Bill Summary for H 579 (2023-2024)

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Summary date: 

May 31 2023

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2023-2024 Session
House Bill 579 (Public) Filed Wednesday, April 5, 2023
Intro. by Brody, Saine, Zenger, N. Jackson.

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Bill summary

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

Removes the following content from the bill: (1) Section 3, concerning local erosion and sedimentation control programs and NCG01 permits; (2) Section 4, which enacted new GS 143B-279.4A concerning administration of federally delegated environmental programs, including addressing memorandums of agreement between the US EPA and the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) or other state commissions and boards that implement environmental law; (3) Section 5, which made changes to the membership of the Sedimentation Control Commission; (4) Section 6, which enacted new Article 37 of GS Chapter 120, establishing the Environmental Policy Council; and (5) Section 7, which required DEQ to initiate discussion with the US EPA to revise memorandums of agreement concerning sedimentation requirements. Makes conforming changes by renumbering the remaining sections of the act.

Amends Sections 1 and 2 of the act as follows. Amends GS 113-60, concerning local erosion and sedimentation control programs, by requiring the requirements of local sedimentation control programs to meet, but not exceed, the requirements for stormwater discharges from construction activities set forth under the 2022 Clean Water Act National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) general permit for stormwater discharges from construction activities. Makes conforming changes. Specifies that approved local programs are required to issue an NPDES General Permit No. NCG01000 (NCG01) to persons initiating land-disturbing activities in their jurisdiction that are required to obtain coverage under the NCG01, instead of a land disturbance permit or other permit or certification, issued for the purposes of compliance with Article 4 (Sedimentation Pollution Control Act of 1973) and rules adopted under the Article. Caps the fee for issuing an NCG01 at $200 and prohibits charging any other fee under this statute. Requires that 50% of the fee be retained by the local program and 50% be remitted to DEQ.

Deletes the provision requiring the Sedimentation Control Commission to adopt temporary rules for the implementation of requirements for (1) ground cover established in amended GS 113A-57(3) and (2) the implementation of requirements of GS 113A-54(c)(4), concerning permitting of grading to be adopted by a local government operating an approved erosion and sedimentation control program. Deletes the requirement that a local government operating an approved erosion and sedimentation control program submit to the Commission for its approval standards, policies, and procedures for permitting of grading. Adds the requirement that DEQ, by September 1, 2023, prepare and submit to the US EPA, for its approval, any proposed changes to the State’s Sedimentation Pollution Control Act of 1973 (Act) and its implementation of the NCG01 permit, to: (1) eliminate the Act’s requirement that a for the submission of a draft erosion and sedimentation control plan for the DEQ’s approval, for persons otherwise required to obtain an NCG01 permit; (2) authorize local governments, which have delegated authority from the Commission to administer an erosion and sedimentation control program within their jurisdiction, to issue NCG01 permits; and (3) limit local governments administering approved erosion and sedimentation control programs within their jurisdiction to implementation and enforcement of requirements for land-disturbing activities that meet, but do not exceed, requirements for stormwater discharges from construction activities as established by 40 CFR 122.26 and under the most recent NPDES general permit for stormwater discharges from construction activities (Construction Permit) issued by the US EPA. Amends the effective dates to now make the changes to GS 113A-57, GS 113A-60, and GS 113A-54 effective on the later of the following and applicable to permits to conduct land-disturbing activities submitted on or after that date: (1) July 1, 2024, or (2) the first day of the month that is 60 days after the DEQ Secretary certifies to the Revisor of Statutes that the US EPA has approved an amendment to the Sedimentation Pollution Control Act, as required by this act; requires the Secretary to provide this notice and the effective date on its website. Adds the requirement that DEQ report to the Environmental Review Commission on the status of its activities related to its submission to the US EPA of changes to the State Sedimentation Pollution Control Act and its implementation of the NCG01 permit on a quarterly basis beginning October 1, 2023, until the NCGA repeals this reporting requirement.

Amends the recipient of DEQ’s report on its request to consult with the US EPA on any proposed changes to federal regulations impacting the State’s administration of federal environmental programs before the notice of the changes in the Federal Register so that the report now goes to the Environmental Review Commission instead of the Environmental Policy Council. Changes the start date of those quarterly reports to August 1, 2023 (was, 2024).

Amends the act’s titles.