REGULATORY REFORM ACT OF 2016.

View NCGA Bill Details2017-2018 Session
Senate Bill 131 (Public) Filed Thursday, February 23, 2017
AN ACT TO PROVIDE FURTHER REGULATORY RELIEF TO THE CITIZENS OF NORTH CAROLINA.
Intro. by Wells, Cook, Sanderson.

Status: Ch. SL 2017-10 (Senate Action) (May 4 2017)

SOG comments (1):

Long Title Change

House committee substitute to the 2nd edition made changes to the long title. The original title is as follows:

AN ACT TO AMEND CERTAIN ENVIRONMENTAL, NATURAL RESOURCES, AND OTHER LAWS.

S 131/S.L. 2017-10

Bill Summaries:

  • Summary date: May 15 2017 - More information

     

    AN ACT TO PROVIDE FURTHER REGULATORY RELIEF TO THE CITIZENS OF NORTH CAROLINA. Enacted May 4, 2017. Effective May 4, 2017, except as otherwise provided.


  • Summary date: Apr 24 2017 - More information

    Conference report makes the following changes to the 5th edition.

    Modifies Section 2.12, requiring the Department of Transportation (DOT) to make uniform all processes and procedures followed by the Highway Divisions when issuing each permit type under GS Chapter 136 by June 30, 2018 (previously, no deadline for DOT provided). Extends the deadline by which DOT must report to the General Assembly on the implementation of the provisions of the Section to June 30, 2018 (was, June 30, 2017).

    Further amends Section 2.12 to provide that proposed GS 136-93.01 (Electronic submission of permits authorized) becomes effective July 1, 2018 (was, July 1, 2017).

    Amends Section 4.4 to delete the provision repealing GS 143-215.107 (Air quality standards and classifications), and instead repeals GS 143-215.107B (Statewide goals for reduction in emissions of oxides of nitrogen; report).


  • Summary date: Apr 5 2017 - More information

    House amendments make the following changes to the 4th edition.

    House amendment #1 changes the proposed statute of limitations provisions for land-use violations. 

    Amends GS 1-51, concerning the statute of limitations to commence an action, adding new subdivision (5) providing for a five-year statute of limitations for a unit of local government to begin an action against the owner for a violation of a land use statute, ordinance, permit, or other official action in regards to land use (the 4th edition amended GS 1-52 and set a three-year statute of limitations). The action accrues upon the earlier of (1) the facts constituting the violation are known to the governing body or (2) the violation can be determined from the public record of the unit of local government. 

    Amends GS 1-49 to add a new subdivision (3) to establish a seven-year statute of limitation for an action against the owner of an interest in real property by a unit of local government for a violation of a land use statute, ordinance, or permit or any other official action concerning land use carrying the effect of law (the 4th edition amended GS 1-50(a) and set a six-year statute of limitations). Provides that subdivision (8) does not limit the remedy of injunction for conditions actually injurious or dangerous to the public health or safety, but does prescribe an outside limitation of seven years from the earlier of the occurrence of any of the following: (1) the violation is apparent from a public right-of-way or (2) the violation is in plain view from a place to which the public is invited. Effective October 1, 2018, applying to actions commenced on or after that date.

    House amendment #2

    Deletes the proposed changes to GS 87-97 pertaining to the permitting, inspection, and testing of private drinking water wells, and now provides the following changes in GS 87-97.

    Amends subsection (a) to establish that the local health department is the exclusive authority for the permitting of wells and well systems as described in GS 143-138(b17)(2).

    Amends subsection (b) to allow the appropriate building inspector to request from the local health department the opportunity to inspect the activities authorized by a well permit. Requires the inspection to be performed prior to the final inspection performed by the local health department. Does not require the well inspector to be onsite for the inspection by the building inspector. Establishes that if an inspection by a building inspector after  the final inspection has been performed by the local health department is determined to be necessary for the protection of public health, safety, or welfare, the local building inspections department is responsible for (1) the additional costs for the inspection and related activities necessary for the inspection and (2) any damages to the well system caused during the inspection. Moves existing language providing for the authorizations included in a permit issued under the statute to new subsection (b2). 

    Amends proposed subsection (b17) of GS 143-138, excluding private drinking water well installation, construction, and maintenance from the NC State Building Code. Modifies the second qualification for the exemption to require the scope of the work to be limited to the connection or disconnection of a well system to either the plumbing served by the well system or the electrical service that serves the well system. Adds new provision to clarify that, for purposes of subsection (b17), a well system includes the well, the pressure tank, the pressure switch, and all plumbing and electrical equipment in the well and between the well, pressure tank, and pressure switch. 

    House amendment #3

    Further amends GS 143-215.107A(c) to remove Haywood County from the counties required to perform motor vehicle emissions inspections. 

    House amendment #4

    Amends proposed subsection (b18) of GS 143-138, specifying certain building code classifications from the energy efficiency standards. Adds provision to clarify that the exclusion provided in new subsection (b18) applies to the entire floor area of any structure for which the primary use of occupancy is listed in the new subsection. 


  • Summary date: Mar 28 2017 - More information

    House committee substitute makes the following changes to the 3rd edition.

    Amends proposed GS 95-25.24A, providing that a franchisor is not the employer of a franchisee or the franchisee's employees for any purpose but specifically for employment law claims under Article 2A of GS Chapter 95 (Wage and Hour Act), GS Chapter 96 (Employment Security), GS Chapter 97 (Workers' Compensation Act), and GS Chapter 105 (Taxation; GS Chapter 105 not previously specified).

    Extends the date by which the Department of Transportation must report on the implementation of making uniform all processes and procedures followed by the Highway Divisions when issuing each permit under GS Chapter 136 to June 30, 2017 (currently, February 1, 2017). 

