple licenses are required from an agency for a single activity, the Secretary or chief administrative officer of the agency may issue a written determination that the administrative decision reviewable under Article 3 of GS Chapter 150B occurs on the date the license for the activity is issued, denied, or otherwise disposed of. Provides that the written determination of the administrative decision is not reviewable under this Article. Also provides that any licenses issued for the activity prior to the date of the last license identified in the written determination are not reviewable under this Article until the last license for the activity is issued, denied, or otherwise disposed of. Permits a contested case challenging the last decision for the activity to include challenges.

    Contested cases for air quality permits

    Amends GS 143-215.108(e) to no longer apply to a third party who is dissatisfied with a decision of the Commission to commence a contested case by filing a petition under GS 150B-23. Provides that the filing of a petition under this subsection will stay the Commission’s decision until the contested case is resolved. Adds subsection (e1) to provide that a person, other than a permit applicant or permittee, who is aggrieved by the Commission’s decision on a permit application may begin a contested case by filing a petition under GS 150B-239 within 30 days after the Commission provides notice after its decision on a permit application, as provided in GS 150B-23(f), or by posting the decision on a publically available Web site. Provides that in a contested case filed under this subsection, “substantial prejudice” to the petitioner in a contested case filed under this subsection means the exceedance of a national ambient air quality standard. Provides that the filing of a petition under this subsection does not stay the Commission’s decision except as ordered by the administrative law judge under GS 150B-33(b).

    Closure of Certain Animal Waste Containment Basins.

    Amends Part 1A of Article 21 of GS Chapter 143 by adding new GS 143-215.10J which directs DENR to consider any waste containment basin to be a fresh water storage facility meeting all the requirements for closure under 15A NCAC 02T. 1306, if the owner of basin can demonstrate to DENR that the basin meets all of the specified requirements. Directs the Department to provide written notification to the owner of a basin that it is no longer considered an animal waste management system.

    Contested Cases for CAMA Permits

    Amends GS 113A-121.1(c) to provide that when an applicant seeks administrative review of a decision concerning a minor or major development permit under subsection (a) of this section, the permit is suspended from the time that a person seeks administrative review of the decision until the Commission makes a final decision in the contested case and no action may be takes during that time that would be unlawful in the absence of a permit. Adds subsection (d) to provide that a permit challenged under subsection (b) remains in effective unless a stay is issued by the administrative law judge or by a reviewing court.

    Gubernatorial Environmental Permit Waiver Authority

    Amends GS 116A-19.30 to allow the Governor, during a gubernatorially or legislatively declared state of emergency, to issue an executive order waiving required documents or permits under the Environmental Policy Act, Sedimentation Pollution Control Act of 1973, and the Coastal Area Management, for the repair, protection, safety, enhancement, or replacement of a part of the highway system that provides the sole road access to a city or unincorporated inhabited area bordering the ocean or any coastal sound where bridge or road conditions as a result of the events leading to the declaration of the state of emergency pose a risk to public health, safety, or welfare. Sets out relevant definitions and requirements for the executive order. Makes conforming changes to GS 113A-12, GS 113A-52.01, and GS 113A-103.

    Fee Rollback For Oyster Permits Under Private Docks

    Repeals GS 113-210(l) and (m), concerning the $100 Under Dock Oyster Culture Permit fee and the advance sales of those permits. Effective July 1, 2014.

    Local Government Leases for Renewable Energy Facilities

    Amends GS 160A-272(c) regarding the lease of property owned by a city. Provides that the council may approve a lease for the siting and operation of a renewable energy facility, as that term is defined in GS 62-133.8(a)(7), for  up to 25 (was, 20) years without treating the lease as a sale of property and without giving notice by publication by the intended lease. Deletes language restricting application of this subsection only to the named counties.

