TO ALLOW THE USE OF RISK-BASED REMEDIATION TO ACCELERATE THE CLEANUP OF CONTAMINATED INDUSTRIAL SITES FOR THE PURPOSE OF LIMITING HUMAN AND ENVIRONMENTAL EXPOSURE TO SAFE LEVELS, TO PROTECT CURRENT AND LIKELY FUTURE USES OF GROUNDWATER, AND TO ENSURE THE COST EFFECTIVE APPLICATION OF LIMITED PUBLIC AND PRIVATE RESOURCES.
Enacts new Part 8 in Article 9 of GS Chapter 130A, titled Risk-Based Environmental Remediation of Industrial Sites, to authorize the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to approve the remediation of contaminated industrial sites based on site-specific remediation standards in circumstances where the standards are adequate to protect public health, safety, and welfare, and the environment, and are consistent with protection of current and anticipated future use of groundwater and surface water affected or potentially affected by the contamination. Enacts new GS 130A-310.65 to define 12 terms, as used in Part 8. Enacts new GS 130A-310.67 to provide that proposed Part 8 applies to remediation under the following programs and requirements, to the extent specified: (1) the Inactive Hazardous Sites Response Act of 1987; (2) the state hazardous waste management program administered pursuant to the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976; (3) the solid waste management program regulated under Article 9 of GS Chapter 130A; (4) the federal Superfund program administered in part by the state pursuant to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, and the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 and related state law; (5) the groundwater protection corrective action requirements adopted by the Environmental Management Commission (Commission) pursuant to Article 21 of GS Chapter 143; and (6) the Oil Pollution and Hazardous Substances Control Act of 1978, Parts 1 and 2 of Article 21A of GS Chapter 143. Provides that Part 8 does not apply to remediation under the following programs or requirements: (1) the Leaking Petroleum Underground Storage Tank Cleanup program under Part 2A of Article 21A of GS Chapter 143 and promulgated rules; (2) the Dry-Cleaning Solvent Cleanup program under Part 6 of Article 21A of GS Chapter 143 and promulgated rules; or (3) the pre-1983 landfill assessment and remediation program established under GS 130A-310.6(c) through (g). Specifies that Part 8 only applies to sites where a discharge, spill, or release of contamination was reported to DENR before March 1, 2011.
Enacts new GS 130A-310.68 to require that any person who proposes to or is required to respond to the release of a contaminant at a site, must attain compliance with one of the following standards: (1) the unrestricted use standards applicable to each affected media, (2) the background standard, if that standard exceeds unrestricted use standards, (3) a site-specific remediation standard developed in accordance with proposed GS 130A-310.68(b) that is approved by DENR, or (4) any combination of remediation standards approved by DENR. Provides that site-specific remediation standards developed for each medium must achieve remediation that eliminates or reduces to protective levels any substantial present or probable future risk to human health, including sensitive subgroups, and the environment based upon the present or currently planned future use of the property. Details requirements for site-specific remediation standards as follows: (1) ambient air; (2) surface waters; (3) groundwater in relation to current and probable future use; (4) facility permits for any site covered by Part 8 will contain conditions to avoid exceeding applicable groundwater standards adopted by the Commission; (5) soil in relation to continuing groundwater contamination; (6) soil in relation to residential property, with exceptions for mixed-use developments and property with preexisting structures; (7) potential human inhalation of contaminants; (8) potential human ingestion of contaminants; (9) known or suspected carcinogens; and (10) systemic toxicants. Requires the site-specific remediation standards for each medium to be adequate to avoid foreseeable adverse effects to other media or the environment that are inconsistent with a risk-based approach.
Enacts new GS 130A-310.69 to require a person who proposes to conduct remediation to submit a remedial investigation report to DENR before submitting a remedial action plan. Requires the investigation to assess all contaminated areas of the site, including types and risk levels, and details a list of items for inclusion in the report. Requires a remedial action plan, developed and submitted to DENR, to provide for the protection of public health, safety, and welfare, and the environment. Sets forth specific criteria and information to be included in the plan, including an analysis of long-term risks and effectiveness of the proposed remediation, proof of financial assurance, toxicity, mobility or volume of contaminants, short-term risks and effectiveness of the remediation, and the ease or difficultly of implementing the remedial action plan.
Enacts new GS 130A-310.70 to require a person who proposes to remediate a site to also send a notice of intent to remediate, with specified information, to all local governments having taxing or land-use jurisdiction over the site, and to all adjoining landowners. Directs the person to submit to DENR a copy of the notice of intent, a certification that the notice was provided, and copies of all information and comments received in response.
Enacts new GS 130A-310.71 to require DENR to review and approve or disapprove a remedial action plan within 120 days after a complete plan has been submitted for review. Lists issues to be considered by DENR when reviewing a plan, and allows DENR to ask for additional information. Places the burden of demonstrating that contamination from the site will not likely migrate in the reasonably foreseeable future, and that the remedial action plan protects public health, safety, and welfare, and the environment, on the person who proposes the plan. Allows for review of a disapproved plan as provided in Article 3 of GS Chapter 150B. If DENR fails to approve or disapprove a proposed remedial action plan within 120 days after a complete plan has been submitted, then the person who submitted the plan may treat the plan as disapproved.
Enacts new GS 130A-310.72 to require the person conducting remediation under proposed Part 8, to establish financial assurance to ensure that sufficient funds are available to implement and maintain the actions or controls specified in the remedial action plan. Details methods to establish financial assurance.
Enacts new GS 130A-310.73 to provide for the attainment of approved remediation standards for a site or portion of a site, by requiring the submission of a final report and request to DENR, with notice to the local government with taxing and land-use jurisdiction. Requires that DENR issue a release from further remediation at a site if the responsible person has completed remediation to the approved remediation standard and met all requirements, with certain exceptions. Requires DENR to issue a final decision regarding a request for release within 180 days after receipt of a complete final report. Failure by DENR to issue a decision within this time period may be treated as a denial. Also provides for review of DENR’s decision as provided in Article 3 of GS Chapter 150B.
Provides for compliance with other laws, the use of registered environmental consultants, and construction of Part 8.
Enacts new GS 130A-310.76 to require a person who undertakes remediation of environmental contamination under site-specific standards to pay a fee to the Inactive Hazardous Sites Cleanup Fund (Fund) in an amount equal to $4,500 for each acre or portion of an acre of contamination, with a maximum fee of $125,000, payable on submittal of the remedial action plan to DENR. Specifies uses of money from the Fund.
Reserves specified statutes for future codification.
Makes a conforming change to GS 130A-310.10(a) (regarding reporting requirements to the Joint Legislative Commission on Governmental Operations, the Environmental Review Commission, and the Fiscal Research Division). Makes technical changes.
Requires that the Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources (Secretary) make all reasonable efforts to obtain a written agreement from the United States Environmental Protection Agency that proposed Part 8, as enacted by this act, is consistent with specified federal law, as amended.
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