    Makes technical and conforming change to delete the proposed language amending GS 130A-294(b1)(3), which exempted from the public hearing requirement franchises amended by agreement of the parties to extend the duration of the franchise to the life-of-site of the landfill not to exceed 60 years, due to the addition of notice and hearing requirements in accordance with GS 130A-294(b1)(3) in the 3rd edition to SL 2015-241, Section 14.20(f), for modification of operative landfill franchise agreements in order to extend the agreements to a 60 year duration. Makes conforming change to Section 3.2(e) of the act, concerning the application of SL 2015-241, Section 14.20(f), as amended by the act, applying the Section to franchise agreements executed on or after October 1, 2015, and executed on or before October 1, 2015, only if all parties to a valid and operative agreement consent to modify the agreement for the purpose of extending the agreement's duration of the life-of-site of the landfill for which the agreement was executed, and public notice and hearing is provided for the modification in compliance with the requirements of GS 130A-294(b1)(3).


  • Summary date: Mar 23 2017 - More information

    House committee substitute makes the following changes to the 2nd edition.

    Changes the long title and makes organizational changes.

    Part I, previously titled State and Local Government Regulation, includes new provisions in addition to the provisions of the previous edition and is now entitled Business Regulation. 

    Deletes proposed amendments to GS 132-6.2 concerning the provision of public records required by public agencies under GS 132-9, enacting new subsection (a1), which established that public agencies can satisfy public record access requirements by making its public records and computer databases available online in a format that allows a person to download a copy of the records and databases. Deletes directive for the State Chief Information Officer, working with specified entities, to report on the development and use of computer databases by State and local agencies and the need for public access to these public records to the General Assembly by February 1, 2018.

    Enacts new GS 95-25.24A concerning the Wage and Hour Act, providing that a franchisor is not the employer of a franchisee or the franchisee's employees for any purpose but specifically for employment law claims under state statute. Provides that franchisee and franchisor are understood to have the same definition as in federal law set out in 16 CFR 436.1. 

    Amends GS 45-91, concerning the assessment of fees, processing of payments, and publication of statements in mortgage debt collection and servicing, providing that the servicer is not required to send the specified statement for a fee and that the statement mailing requirements and borrower notification requirements of the statute are deemed satisfied by compliance with the disclosure requirements contained in Regulation Z, 12 CFR 1026.41, which is a federal regulation titled Truth In Lending, and statutory provisions for periodic statements for residential mortgage loans.

    Amends the North Carolina State Building Code (Building Code) in GS 143-138 by enacting a new subsection (b16) to direct the Building Code Council to provide for an exemption from any requirements in the energy efficiency standards pursuant to Chapter 13 of the 2012 Building Code and the 2012 Energy Conservation Code, and subsequent amendments to the Building Code and the Energy Conservation Code, for the specified use and occupancy classifications under Chapter 3 of the 2012 Building Code. Specifies the following: Section 306, Factory Group F; Section 311, Storage Group S; and Section 312, Utility and Miscellaneous Group U.

    Part II, State and Local Government Regulation, includes new provisions in addition to provisions from the previous edition.

    Amends GS 42-42.1 and GS 62-110(g) concerning charging tenants for water and sewer services, deleting language which previously only allowed such billing to tenants located in the same contiguous premises, now providing that all tenants of leased single-family rental units can be charged for sewer and water services even if premises are not contiguous. Deletes language that previously required the Utilities Commission to adopt rules to define contiguous premises. Further amends the provisions authorizing the Utilities Commission to charge for water and sewer services to tenants, enacting new subdivisions GS 62-110(g)(4a), requiring the Utilities Commission to develop an application that lessors are required to submit to receive authority to charge tenants for water and sewer service in such situations. Provides that the application gives authority to charge for such services for multiple homes in North Carolina. Sets out required aspects of the form, including a description of the proposed billing method and billing statements as well as the proposed administrative fee to be charged by the applicant. Makes conforming and clarifying changes.

    Amends GS 115C-47(41), which sets out the duty of local boards of education to encourage recycling in public schools, by clarifying that the local boards of education must comply with GS 160A-327 (displacement of private solid waste collection services by public enterprises). 

    Amends GS 153A-341, concerning the purposes in view of zoning regulations of counties, by moving, and amending, the existing language into five subsections, (a) through (e). Requires the governing board to adopt one of the three statements provided prior to adopting or rejecting any zoning amendment, which is not subject to judicial review (currently only sets out one statement for a governing board to adopt). Amends the existing option to allow a board to adopt a statement approving the zoning amendment and describing its consistency with an adopted comprehensive plan and explaining why the action taken is reasonable and in the public interest. Adds a second option for the board to adopt a statement rejecting the zoning amendment and describing its inconsistency with an adopted comprehensive plan and explaining why the action taken is reasonable and in the public interest. Adds a third option for the board to adopt a statement approving the zoning amendment and containing a declaration that the approval is also deemed an amendment to the comprehensive plan, an explanation of the change in conditions taken into account in amending the zoning ordinance to meet the development needs of the community, and reasons the action was reasonable and in the public interest. Requires the planning board to advise and comment on whether the proposed amendment is consistent with any comprehensive plan prior to consideration by the governing board of the proposed amendment. Defines comprehensive plan to include a unified development ordinance and any other officially adopted applicable plan. Makes organizational and technical changes. Makes conforming changes to GS 153A-349.13. Amends GS 160A-383, concerning  the purposes in view of zoning regulations of cities and towns, by moving, and amending, the existing language into five subsections, (a) through (e), to make the language identical to that of GS 153A-341, as amended by the act and described above. Makes conforming changes to GS 160A-400.32. Clarifies that nothing in the above provisions repeal, modify, or amend any prior or subsequent local act giving authority to a governing board to delegate zoning decisions to a planning board, planning agency, or planning commission. Effective October 1, 2017, and applies to proposed zoning amendment applications filed on or after that date.