    Closing-Out Sales

    Amends GS 66-77 to require a person advertising or offering for sale goods, wares, or merchandise as a closing out sale, or as damaged by fire, smoke, water or otherwise to obtain a license to conduct such a sale from the officer designated by the city or town’s governing board where the person plans to conduct the sale (was, had to obtain a license for the sale from the clerk of the city or town). Makes conforming changes.

    Part III. Regulatory and Statutory Modifications

     Regulations of Impact to Isolated Wetlands

    Requires the Environmental Management Commission to adopt a rule to amend 15A NCAC 02H .1305 (Review of Applications) so that when implementing the rule (1) the amount of impacts of isolated wetlands is less than or equal to 1 acre of isolated wetlands for the entire project and (2) the mitigation ratio is 1:1. Identical provisions are in effect when the act becomes law and expire on the date that the required rule is adopted.

    Requires the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to study the surface area thresholds for the regulation of mountain bog isolated wetlands and report to the Environmental Review Commission on or before November 1, 2014.

     Community College Brewing Course Waiver

    Enacts new GS 18B-1114.6 to allow the holder of a brewing, distillation, and fermentation course authorization to (1) manufacture malt beverages on the school’s campus or the school’s contracted or lease property for providing instruction and education on making malt beverages; (2) possess malt beverages manufactured during the brewing, distillation, and fermentation program for the purpose of conducting malt beverage tasting seminars and classes; (3) sell malt beverages produced during the course to wholesalers or retailers upon obtaining a malt beverages wholesaler permit; and (4) sell malt beverages produced during the course, upon obtaining a permit. Limits the authorization for the course to community colleges or colleges offering a brewing, distillation, and fermentation program as a part of its curriculum. Allows the holder of the course authorization who obtains a malt beverage wholesaler permit to obtain a malt beverage special event permit and where the permit is valid, allows participation in approved events and selling at retail at those events any malt beverages produced incident to the operation of the program. Sets limitations on the events. Makes conforming changes to GS 18B-1114.5, GS 18B-1101, and GS 66-58.

    Carbon Monoxide Alarms

    Repeals Section 19(c) of SL 2013-413, which was to become effective October 1, 2014, and was to require that carbon monoxide detectors receive primary power from the building's wiring where the wiring is served from a commercial source and receives power from a battery when the primary power source is interrupted. Makes conforming changes to defunct effective dates in SL 2013-413.

    Amends GS 143-138(b2), concerning carbon monoxide alarms (CMA), providing updates to the requirements for CMAs in hotels, allowing, in lieu of requiring a CMA in a lodging establishment a carbon monoxide detection system, with detectors and audible notification appliances installed and properly maintained. Requires CMAs in every dwelling unit having a combustion (was, fossil fuel) heater. Makes the rules for lodging establishments also applicable to tourist homes providing accommodations for seven or more days, bed and breakfast inns, and homes. Defines combustion heater, appliance, or fireplace for use in this section.

    Directs the Building Code Council (BCC) to modify the NC State Building Code (Code) to reflect and regulate the provisions of GS 143-138(b2) in new and existing lodging establishments. Provides that the BCC can establish more stringent rules regulating CMAs and detectors if so desired. Directs the BCC to modify the Code to include an annual inspection for the purpose of verifying compliance with GS 143-138(b2).

    Allows the BCC to require carbon monoxide alarms in dwelling units with no combustion heater, appliance, or fireplace other than a wood-burning fireplace only upon (1) a finding that carbon monoxide emissions from wood burning fireplaces constitutes a substantial threat to public health and safety and (2) a report by the Council to the Joint Legislative Commission on Governmental Operations that provides the basis for the finding.

    Outlines procedure for when a violation that poses an imminent hazard is discovered and is not corrected upon inspection. Procedures include the code official immediately contacting the local health director/designee for the county where the violation was discovered by verbal contact and also submitting a written report documenting the violation to said director. The local health director is then obligated to investigate and take appropriate action regarding the permit of the lodging establishment within one working day of the receipt of the written report.

