AN ACT TO IMPLEMENT MEASURES TO PREVENT AND ADDRESS CONTAMINATION FROM THE DISCHARGE OF PFAS IN THE STATE IN ORDER TO PROTECT PUBLIC HEALTH.
Expands the water pollution control measures set out in GS 143-215.1 as follows. Directs the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to require applicants for a new or renewed individual National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit to disclose each pollutant in the person's discharge reasonably expected to be at or above the pollutant's practical quantitation limit (PQL), including concentration discharged and either the chemical abstracts service (CAS) number or a detailed characteristic description. Additionally, mandates that when any person is required to obtain a NPDES permit that receives waste from an industrial user: (1) the industrial user must disclose in the user's application for a new or renewed pretreatment permit each pollutant in the user's discharge that is at or above the pollutant's PQL and (2) must eliminate, either by the permittee or the industrial user, any perfluoroalkyl or its substances (PFAS) prior to discharge into State waters, as specified.
Directs DEQ to begin identifying technology-based limits for detectable PFAS, as defined, in new and renewed NPDES permits with treatment sufficient to reduce detectable PFAS in effluent to non-detect levels, as defined. Requires DEQ to begin this action by June 1, 2022.
Directs DEQ to study the presence of PFAS in land-applied biosolids, including identification of the most common PFAS, likely categories of sources, the propensity for migration off-site, and accumulation and persistence in soil and water downgradient from land application sites. Requires DEQ to report to the Environmental Management Commission (EMC) and the Environmental Review Commission (ERC) by September 1, 2022. Directs the EMC to adopt rules to prevent PFAS migration or accumulation off-site from land application sites if DEQ finds PFAS are likely to migrate and accumulate at detectable levels in soil and water that are downgradient from sites in its study.
Directs DEQ to study the presence of PFAS in leachate collected and disposed of from municipal solid waste landfills and construction and demolition debris landfills, including identification of the most common PFAS and the effectiveness of treatment technologies. Requires DEQ to report to the EMC and ERC by September 1, 2022. Directs the EMC to adopt rules to prohibit the disposal of leachate containing detectable PFAS, as defined, at wastewater treatment plants if DEQ finds practical removal from wastewater prior to discharge impracticable.
Requires DEQ to approve a US EPA-validated lab method by January 1, 2022, if the US EPA has not certified a lab method for the identification and measurement of PFAS in wastewater.
Appropriates $5 million in nonrecurring funds from the General Fund to DEQ for the 2021-22 fiscal year for the Bernard Allen Drinking Water Fund to fund drinking water treatment systems for covered wells, as defined.
Appropriates $5 million in recurring funds from the General Fund to DEQ to expand DEQ's ambient water quality monitoring activities to identify emerging and other pollutants in State waters at locations upstream from surface drinking water intakes.
Appropriates $1 million in nonrecurring funds from the General Fund to DEQ for the 2021-22 fiscal year to develop a strategy to address persistent toxic chemicals in the State's environment. Requires development of a PFAS Chemical Action Plan pursuant to criteria provided, and consultation with stakeholders with opportunities for public comment. Requires the Final PFAS Chemical Action Plan to identify recommendation for legislative and administrative action. Requires finalization of the Plan by January 1, 2023, with implementation by April 1, 2023.
Appropriates $1 million in nonrecurring funds from the General Fund to DEQ for the 2021-22 fiscal year to study PFAS destruction and disposal techniques to identify a safe (as defined), effective, and scalable technology, including an analysis of current technologies. Allows for coordination of research with other entities. Requires DEQ to report to the EMC and ERC by September 1, 2022.
Appropriates $80 million in nonrecurring funds from the General Fund to the State Water Infrastructure Authority for the 2021-22 fiscal year to issue matching grants to water systems to build or improve drinking water treatment systems to substantially reduce public exposure to detectable PFAS.
Directs the Attorney General to develop and maintain a record of cumulative expenses of State agencies and local governments relating to the grants for drinking water treatment systems for covered wells, the study of PFAS destruction and disposal techniques, and the grants to water systems to build or improve drinking water treatment systems to reduce public exposure of detectable PFAS, as required by the act.
Defines detectable PFAS for purposes of the appropriations provisions of the act.
Effective July 1, 2021.
Contains a severability clause.
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