    Amends GS 153A-335 (Counties) and GS 160A-376 (Municipalities), concerning the subdivision of land within respective jurisdictions, exempting the subdivision of tracts of land as provided for in a will or intestate succession from subdivision regulations or from even being considered subdivision as that term is defined. Adds new subsection (c) to both  GS 153A-335 (Counties) and GS 160A-376 (Municipalities), establishing that the county or a city may require only a plat for recordation for the division of a tract or parcel of land in single ownership if five criteria are met: (1) the tract or parcel to be divided is not exempted under subdivision (a)(2) of the statute; (2) no part of the tract or parcel to be divided has been divided under subsection (c) in the 10 years prior to the division; (3) the entire area of the tract or parcel to be divided is greater than five acres; (4) after division, no more than three lots result; and (5) after division, all resultant lots comply with any lot dimension size requirements of applicable land use regulations (if any), the use of the lots is in conformity with the applicable zoning requirements (if any), and a permanent means of ingress and egress is recorded for each lot. Effective July 1, 2017.

    Authorizes the Joint Legislative Program Evaluation Oversight Committee to amend the 2016-17 Program Evaluation Division (Division) work plan to direct the Division to study State law and internal agency policies and procedures for the delivery of public services through State grants and contracts to nonprofits. Sets out procedures for collecting and requesting data for the study. Provides that if the study is conducted, the Division must submit a report detailing the results of the study as specified to the Joint Legislative Program Evaluation Oversight Committee and the Joint Legislative Commission on Governmental Operations no later than September 1, 2018. Effective September 1, 2017.

    Amends Article 5 of GS Chapter 87 (Refrigeration Contractors) as follows. Renames the State Board of Refrigeration Examiners as the State Board of Refrigeration Contractors (Board) and modifies the Board's membership. 

    Defines the terms commercial refrigeration contractor, industrial refrigeration contractor, refrigeration service contractor and transport refrigeration contractor

    Requires the Board to issue the following licenses: (1) a Class I license for any person engaged in the business of commercial refrigeration contracting; (2) a Class II license for any person engaged in the business of industrial refrigeration contracting; (3) a Class III license for any person engaged in the business of refrigeration service contracting; and (4) a Class IV license for any person engaged in the business of transport refrigeration contracting. Requires issuance of a license to any licensee whose business activities required a Class I or II license if that licensee had an established place of business and was licensed before January 1, 2018. 

    Increases the caps on the application, renewal, and reinstatement fees. Makes clarifying, conforming, and organizational changes. Effective January 1, 2018, and applies to applications submitted and Board membership appointments on or after that date.

    Amends GS 105-330.9 concerning the definition of the term antique automobile for the purposes of tax assessment, expanding the ownership requirements of the definition to provide that an antique automobile can be owned by an individual, either directly or indirectly, through one or more pass through entities (previously, current law required an antique automobile to be owned by an individual).

    Amends GS 132-6.1 to require databases purchased, leased, created or otherwise acquired by every public agency containing public records to be designed and maintained in a manner that does not impair or impede the public agency's ability to permit the public inspection and examination of public records, and provides a means of obtaining copies of the records. Adds new subsection to allow a public agency to satisfy the requirement of GS 132-6 to provide access to public records in computer databases by making public records in computer databases individually available online in a format that allows a person to view the public record and print or save the public record to obtain a copy. Exempts an agency that provides access to public records under this new subsection from being required to provide access to the public records in the computer database in any other way so long as a public agency that provides access to public records in computer databases also allows inspection of any of those public records the agency also maintains in a non-digital medium. Deletes existing subsection (b), which requires every public agency to create an index of computer databases compiled or created by a public agency on the provided schedule. Defines the term media or medium to mean the physical medium on which information is stored in recoverable form. Makes conforming changes to GS 132-6. Effective July 1, 2017.

    Amends GS 143A-5 to specify that the Lieutenant Governor's office is in the Hawkins-Hartness House located at 310 North Blount Street (previous law only specified it was located in Raleigh). 

    Enacts GS 136-28.6B providing that construction conducted by a private party pursuant to specified statutes is deemed to have been conducted by the Department of Transportation, thus making any stormwater rules and laws applicable to the Department of Transportation also applicable to the private party.

    Requires the DOT, for each type of permit issued by the Highway Divisions under GS Chapter 136, to make uniform all processes and procedures followed by the Highway Divisions when issuing that type of permit. Requires DOT to report no later than February 1, 2017, on the implementation of this subsection, including information concerning the processes and procedures as specified. Requires the report to be submitted to different committees depending on whether the General Assembly is in session at the time of the report: if in session, report goes to the House of Representatives Committee on Transportation Appropriations and the Senate Appropriations Committee on Department of Transportation; if not in session, the report goes to the Joint Legislative Transportation Oversight Committee.

    Enacts new GS 136-93.01 to allow an application submitted for a permit issued by DOT or its agents under GS Chapter 136 (Transportation) to be submitted electronically.  Effective July 1, 2017.

    Amends GS 136-19.5 to now require DOT to also reimburse the utility owner for the cost of moving cable service when DOT requires the relocation of the cable service and it is located in a right-of-way for which the utility owner contributed to the cost of acquisition.

    Allows DOT to adopt temporary rules to implement the above provisions concerning moving utilities.