    Violations that are discovered but do not pose imminent hazard, but are not corrected during an inspection, are subject to a correction period of three working days during which the owner or operator can submit a notice, verbal or written, that the violation has been corrected. If the code official receives such notice, a re-inspection can be performed. If no such notice is received, the code official will submit a report to the local health director within three working days. The local health director is then obligated to investigate and take appropriate action regarding the permit of the lodging establishment.

    Makes technical and conforming changes, updating language of GS 143-138(b2).

    Amends GS 130A-248(g), deleting language that required all hotels, motels, tourist homes, and other establishments that provide lodging for pay to install either a battery-operated or electric carbon monoxide detector in every enclosed space meeting specified conditions. Provides new language that requires those establishments to comply with requirements of GS 143-138(b2)(2). Provides that after receiving notification of a violation of GS 143-138(b2)(2) by specified code official, the local health department can suspend permits issued pursuant to GS 130A-248.

     Water Supply Watershed Classifications

    Amends GS 143-214.5 to create new (c) to provide that when the  Environmental Management Commission (EMC) receives a rule making petition that (1) is from a local government with jurisdiction over an area to be served by a proposed water intake that is impacted by a reclassification to which the subsection applies,and (2) requests repeals of the classification, the Commission must grant the petition, and the reclassification will be stayed until the Commission has promulgated rules in response to the rule- making petition that are retroactive to the effective date of the original classification. Apples to water supply watersheds reclassified after January 1, 2012. Requires a local government to repeal local ordinance changes required in order to implement a water supply watershed reclassification upon filing a rulemaking petition, as enacted above. Effective when the section becomes law and applies to any petitions for rulemaking regarding water supply watershed reclassifications received by the EMC on or after January 1, 2012, and before the effective date of the section.

     ADA Requirements for Private Pools

    Requires swimming pools to be accessible only to the extent required by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Requires the Building Code Council to adopt a rule to be consistent with this requirement.

     Environmental Self Audit Privilege and Limited Immunity

    Enacts new Part 7D in GS Chapter 8, Environmental Audit Privilege and Limited Immunity, to create an environmental audit privilege to protect the confidentiality of communications relating to voluntary internal environmental audits. Defines environmental audit. Applies to activities regulated under environmental laws including (1) Article 7 of GS Chapter 74;(2) GS Chapter 104E; (3) Article 25 of GS Chapter 113; (4) Articles 1, 4, and 7 of GS Chapter 113A; (5) Article 9 of GS Chapter 130A; (6) Articles 21, 21A, and 21B of GS Chapter 143, and (7) Part 1 of Article 7 of GS Chapter 143B. Makes an environmental audit report privileged and immune from discovery and provides that it is not admissible as evidence in civil or administrative proceeds instituted by an enforcement agency. Lists seven documents that are exempt from the privilege. Provides that the privilege does not apply to criminal investigations or proceedings.

    Provides that the privilege does not apply to the extent that it is expressly waived in writing. Specifies persons to whom the audit report and information generated from the audit may be disclosed without waiving privilege. Specifies instances in which disclosure of the audit does not constitute a waiver.

    Requires an owner or operator, in order to assert the privilege, to notify the enforcement agency of the existence of the audit, no later than 10 working days after an agency completes an inspection.

    Allows an enforcement agency to seek by motion a declaratory ruling on the issue of whether an environmental audit report is privileged in a civil or administrative proceeding. Sets forth the circumstances under which the privilege can be revoked.

    Provides that a party asserting the privilege has the burden of providing that (1) the materials claimed as privileged constitute an environmental audit report and (2) compliance has been achieved or will be within a reasonable period of time. A party seeking disclosure has the burden of providing the condition for disclosure.

