AN ACT TO MAKE VARIOUS CHANGES TO THE ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS OF THE STATE.
Conference report amends the 3rd edition as follows.
Makes a technical change to Section 1's definition of the term directed infrastructure grant recipient.
Changes the directive set forth for the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to convene a stakeholder working group by July 1, 2022, to develop an approach to expedite permit issuance under the express permit and certification review set out in GS 143B-279.13, and the fast-track permitting for stormwater management systems program set out in GS 143-214.7B and 15A NCAC 02H .1043 and .1044, to instead direct DEQ to study approaches to expedite permit issuance under the same described statutes and rules. Makes conforming deletions. Maintains the directive requiring DEQ to report to the specified NCGA committee by December 31, 2022.
Adds the following new content.
Applicable only to permits for a new or expanded wastewater discharge facility issued on or after the date the act becomes law, enacts GS 143-215.1(c7) to prohibit, for surface waters that have naturally occurring low dissolved oxygen levels as determined by DEQ, permitted wastewater discharges to such surface waters from causing a reduction in the dissolved oxygen levels of such surface waters of more than 0.10 mg/l below the approved modeled in-stream dissolved oxygen level for the surface waters at total permitted capacity for all discharge to such surface waters.
Amends GS 74-50 regarding mining permits as follows. Makes technical and clarifying changes to the definition of land adjoining. Regarding required notice by the applicant or operator at the time of application for a new mining permit or modification of a mining permit to add land to the permitted area, now specifies that notice to the owners of record of land described in subdivision (b1)(2) or (3) is required only with respect to land to be added to a permitted area for applications for modification of a mining permit. Makes organizational and clarifying changes. Amends subsection (b2) to specify that the requirement for notices to include the opportunity to submit comments and request a public hearing applies to proposed new or modified mining operations that add land to the permitted area.
Amends GS 74-61, expanding the grounds for which an applicant, permittee, or affected person can petition to contest a decision of DEQ regarding mining permits, reclamation plans, and related disciplinary actions, to include DEQ's granting of a permit or reclamation plan in addition to denial, suspension, modification, or revocation actions. Adds that the date of the decision to grant, deny, suspend, modify, or revoke a permit application is when DEQ posts the decision on a publicly available website.