    Amends the process for becoming a licensed general contractor as found in GS 87-10, requiring first that an applicant submit an application before being entitled to an examination. Further requires any applicant to (1) be at least 18 years old, (2) possess good moral character, (3) provide evidence of financial responsibility, and (4) submit the appropriate application fee (previously, applicant only had to file an application for the examination on the correct form, at least 30 days before any regular or special meeting of the Board).  Also provides that the State Licensing Board for General Contractors (Board) must require an applicant to pay an examination fee not to exceed $100 (previously, the Board was permitted to charge the fee but not required). Makes organizational changes and deletes provisions concerning proof of good character. Further provides that an applicant must identify an individual that has successfully passed an examination approved by the Board; provides that for the purposes of this section this individual is known as the qualifier or qualifying party.  Set outs requirements for the examination if a qualifier or qualifying party wants to take an examination. Provides that if the qualifier or qualifying party passes the examination, and after review of the application and all relevant information, then the Board must issue a license to the applicant to engage in general contracting in North Carolina, which can be limited as specified (previously, the Board would conduct an examination, either oral or written, of all applicants for license for the classification of license for which an applicant has applied).  Further amends the process for taking the examination, making conforming and organizational changes, creating a new subsection (c1) concerning the disconnection of a qualifier or qualifying party from the licensee, providing that the license will remain in full force and effect for 90 days. After 90 days the license is invalidated, but the licensee is entitled to a return to active status pursuant to all relevant statutes and rules from the Board. Provides that during the 90-day period, no licensee can bid on or undertake contracts from the time the qualifier or qualifying party ceased to be connected to the licensee until the license is reinstated (previously, in times where the examined person was disconnected from the applicant, the license was in effect for 90 days but then was canceled, with the applicant being entitled to a reexamination). Deletes provision which provided for reexamination for those failing to pass. Enacts new subsection (d1) providing that the Board can require a new application if a qualifier or qualifying party requests to take an examination a third or subsequent time.  Amends provisions concerning the validity and expiration of a license, providing that licenses expire the first day of January following their issuance or renewal (was, a certificate of license expired on the 31st day of December following its issuance or renewal).  Deletes provision providing that renewals could be effected any time during the month of January without reexamination by payment of a fee to the Board. Adds language requiring all renewal applications to be submitted with a fee as specified.  Deletes language requiring the Board to mail written notice of the amount of the renewal fees for the upcoming year by November 30.  Adds language assessing a late fee for late renewal of applications received on or after January 1st (previously, late fee was assessed if received after January). Requires a licensee to fulfill all requirements of a new applicant as provided if desiring to be relicensed subsequent to the archival of license. Provides that archived license numbers are not reissued. Deletes language that provided that no renewal of a license can be effected after a lapse of four years.  Effective October 1, 2017, and applies to applications for licensure submitted on or after that date.

    Amends GS 115C-174.12(c) to eliminate the provision encouraging local school administrative units to continue to develop local testing programs.

    Amends GS 1-52, concerning the statute of limitations to commence an action, adding new subdivision (21) providing for a three-year statute of limitations for a unit of local government to begin an action against the owner for a violation of a land use statute, ordinance, permit, or other official action in regards to land use. The action accrues upon the earlier of (1) the facts constituting the violation are known to the governing body or (2) the violation can be determined from the public record of the unit of local government.  Effective October 1, 2018, applying to actions commenced on or after that date. 

    Amends GS 1-50(a) to add a new subdivision (8) to establish a six-year statute of limitation for an action against the owner of an interest in real property by a unit of local government for a violation of a land use statute, ordinance, or permit or any other official action concerning land use carrying the effect of law. Provides that subdivision (8) does not limit the remedy of injunction for conditions actually injurious or dangerous to the public health or safety, but does prescribe an outside limitation of six years from the earlier of the occurrence of any of the following: (1) the violation is apparent from a public right-of-way or (2) the violation is in plain view from a place to which the public is invited. Effective October 1, 2018, applying to actions commenced on or after that date.

    Part III, Agriculture, Energy, Environment, and Natural Resources Regulation, includes new provisions in addition to the previous provisions.

    Amends the introductory clauses to SL 2015-286, Sections 4.9(a) through 4.9(d). Amends SL 2015-241, Section 14.20(e), to replace references to GS 130A-295.8A (not an existing statute) with GS 130A-295.8.

    Amends SL 2015-241, Section 14.20(f), as amended and provides that GS 130A-294(b1)(2), which requires a person to franchise the operation of the sanitary landfill from each local government that has jurisdiction prior to applying for a permit for a sanitary landfill, as amended, applies to franchise agreements that (1) are executed on or after October 1, 2015, and (2) are executed on or before October 1, 2015, if all parties to a valid and operative franchise agreement consent to modify the agreement for the purpose of extending the agreement’s duration to the life-of-site of the landfill for which the agreement was executed, and public notice and hearing is provided for the modification in compliance with the requirements of GS 130A-294(b1)(3). Applies to franchise agreements executed on or after October 1, 2015, and executed on or before October 1, 2015, if all parties to a valid and operative agreement consent to modify the agreement for the purpose of extending the agreement’s duration of the life-of-site of the landfill for which the agreement was executed. Amends GS 130A-294(b1)(2) to limit the franchise granted to a sanitary landfill for the life-of-site of the landfill to a period of 60 years. Makes conforming changes. 

    Amends GS 160A-319 to clarify that the prohibition against a franchise being granted for a period of more than 60 years includes a franchise granted to a sanitary landfill for the life-of-site of the landfill under GS 130A-294(b1), provided that a franchise for solid waste collection or disposal systems and facilities, other than sanitary landfills (was, a franchise for solid waste collection or disposal systems and facilities) cannot be granted for a period of more than 30 years. 

    Amends GS 153A-136(a)(3) to provide that a county may regulate the storage, collection, use, disposal, and other disposition of solid waste by an ordinance that grants a franchise the exclusive right to commercially collect or dispose of solid waste within a defined portion or all of the county and set terms of any franchise, provided no franchise is granted for a period of more than 30 years unless a franchise granted to a sanitary landfill for the life-of-site of the landfill under GS 130A-294(b1) cannot exceed 60 years (was, may set the terms of any franchise, except no franchise may be granted for a period of 30 years).

    The above provisions in Part III are effective retroactively to July 1, 2015.

    Directs the Department of Environmental Quality, Division of Waste Management (Department), to examine whether solid waste management activities are being conducted in a manner most beneficial to State citizens in terms of efficiency and cost-effectiveness, as specified. Directs the Department to submit a report, including legislative recommendations, to the Environmental Review commission by May 1, 2017.