    Provides that the owner or operator of a facility is immune from imposition of civil administrative penalties and fines by enforcement agencies for a violation of environmental laws voluntarily disclosed. The waiver of penalties and fines is not granted until the agency has certified that the violation was corrected within a reasonable period of time. Specifies conditions that must be met in order for a disclosure to be considered voluntary. Specifies factors that make a disclosure nonvoluntary. A voluntary disclosure is subject to disclosure under the Public Records Act.

    Prohibits local laws, rules, ordinances, or permit condition's that circumvent or limit the privilege or the exercise of the privileges or the presumption and immunity established.

    Effective July 1, 2014, and applies to environmental audits conducted on or after that date.

     Clarify Definition of Child Care

    Amends GS 110-86 to clarify that for the programs not considered to be child care, for nonpublic schools accredited with early childhood standards that operate a child care facility for less than six and one half hours per day, six and one half hours per day relates to instructional hours only and does not include before or after school programs.

     Ambient Air Monitoring

    Requires DENR to review its ambient air monitoring network and, in the next annual monitoring network plan, request the removal of any ambient air monitors not required by federal law and regulations. Requires DENR, by September 1, 2014, to stop using all ambient air monitors not required by federal law if approval is not needed from the EPA for the discontinuance. Requires the Division of Air Quality to report to the ERC by November 1, 2014, on the status of the ambient air monitoring network and implementation of these requirements.

     Good Samaritan Law

    Amends GS 90-21.14 to clarify that, in order to be exempt from liability, a person must voluntarily and without expectation of compensation (was, receives no compensation for services as an emergency medical care provider) provide first aid or emergency health care.

     Open Burning

    Provides that no air quality permit is required for the open burning of leaves logs, stumps, tree branches, or yard trimmings if the six specified conditions are met, including that the material originates on the premises of private residences and is burned there, there is no public pickup service, and the burning does not create a nuisance. Requires that rules be amended to incorporate these provisions.

    Amends GS 143-215.112 to prohibit local air pollution control programs from limiting or regulating any combustion heater, appliance, or fireplace in private dwellings. Amends GS 143-215.108 to provide that the statute does not give the EMC or DENR the power to regulate any combustion heater, appliance, or fireplace in private dwellings,

    Amends GS 160A-193 to provide that the statute does not authorize the application of a city ordinance banning or limiting outdoor burning to persons living within one mile of the city unless the city provides those persons with either (1) trash and yard waste collection services or (2) access to solid waste dropoff sites on the same basis as city residents.

     Inlet Hazard Areas

    Prohibits establishing any inlet hazard area in any location with the following characteristics (1) the location is the former location of an inlet that has been closed for at least 15 years; (2) due to shore migration, the location no longer includes the current location of the inlet; (3) the location includes an inlet providing access to a state port via a channel maintained by the US Army Corps of Engineers. Requires the adoption of a rule consistent with these provisions.

     Hunting Trials

    Amends GS 113-274 to allow the Wildlife Resources Commission to issue a permit to allow a person to participate as a dog handler or judge in a field trial without possessing a hunting license so long as the person does not participate in hunting with the dog.

     Adjust Utility Regulatory Fee

    Amends GS 62-302, Regulatory Fee, to reduce the fee imposed on retail revenues of local exchange companies that have elected to participate in the alternative forms of regulation found in GS 62-133.5(h) or GS 62-133.5(m).

     Sets out definitions to be used in GS 62-302, including noncompetitive jurisdictional revenues, subsection (h) competitive jurisdictional revenues, and subsection (m) competitive jurisdictional revenues.

     Provides that noncompetitive jurisdictional revenues are subject to a utility fee that is the greater of (i) a percentage rate of each public utility's noncompetitive jurisdictional revenues for each quarter or (ii) $6.25 each quarter.

     Provides that competitive jurisdictional revenues, either subsection (h) or subsection (m) competitive jurisdictional revenues, will have a public utility regulatory fee that is a percentage rate established by the General Assembly for each fiscal year for revenues for each quarter.

