Bill Summary for H 302 (2015-2016)

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Summary date: 

Mar 19 2015

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2015-2016 Session
House Bill 302 (Public) Filed Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Intro. by Tine, McElraft, Millis, Harrison.

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Bill summary

Requires the Division of Marine Fisheries (Division) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to study North Carolina's shellfish lease and franchise program, including four specified issues. Requires a report on the Division's findings and recommendations, along with an update on the implementation of Section 3 of the act (concerning the Jean Preston Marine Shellfish Sanctuary) by April 1, 2016, to the chairs of the Environmental Review Commission, the chairs of the House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture and Natural and Economic Resources, the chairs of the Senate Appropriations Committee on Natural and Economic Resources, and the Fiscal Research Division. 

Enacts new GS 113-211 allowing a civil penalty of no more than $10,000 against any person who (1) takes or attempts to take shellfish in violation of GS 113‑208 or who takes, destroys, or damages equipment or structures used for the cultivation of shellfish pursuant to and within the confines of a lease or franchise granted under the provisions of this Article; (2) takes or attempts to take shellfish in violation of GS 113‑209 from areas closed to harvest by statute, rule, or proclamation; or (3) takes or attempts to take shellfish from an area designated as an oyster sanctuary by the Division of Marine Resources of the Department. Sets out considerations to be taken in setting the penalty amount. Allows requests for the remission of civil penalties to be filed and sets out the procedure for submitting and resolving the request. Allows instituting a civil action in superior court if any civil penalty is not paid within 30 days after notice of the assessment has been served. 

Amends Section 44 of SL 2014-120, establishing the Senator Jean Preston Marine Shellfish Sanctuary as follows. Changes the name of the program to the Senator Jean Preston Marine Oyster Sanctuary Program. Modifies and adds to the General Assembly's intent. Requires the Division to develop a plan to construct and manage additional oyster habitat and requires that the new sanctuaries along with existing oyster sanctuaries be included in the Senator Jean Preston Oyster Sanctuary Network (was, required the Division to designate an area within the Pamlico Sound as a recommendation to the Environmental Review Commission for establishment of the shellfish sanctuary and create a plan for managing sanctuary). Modifies the required components of the plan to now include provisions concerning the location and delineation of oyster sanctuaries, enhancement of oyster habitat restoration, waiver of application and yearly rental fees for new shellfish leases, outreach, monitoring, funding, and recommendations for changes. Deletes the reporting requirement.

Requires the Division, in consultation with representatives of the commercial fishing industry, representatives of the shellfish aquaculture industry, and relevant federal agencies, to create a proposal to open certain areas of Core Sound to shellfish cultivation leasing. Requires the Division to report on the plan by May 1, 2016, to the Joint Legislative Commission on Government Operations.

Repeals Subdivisions 1.2(a)(5) and 1.2(b)(3) of SL 2011-291, which transferred the duties of the Joint Legislative Commission on Seafood and Aquaculture to the the Joint Legislative Commission on Governmental Operations and repealed Article 12F, pertaining to the Joint Legislative Commission on Seafood and Aquaculture; also repeals conforming changes that were made in the act. Reenacts Article 12F of GS Chapter 120, as it existed prior to its repeal. Repeals GS 120‑76(15) concerning the Joint Legislative Commission on Governmental Operation's powers over seafood and aquaculture. Amends the powers of the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Seafood and Aquaculture to remove the power to make recommendations regarding regulatory matters relating to the seafood and aquaculture industry, including increasing the state's representation and decision-making ability by dividing the state between the Atlantic and South Atlantic regions of the National Division of Marine Fisheries; retains the power to evaluate the adequacy of penalties for trespass and theft of shellfish and other aquaculture products. Makes technical changes.