    Amends GS 143-215.107A, Counties covered by the motor vehicle emissions testing and maintenance program, by removing Brunswick, Burke, Caldwell, Carteret, Catawba, Chatham, Cleveland, Craven, Edgecombe, Granville, Harnett, Henderson, Lenoir, Moore, Nash, Orange, Pitt, Robeson,  Rutherford, Stanly,  Stokes,  Surry, Wayne, Wilkes, and Wilson counties from the counties covered by the statute. Amends a requirement in GS 20-183.2(b) concerning vehicles that are subject to an emissions inspection, providing that if it is a vehicle with a model year within 20 years of the current year and older than the three most recent model years or it is a vehicle with a model year within 20 years of the current year and has 70,000 or more miles, and meets the two other requirements specified in the statute, then it is subject to an emissions inspection (previously, requirement was if it was a 1996 or later model and older than the three most recent model years or a 1996 or later model with 70,000 miles or more).  Effective on the later of the following dates and applies to motor vehicles inspected, or due to be inspected, on or after the effective date of the act: (1) October 1, 2017, or (2) the first day of a month that is 60 days after the DEQ certifies to the Revisor of Statutes that the EPA has approved an amendment to the State Implementation Plan (SIP) submitted as required. Requires the DEQ to provide notice along with the effective date of the act on its website and by written or electronic notice to emissions inspection mechanic license holders, emissions inspection station licensees, and self-inspector licensees in the counties where motor vehicle emissions inspection requirements are removed by the act. Directs DEQ to prepare and submit to the US EPA for approval by that agency a proposed NC SIP amendment based on the change to the motor vehicle emissions testing program provided in these provisions by September 30, 2017.

    Amends GS 90-187.10, concerning licenses for certain veterinary practices, providing that a license is not needed for a farrier or any person engaged in the activity or profession of shoeing hooved animals, provided that the person's actions are limited to shoeing hooved animals or trimming, clipping, or maintaining hooves.

    Adds the requirement that the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) study whether the size of riparian buffers for intermittent streams should be adjusted and whether the allowable activities should be modified.  Also requires a study of under what circumstances local governments should be allowed to exceed riparian buffer requirements mandated by the State and federal government. Requires DEQ to also consider measures to ensure that local governments do not exceed their statutory authority for establishing riparian buffer requirements. Requires DEQ to consult with property owners and others entities impacted by riparian buffer requirements as well as local governments. Requires that for any recommendations made pursuant to this study or the DEQ study on whether to adjust the size of riparian buffers and activities allowed within the buffers to be submitted in a report to the Environmental Review Commission no later than December 1, 2017. DEQ must also include specific draft language for any rule or statutory changes necessary to implement the recommendations.

    Repeals GS 106-261 to eliminate the required reports to the Commissioner of Agriculture concerning milk purchased or sold.

    Makes clarifying change to the proposed changes to GS 143-214.7 to exclude from the definition for built-upon area for purposes of implementing stormwater programs landscaping material, including, but not limited to, gravel, mulch, sand, and vegetation placed on areas that receive pedestrian or bicycle traffic or on portions of driveways and parking areas that will not be compacted by the weight of the vehicle, such as the area between sections of pavement that support the weight of the vehicle (currently, will not receive the full weight of vehicular traffic). 

    Deletes the proposed change to GS 134-214.7C (Prohibit the requirement of mitigation for impacts to intermittent streams and establishing a threshold for mitigation of impacts to streams) that added new subsection (c) providing that for losses of 300 linear feet or more of stream bed, mitigation was not required for 300 linear feet of those losses.

    Part IV, Eliminate, Consolidate, and Amend Reports to the Environmental Review Commission, includes a new provision as well as previous provisions.

    Repeals GS 143-215.107 to eliminate the annual report on emissions from state employee and private sector vehicles by the Department of Environmental Quality. Makes technical and conforming changes to the Section's introductory descriptive language in the act.


  • Summary date: Mar 2 2017 - More information

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

    Amends proposed new GS 87-97(b1)(4) by adding that a certified well contractor is not required to have a permit for the connection or disconnection of the electrical wiring to the pump or pressure switch of a well system to the electrical system that serves the well system. Amends the definition of the term well system to also include the pressure switch.

    Amends GS 143-138(b17)(2) by deleting the existing language and instead provides that among the conditions that must be met in order to not need a permit for the electrical and plumbing activities associated with the installation, construction, maintenance, or repair of a private drinking water well is the condition that the scope of the work includes only the well system and the connection or disconnection of the well system to either the plumbing served by the well system or the electrical service that serves the well system. 

    Deletes the provisions in Section 2.3, concerning the regulation of stormwater control system design, which amended GS 143-214.7B. Instead, requires the Environmental Management Commission (EMC) and the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to implement 15A NCAC 02H .0506 (Review of Applications) as follows. Prohibits the Director of the Division of Water Resources from requiring the use of on-site stormwater control measures to protect downstream water quality standards, except as required by state or federal law. Requires the EMC to adopt rules to amend 15A NCAC 02H .0506, consistent with these provisions. 

    Deletes the provisions of Section 2.4, concerning stream mitigation requirements and replaces it with the following. Amends GS 143-214.7C to prohibit DEQ, except as required by federal law, from (1) requiring mitigation for losses of 300 linear feet or less of stream bed or (2) requiring mitigation for 300 linear feet of the losses for losses of more than 300 linear feet of stream bed. Requires the EMC to amend its rules so that they are consistent with these provisions. Requires the cochairs of the Environmental Review Commission to examine the mitigation thresholds for losses of stream bed under the Regional Conditions adopted by the Norfolk, Charleston, and Savannah Districts of the US Army Corps of Engineers, and submit written comments to the US Army Cops of Engineers Headquarters and the North Carolina congressional delegation to encourage the Wilmington District to adopt Regional Conditions on the thresholds for losses of stream bed that are consistent with those adopted by those districts.

    Instead of repealing Section 4(c) of SL 2001-355, repeals the entire Section 4, which contains provisions related to best management practice for pasture-based production or management of livestock.