     Establishes that the percentage rate to be used to calculate the public utility fee for subsection (h) revenues will be set at 0.06 percent of revenues earned during each quarter beginning on July 1, 2015, and on July 1, 2016, it will change to 0.04 percent.

     Establishes that the percentage rate to be used to calculate the public utility fee for subsection (m) revenues will be set at 0.05 percent of revenues earned during each quarter beginning on July 1, 2015, and on July 1, 2016, it will change to 0.02 percent.

     Further provides that, for 2015-16, and 2016-17 fiscal years, the percentage rate used for the public utility regulatory fee for noncompetitive jurisdictional revenues will be adjusted to reflect the decrease in fees collected by the above rates in order to ensure that the cost of operations of the Utilities Commission and staff are defrayed. Effective July 1, 2015.

     Amends Jordan Lake Rules for Existing Riparian Buffers

    Amends Section 2(c) of SL 2013-395 to provide that concerning the implementation of the protection of existing riparian buffers rule, the piping of a stream allowed under a permit issued by the US Army Corps of Engineers must be categorized as an exempt (was, allowable) use.

     Eliminate Outdated Air Quality Reporting Requirements

    Amends GS 143-215.3A to delete requirements for reporting on the costs of the Title V program. Repeals specified sections of SL 2002-4 concerning studies and reports related to air quality.

     Clarifying Changes to Statutes Pertaining to the Management of Venomous Snakes and Other Reptiles

    Amends GS 14-419 to clarify that the appropriate final disposition for a seized venomous reptile for which antivenin approved by the US Food and Drug Administration is not readily available is for the reptile to be euthanized unless the species is protected under the federal Endangered Species Act.

     Transfer Rule-Making Authority for Wastewater Systems

    Transfers rule-making authority for wastewater systems from the Commission for Public Health to the Environmental Management Commission. Amends GS 130A-334 to add a definition for ground absorption system. Amends the definition of plat to take into account whether, for subdivision lots, a local planning authority exists at the time for a permit application. Amends the definition of wastewater system to provide that a system located on multiple adjoining lots or tracts of land under common ownership are considered a single system. Amends GS 130A-335 to provide that following a preconstruction conference, the local health department must advise the owner or developer of rule changes for wastewater system construction incorporating current technology. Requires the local health department to issue a revised authorization for wastewater system construction incorporating the rule change upon written request. Amends GS 130A-336 to remove the five-year cap on the authorization for wastewater system construction.

    Repeal Waste Management Board Rules

    Requires the Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources to repeal the rule concerning the Governor’s Waste Management Board by December 1, 2014, because the statutory authority for the Board was already repealed. Prohibits implementing or enforcing the rule until the repeal.

    Expand Daily Flow Design Exemption for Low-Flow Fixtures

    Amends Section 34(b) of SL 2013-413. Allows for the establishment, by rule, of lower limits on reduced flow rates as necessary to ensure wastewater system integrity and projecting of public health, safety, and welfare, provided that the Commission relies on scientific evidence specific to soil types found in the state that the lower limits are necessary for those soil types. Makes conforming and clarifying changes.

    Repeal Obsolete Statutes

    Repeals GS 14-197, using profane or indecent language on public highways, and GS 14-401.8, refusing to relinquish party telephone line in emergency; false statement of emergency.

    Increase Certain Penalties for Taking of Protected Plants

    Amends GS 14-129 to increase the range for fine to $75 to $175 (was, $10 to $50) for digging up, pulling up, or taking from another’s land or public domain any of the specified plants. Specifies that each plant taken is a separate offense. Adds requirements as to when a conviction must be reported to the Plant Conservation Board for the consideration of civil penalties. Removes the exemption to the statute for specified counties. Amends GS 106-202.19 to require the assessment of a civil penalty against a person violating the article more than once.