    Moves the provision creating the North Carolina Sentinel Landscapes Committee from Section 3.24 to Section 2.12 and makes the following changes. Amends the statement of intent to include directing the North Carolina Sentinel Landscape Committee (Committee) to coordinate the overlapping priority areas in the vicinity of and where testing and training occur near or adjacent to major military installations, or other areas of strategic benefit to national defense (previously did not include other areas of strategic benefit to national defense). Makes conforming changes throughout to account for the inclusion of other areas of strategic benefit to national defense. Amends the Committee's work to include protecting working lands in the vicinity of and where testing and training occur near or adjacent to major military installations or other areas of strategic benefit to national defense (was, protect working lands in the vicinity of and where testing and training occur on major military installations). Makes conforming changes. Amends the Committee chairs so that now the Commissioner of Agriculture or the Commissioner's designee serves as chair for an initial two-year term, with one of the five listed Committee members serving as chair thereafter. Adds that the chair may appoint members representing other State agencies, local government officials, and nongovernmental organizations experienced in land management activities with sentinel lands.

    Amends Section 3.12 to push back the due date of the combined reports to January 1, 2019 (was, 2018).


  • Summary date: Feb 23 2017 - More information

    Section 1.1

    Amends GS 132-6.2 concerning the provision of public records required by public agencies under GS 132-9, enacting new subsection (a1), which establishes that public agencies can satisfy public record access requirements by making its public records and computer databases available online in a format that allows a person to download a copy of the records and databases. Provides that if such access is provided, then the public agency does not have to provide copies through any other method or medium. Such copies can be voluntarily provided by another method or medium and a reasonable charge for such a service can be negotiated. Also enacts new subsection (f) to define computer database and media or medium.

    Requires the State Chief Information Officer, working with specified entities, to report on the development and use of computer databases by State and local agencies and the need for public access to these public records to the General Assembly by February 1, 2018.

    Effective July 1, 2017.

    Section 1.2

    Amends GS 87-97 (b1) by adding that when a permit is issued under the statute for the construction or repair of a private drinking water well, the local health department is the exclusive authority for the permitting and inspection of the well system (as defined in the new subdivision). Prohibits requiring a permit under GS 143-138 (the State Building Code) for the connection or disconnection of a well system to the plumbing of the structure served by the well by a certified well contractor.

    Amends GS 143-138 by adding that a permit is not required under the Code or any local variant approved under subsection (e) of this statute for the electrical and plumbing activities associated with the installation, construction, maintenance, or repair of a private drinking water well when: (1) the work is performed by a certified contractor under the terms of a permit issued by the local health department pursuant to GS 87‑97; (2) the scope of work includes only the well, associated pumps and storage tanks, the electrical wiring from the well pump to the pressure switch, and the plumbing connection from the storage tank to the plumbing of the structure served by the well; and (3) the appropriate building inspector is notified as set forth in GS 87‑97(b1).

    Section 2.1

    Repeals GS 113A-109, titled “County letter of intent; timetable for preparation of land-use plan,” which required counties in a coastal area to report on their intent to adopt a land use plan under the Coastal Area Management Act in 1974.

    Section 2.2

    Amends GS 143-214.7 to exclude from the definition for built-upon area for purposes of implementing stormwater programs landscaping material, including, but not limited to, gravel, mulch, sand, and vegetation placed on areas that receive pedestrian or bicycle traffic or on portions of driveways and parking areas that will not receive the full weight of vehicular traffic. Also provides that an owner or developer of a property can opt out of any of the exemptions from built-upon areas.

    Section 2.3

    Amends the provisions governing fast-track permitting for stormwater management found in GS 143-214.7B, directing the Environmental Management Commission (EMC) to revise its rules by July 1, 2017, to include the specified licensed professionals as qualified to prepare a stormwater management system permit without a technical review, so long as the application complies with the Minimum Design Criteria. These professionals are licensed landscape architects, engineers, geologists, soil scientists, and other licensed professions that the EMC deems appropriate.

    Section 2.4

    Directs the EMC to amend its rules so that mitigation is not required for losses of 300 linear feet or less of stream bed and providing that for losses of 300 linear feet or more of stream bed, mitigation is not required for 300 linear feet of those losses. Provides that the EMC must adopt temporary rules as soon as practicable to implement these new provisions.

    Directs the DEQ to submit written comments to the United States Army Corps of Engineers in support of the Wilmington District of the Army Corps of Engineers adopting Regional Conditions that will increase the threshold for the requirement of mitigation for loss of stream bed of perennial or intermittent streams from 150 to 300 linear feet. Specifies that written comments must include a history of the current NC threshold of 150 linear feet and an outline of thresholds in other jurisdictions.

    Section 2.5

    Repeals Section 14.6(p) and 14.6(q) of SL 2015-241 (2015 Appropriations Act), which required the Coastal Resources Commission (CRC) to amends its rules to allow the use of temporary erosion control structures as specified. Allows the CRC to adopt emergency rules for the use of temporary erosion control structures consistent with amendments made to the temporary erosion control structure rules adopted by the CRC on May 11, 2016. Directs the CRC to also adopt temporary and permanent rules to implement the above provisions.

    Section 2.6

    Directs the CRC to amend the Sediment Criteria Rule to exempt sediment from the cape shoals system used as a borrow site and portions of oceanfront beach that receive such sediment from the permitting requirements of the Sediment Criteria Rule. Further directs the CRC to adopt permanent rules substantively similar to these provisions.

    Section 2.7

    Directs the Division of Coastal Management (Division) in the DEQ, in consultation with the CRC, to study any change in erosion rates directly adjacent to existing and new terminal groins, with the ends of determining if long-term erosion rates should be adjusted to reflect any mitigation of shoreline erosion. Requires the Division to report the results of the study to the Environmental Review Commission (ERC) on or before March 1, 2018.

    Section 2.8

    Amends GS 143-254.5 (Wildlife Resources Commission) and GS 143B-289.52 (Marine Fisheries Commission) to require the respective Commissions to treat email addresses and Commission-issued customer identification numbers as “identifying information” and to be treated as provided in GS 132-1.10, which specifies regulations for the keeping of personal identifying information.

    Enacts new GS 132-1.14 concerning personally identifiable information of public utility customers obtained by the Utilities Commission from customers seeking assistance from the Public Staff for rate or service disputes, providing that such information is not considered public record under GS 132-1. Sets out permissible disclosure of such information. Further provides that personally identifiable information means a customer's name, physical address, email address, telephone number, and public utility account number. Effective October 1, 2017.