    Increase Penalties for Parking in Handicapped Space Without Required Placard

    Amends GS 20-37.6 to increase the penalty for parking in a handicapped space without the handicapped placard to at least $300 but not more than $500 (was, at least $100 but no more than $250). Allows, but no longer requires, a sign designating a handicapped parking place to state the maximum penalty. Adds that a sign designating such a space must not state the incorrect maximum penalty. Effective for violations committed on or after December 1, 2014.

    Repeal Outdated Public Utilities Statutes or Reports

    Repeals GS 62-36A and GS 62-36.1, concerning reporting on natural gas planning. Repeals GS 62-133.2(g), requiring reporting on proceedings concerning fuel-related charge adjustments for electric utilities. Repeals Section 14 of SL 2002-4, requiring a report on the implementation of legislation related to air quality. Repeals Section 14 of SL 2007-397, which required a report by the Utilities Commission on the results of specified cost allocations. Repeals Section 6.1 of SL 1995-27, requiring a report on legislation on access to low-cost telecommunications service.

    Repeal Energy Audit Requirements

    Amends GS 143-64.12 to delete the requirement that the Department of Administration develop an energy audit and procedure for conducting the audits. Also amends how often state agencies and institutions of higher learning must update management plans to biennially (was, annually). Requires community colleges to submit reports on utility consumption and costs biennially (was, annually). Requires the State Energy Office to report every odd numbered year (was, every year) and changes the report recipient to the Joint Legislative Energy Policy Commission (was, the Joint Legislative Commission on Governmental Operations). Makes conforming changes.

    Coastal Stormwater Grandfather

    Provides that the provision and requirements applicable to any grandfathered development activity subject to (a)(2) of 15A NCAC 02H .1005 is also applicable to an expansion of the development activity. Defines grandfathered development activity. Requires the adoption of a rule to amend 15A NCAC 02H .1005 consistent with the bill requirements.

    Pesticide Use for Moles

    Amends GS 113-300.2 to allow using pesticides to control any species of mole other than the star-nosed mole if (1) all rules regulating application are followed and (2) the pesticides used are applied in a manner that minimizes hazards to nontarget species.

    Periodic Inspections Authority of Housing Finance Agency

    Amends GS 153A-364(b), which allows for periodic inspections for hazardous or unlawful conditions as part of a targeted effort within a designated geographic area. Exempts residential buildings or structures subject to periodic inspections by the NC Housing Finance Agency (Agency) if the Agency has issued a finding that the building or structure is in compliance with federal standards. Requires the owner or manager of a residential building or structure that is subject to periodic inspections by the Agency to submit a copy of the Compliance Results Letter within 10 days of receipt; if the letter is not provided, the building or structure will be subject to periodic inspections until the letter is provided.

    Security Grilles

    Allows horizontal sliding or vertical security grilles at exits or exit access doors if the grills are openable from the inside without the use of a key or special knowledge or effort when the space is occupied by authorized persons and the grilles remain secured in the full open position during occupancy by the general public. Requires the Building Code Council to adopt a rule to make the Code consistent with these provisions.

    Rewrite Landscape Contractor Licensing Statutes

    Repeals GS 89D-1 through 89D-10 (creating the NC Landscape Contractors' Registration Board and requiring certification of landscape contractors), effective August 1, 2015.

    Amends GS Chapter 89D by enacting new GS 89D-11 through GS 89D-24 to create the NC Landscape Contractors' Licensing Board and require licensure of landscape contractors. New GS 89D-12 prohibits anyone from engaging in the practice of landscape construction or contracting or holding himself or herself out as a landscape contractor unless licensed by the North Carolina Landscape Contractor Licensing Board. Defines landscape contractor as anyone (a) engaged in the business requiring the art, experience, ability, knowledge, science, and skill to prepare contracts and bid for the performance of landscape services, including installing, planting, repairing, and maintaining gardens, lawns, shrubs, vines, trees, or other decorative vegetation, including the grading and preparation of plots and areas of land for decorative utilitarian treatment and arrangement; (b) practicing the act of horticulture consultation or planting design for employment purposes; (c) who constructs, installs, or maintains landscape drainage systems and cisterns, provided that the contractor makes none of the specified connections; (d) designs, installs, or maintains low voltage landscape lighting, provided that the systems do not exceed listed specifications; or (e) engages in the construction of garden pools, retaining walls, walks, patios, or other decorative landscape features.