    Section 2.9

    Amends GS 14-419 concerning the investigation of possession of reptiles by the NC Museum of Natural Sciences (Museum) or the NC Zoological Park (Zoo), providing that if either entity finds that a seized illegally owned reptile is a venomous reptile, large constricting snake, or a regulated crocodilian, the Museum or the Zoo must determine the interim disposition of the seized reptile until a final disposition is determined by a court (previously, an interim disposition was not provided for). Provides that the Museum or Zoo are not liable to the owner of the reptile if it is determined that euthanasia is the appropriate interim disposition, or if the seized reptile dies of natural or unintended causes. Adds new subsection (b1) providing that if convicted of any violation of GS Chapter 14, Article 55 (Regulation of Venomous Reptiles), the court must issue a final disposition of the confiscated reptiles, which could include transfer of title to the State of North Carolina and reimbursement for the cost of seizure, delivery, and storage of the reptiles. Further provides that a law enforcement officer or animal control officer can kill a dangerous reptile if the officer determines there is an immediate threat to public safety. Allows a large constricting snake or crocodilian to be given to the Zoo or to a Zoo representative.

    Further directs the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR) and the WRC to jointly study and develop a list of potential designated representatives for the storage and safekeeping of venomous reptiles, large constricting snakes, or crocodilians. Also directs them to study and develop potential procedural and policy changes to improve the regulation of dangerous reptiles, with a report to be submitted to the ERC no later than December 31, 2017.

    Section 2.10

    Exempts public water supply systems from the Daily Flow Requirements if flow rates and yields less than those required by the rule (1) are achieved through an engineering design that utilizes low-flow fixtures and low-flow reduction technologies and the design is prepared, sealed, and signed by a professional engineer licensed pursuant to GS Chapter 89C and (2) provide for a flow that is sufficient to sustain the water usage required in the engineering design. Directs the Commission for Public Health to adopt rules substantively identical to the above provisions and requires them to become effective as though 10 or more written objections had been received.

    Section 2.11

    Repeals Section 4(c) of SL 2001-355, concerning a pasture point system by the Soil and Water Conservation Commission.

    Section 3.1

    Repeals GS 74-54.1(c), which required the Department of Environmental Quality to report annually to the Environmental Review Commission, the Fiscal Research Division, and the North Carolina Mining Commission on the cost of implementing the Mining Act of 1971 (Article 7 of GS Chapter 74).

    Section 3.2

    Repeals GS 143-135.39(f) and (g), which required the Department of Administration to annually report on the implementation of the Sustainable Energy Efficient Buildings Program to the General Government Appropriations Subcommittees of both the Senate and the House of Representatives, the Environmental Review Commission, and the Joint Legislative Commission on Governmental Operations.

    Repeals GS 143-135.40(b), which required the Department of Administration to report the results of its monitoring of construction standards and sustainable building standards under the statute.

    Section 3.3

    Amends GS 143-215.9B to eliminate the requirement of the Environmental Management Commission to report on its progress in developing and implementing the collection system permit program required by the statute as part of its quarterly report to the Environmental Review Commission pursuant to GS 143B-282(b).

    Section 3.4

    Repeals GS  143-215.107C(d) and (e), which both required annual reports from the Department of Transportation (DOT) detailing plans to reduce miles driven by public and private sector employees.

    Section 3.5

    Amends GS 143-341(8)(i).2b to eliminate an annual report by the Department of Administration concerning the number of new cars bought plus savings or costs for the purchases of those cars and fuel, concerning its duties concerning the operation of a central motor pool.

    Section 3.6

    Repeals GS 143B-279.5, which established and required a Biennial State of the Environment Report.

    Section 3.7

    Repeals GS 143B-279.7(c), which required the Department of Environmental Quality to report annually on fish kill activity.

    Section 3.8

    Amends Section 11.1 of SL 1999-329, deleting a reporting requirement that the Environmental Management Commission must report on progress concerning the development of engineering standards for municipal and domestic wastewater collection systems to allow interconnection.

    Section 3.9

    Amends Section 13.9(d) of SL 2000-67, deleting a requirement that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources revise the beach management and restoration plan every two years.

    Section 3.10

    Repeals Section 29(j) and 29(k) of SL 2014-120 concerning annual reporting requirements by regulatory authorities concerning the informal review process for reviewing engineering work as specified. 

    Section 3.11

    Amends GS 143B-279.8(e) to require a report from the commissions specified regarding the progress of the Coastal Habitat Protection Plans only when significant revisions have been made to those plans (previously required each Commission to report annually regarding the plan). Also repeals GS 143B-279.8(f), which required an additional report from the Secretary of Environmental Quality concerning the Coastal Habitat Protection Plan upon making substantial revisions.

    Section 3.12

    Amends GS 143-215.3A(c) concerning required reporting from the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to the Environmental Review Commission (ERC) and the Fiscal Research Division about environmental permitting programs, reducing the reporting to only on or before January 1 of each odd-numbered year (was, November of each year). Also adds language that requires this report to be submitted with the report required in GS 143B-279.17, concerning permit processing times. 

    Amends GS 143B-279.17, concerning reporting on permit processing times for the One-Stop for Certain Environmental Permits Program and the Express Permit and Certification Reviews, reducing the reporting requirement to only on or before January 1 of each odd-numbered year (was, by March of each year). Adds conforming language reflecting the above requirement that this report be submitted with that required in GS 143-215.3A(c). 

    Provides that the first joint report is to be submitted no later than January 1, 2018.

    Section 3.13

    Amends GS 143B-282(b) and GS 143-215.1(h), both concerning reporting requirements of the Environmental Management Commission (EMC) (specifically concerning the operation and activities of the EMC as well as information on the modification of existing permits as specified), now providing that the specified reports shall be submitted on an annual basis, by January 1 of each year (was, on a quarterly basis). Further provides that the required reports are to be submitted jointly, with the first combined report to be submitted to the ERC no later than January 1, 2018.