    New GS 89D-13 lists exemptions from the provisions of Chapter 89D. New GS 89D-14 creates a nine-member North Carolina Landscape Contractors' Licensing Board (Board), with appointees as listed, and new GS 89D-15 sets forth Board powers and duties. New GS 89D-16(a) allows an applicant to sit for the examination if the applicant pays required fees and submits evidence demonstrating the applicant's qualifications for licensure, as specified. Directs the Board to establish and administer examinations.

    New GS 89D-17 authorizes the Board to issue a license in the name of a corporation, provided specified conditions are met. Details additional requirements for licenses and licensees. New GS 89D-18 authorizes the Board to issue a license to a nonresident individual or a foreign entity that meets applicable requirements. Sets forth provisions related to certificates of authority and information requested by the Secretary of Revenue. Defines terms applicable to GS 89D-18.

    New GS 89D-19 allows the Board to issue a license without examination to any person licensed, certified, or registered as a landscape contractor in another state or country if that state or country's requirements are substantially equivalent. New GS 89D-20 provides for annual renewal of landscape contractor licenses on or before August 1, in accordance with continuing education requirements and the fee schedule set out in new GS 89D-21. New GS 89D-22 authorizes the Board to deny, restrict, suspend, or revoke a license for reasons including fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation in the application for a license or its renewal, fraudulent misrepresentation in the practice of landscape contracting, gross malpractice or incompetence, violation of rules adopted by the Board, or failure to file or keep the required surety bond in force. Allows the Board to assess costs in a proceeding against an applicant or licensee found to be in violation of the chapter. New GS 89D-23 authorizes the Board to assess a civil penalty of $2,000 or less for each violation of Chapter 89D or any rules adopted by the Board, with proceeds remitted to the Civil Penalty and Forfeiture Fund. New GS 89D-24 authorizes the Board to file a motion for an injunction against anyone engaging in landscape construction without a license. Also requires that the licensed landscape contractor notify the Board of any written complaints filed against the landscape contractor not resolved within 30 days.

    Members currently serving on the NC Landscape Contractors' Registration Board will continue to serve until new members are appointed to the Board created by this act. Details additional appointing criteria for new appointees, and transfers all items from the Registration Board to the Licensing Board. Provides that any person who, on or before December 31, 2014, meets one of four enumerated criteria will receive a landscape contractor's license from the Board without the examination requirement,upon submission of a completed application and fee payment on or before August 1, 2015. Specifies that landscape contractors currently registered are not required to renew registration for the 2015 calendar year.

    Clarify Rights of Marine Artifact Donors

    Enacts new GS 121-23.1 providing that any person who legally discovers a shipwreck or shipwreck site or who salvages marine artifacts on or after November 21, 1996, within state waters, and donates the artifacts or contractual interest in them to the state, retains the right to access the artifacts and the right to display or tour the artifacts or conduct nondestructive analysis and research on the artifacts if the specified five requirements are met. Provides that the rights are valid for 30 years after discovery; at the end of the 30 years, the replicas required by the statute are returned to the person who donated the artifacts or their heir. Effective when the act becomes law and apples to any marine artifacts or contractual interest in marine artifacts donated to the state on or after January 1, 1998.

    Transfer Solid Waste Rule-Making Authority

    Transfers the authority for solid waste rule-making from the Commission for Public Health to the EMC. Makes conforming changes throughout GS Chapter 130A. Requires the Revisor of Statutes and the Codifier of Rules to make any conforming statutory changes.

    Transfer Drinking Water Rule-Making Authority

    Amends GS 87-97 to give the EMC (was, the Commission for Public Health) rule-making authority over the sampling and testing of well water. Makes conforming changes and authorizes the Codifier of Rules to make any conforming rule changes necessary.

    Well Contractor Licensing Changes

    Amends GS 87-43.1 to exempt from the requirements for electrical contractors any installation, construction, maintenance, or repair of electrical wiring, devices, appliances, or equipment done by a certified well contractor when running wires from the well pump to the pressure switch. Amends GS 87-98.6 to require the establishment of minimum requirements of education, experience, and knowledge for each type of certification for well contractors for the installation, construction, maintenance, and repair of electrical wiring devices, appliances, and equipment related to the construction, operation, and repair of wells.

    Standardize Local Well Programs

    Amends GS 87-97 to require local well programs to use the standard forms for all required submittals and prohibit making their own forms unless the program submits a petition for rule-making to the Environmental Management Commission (EMC) and the EMC finds that unique conditions or circumstances constitute a threat to public health that will be mitigated by the use of a different local form. Also requires the registry of drinking water wells for which a construction permit or repair permit is issued to be searchable by address or addresses served by the well.

    Prohibits DENR and local well programs from requiring that well contractor identification plates include well construction permit numbers. Allows local programs to install a plate with the permit number or relevant information on a well at the expense of the program. Requires the EMC to make related rule changes.

    Provides that if the well location marked on a map submitted with an application to a local program is also marked with a stake or similar marker on the property, then the program may not require the contractor to be onsite during the predrill inspection as long as the contractor is available by phone.

    Part IV. Studies

    Honeybees

    Requires the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to create the nine-member Honeybee Improvement for Vital Ecology (HIVE) working group. Sets out HIVE’s five purposes including reporting on a list of bee-friendly vegetation and related planting requirements and a recommendation on whether priority should be given to bee friendly vegetation for landscaping projects within Department of Transportation owned rights-of-way and rest areas. Requires a final report to the Environmental Review

    Commission by November 30, 2014.

    Senator Jean Preston Marine Shellfish Sanctuary

    Requires the Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to designate a contiguous area of approximately 10,000 acres in the Pamlico Sound as a recommendation to the Environmental Review Commission (ERC) for establishing the "Senator Jean Preston Marine Shellfish Sanctuary." Also requires DMF to create a plan for managing the sanctuary that includes components concerning specified issues related to the location and duration of the sanctuary, administration of the sanctuary, funding, commercial fisherman relief including free or discounted leases to fishermen meeting specified conditions, and recommendations for statutory or regulatory changes needed to expedite the expansion of shellfish restoration and harvesting. Requires DENR to report to the ERC on implementation no later than October 1, 2014, and quarterly thereafter until the final plan is submitted.

    Interbasin Transfers Study

    Requires the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to study statutes and rules governing interbasin transfers. Requires examining: (1) whether temporary and emergency transfers should be subject to different regulations than long-term transfers, (2) whether transfers between sub-basins should be subject to different regulations than transfers between major river basins, and (3) whether there are types of transfers that should be exempted from the interbasin certification or other requirements. Requires a report by October 1, 2014, to the Environmental Review Commission.

    PED Study Water and Sewer Systems

    Requires the Joint Legislative Program Evaluation Oversight Committee to include a study of the benefits of merging public water systems and wastewater collection and treatment works in the 2014-15 Work Plan for the Program Evaluation Division. Sets out three issues that must be included in the study. Requires the Program Evaluation Division to submit findings and recommendations to the Joint Legislative Program Evaluation Oversight Committee and the Environmental Review Commission at a date to be determined by the Joint Legislative Program Evaluation Oversight Committee.

    Part V. Severability Clause and Effective Date

    Includes a severability clause.

    Except where otherwise indicated, the act is effective when it becomes law.


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