    Section 3.14

    Amends the following statutes concerning reporting requirements: GS 130A-309.140(a) (concerning recycling of discarded computers and televisions), GS 130A-310.40 (concerning evaluation of the Brownfields Property Reuse Act), GS 130A-310.10(a) (concerning the Inactive Hazardous Waste Response Act), GS 143-215.104U(a) (concerning the Dry-Cleaning Solvent Cleanup Act); and GS 130A-294(i) (concerning the implementation and cost of the hazardous waste management program),  deleting the reporting requirements and replacing them with language that requires the same information and reports to be included and submitted with the annual solid waste management report required to be submitted by the DEQ on or before January 15 of each year, pursuant to GS 130A-309.06(c). Amends GS 130A-309.06(c) to add and include all of the above reports and information into the annual report on the status of solid waste management submitted by the DEQ to the ERC and the Fiscal Research Division. Provides that the first combined report as provided above will be submitted to the ERC and the Fiscal Research Division no later than January 15, 2018. Makes clarifying and technical changes.

    Section 3.15

    Amends both GS 113A-67 (concerning reporting of the implementation of the Sedimentation Pollution Control Act of 1973) and GS 143-214.7(e) (concerning  reporting on stormwater control programs) to require the specified reports to be submitted together to the ERC. Also provides that the report in GS 143-214.7(e) is to be submitted by the DEQ (previously, the NC Environmental Management Commission). Requires the first combined report to be submitted to the ERC no later than October 1, 2017.

    Section 3.16

    Repeals GS 143-355(n) and GS 143-355(o)(9), which respectively included requirements to report on the development of a State water supply plan and a basinwide hydrologic model.  These requirements are now found in newly enacted GS 143-355(p), which directs the DEQ to report to the ERC, no later than November 1 of each year, concerning the development of a state water supply plan and a basinwide hydrologic model. Further directs the DEQ to submit this report with the report on basinwide water quality management plans required pursuant to GS 143-215.8B(d) as a single report. Amends GS 143-215.8B(d), making conforming changes reflecting  the joint reporting requirements above.  Requires the first combined report to be submitted to the ERC no later than November 1, 2017.

    Section 3.17

    Amends GS 159G-26(a) (reporting requirements  concerning the Water Infrastructure Fund) and GS 159G-72 (reporting of State Water Infrastructure Authority findings ) to combine the required reports into one report to be submitted by November 1 of each year. The report is to be submitted to the ERC, the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Agricultural and Natural and Economic Resources, and the Fiscal Research Division. Previously required the State Water Infrastructure Authority to submit the report to the Senate Appropriations Committee on Natural and Economic Resources and the House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee on Natural and Economic Resources; these requirements have now been deleted. Requires the first combined report to be submitted no later than November 1, 2017. Makes clarifying and technical changes.

    Section 3.18

    Amends GS 106-850(e) and GS 106-860(e) (both concerning reporting requirements of the Soil and Water Conservation Commission, either for the Agriculture Cost Share Program or the Community Conservation Assistance Program) to require that the reports be submitted together as one report, no later than January 31 of each year. Also amends GS 139-60(d) (concerning the Agricultural Water Resources Assistance Program) to conform all of its reporting requirements to those of GS 106-850(e) (previously, was not required to submit report to the Fiscal Research Division).  Further requires that the first combined report to the ERC and the Fiscal Research Division is to be made no later than January 31, 2018. Makes technical changes.

    Section 3.19

    Amends GS 113A-115.1(i) concerning  required reports of the Coastal Resources Commission in regards to the terminal groins pilot project, providing that a report on the implementation of the project must be submitted to the ERC by January 1, 2019, and then every five years after that (previously required submittal of the report every year).

    Section 3.20

    Amends GS 143B-135.48(d) concerning required reports of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources regarding the Parks System Plan, providing that the report must be submitted to the ERC, the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Agricultural and Natural and Economic Resources, and the Fiscal Research Division no later than October 1, 2018, and then every five years after that (previously required submission of the report every year).  Also deletes requirement that the report also be submitted to the Senate and House of Representatives appropriations committees that have jurisdiction over natural and cultural resources.  Makes conforming changes.

    Sections 3.21 to 3.23

    Amends reporting requirements found in Section 15.6 of SL 1999-237 (concerning funds used from the Superfund),  GS 87-98(e) (concerning expenditures from the Bernard Allen Emergency Drinking Water Fund), and GS 143B-135.56(f) (concerning  allocations from the Recreation Trust Fund), deleting various reporting requirements and now providing that the required reports in Section 15.6 of SL 1999-237 be submitted only to the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Agricultural and Natural and Economic Resources; those in GS 87-98(e) be submitted to the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Agricultural and Natural and Economic Resources and the Fiscal Research Division; and those in GS 143B-135.56(f) to the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Agricultural and Natural and Economic Resources, the Fiscal Research Division, and the ERC.

    Section 3.24

    Establishes the North Carolina Sentinel Landscape Committee (Committee). Sets out the General Assembly's findings and sets out the purpose of the Committee. Requires the Committee to develop and implement programs and strategies that (1) protect working lands in the vicinity of and where testing and training occurs on major military installations, (2) address restrictions that inhibit military testing and training, and (3) forestall incompatible development in the vicinity of and where testing and training occurs on military installations. Sets out the Committee's powers and duties. Provides that the Committee consists of at least the following individuals or the individuals' designee: (1) Commissioner of Agriculture, (2) Secretary of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, (3) Secretary of Natural and Cultural Resources, (4) Executive Director of the Wildlife Resources Commission or the Executive Director's designee, and (5) Dean of the College of Natural Resources at N.C. State University. Requires the Committee to meet at lease quarterly. Requires the Commission to report to the North Carolina Military Affairs Commission and the Agriculture and Forestry Awareness Study Commission annually, beginning September 1, 2017.

    Sections 4.1 and 4.2

    Includes a severability clause. Unless otherwise indicated, effective when the act becomes law.


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