Bill Summary for H 593 (2015-2016)

Summary date: 

Jun 16 2016

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2015-2016 Session
House Bill 593 (Public) Filed Thursday, April 2, 2015
AN ACT TO AMEND CERTAIN ENVIRONMENTAL, NATURAL RESOURCES AND OTHER LAWS.
Intro. by McElraft.

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Bill summary

Senate committee substitute makes the following changes to the 2nd edition. Deletes the content of the previous edition and replaces it with the following.

Amends the act's short and long titles. 

Section 1

Prohibits the Director of the Division of Water Resources from requiring the use of on-site stormwater control measures to protect downstream water quality standards, except as required by state or federal law. Requires the Environmental Management Commission to adopt rules to amend 15A NCAC 02H .0506 (Review of Applications) consistent with this prohibition. Provides that the rules adopted under this provision are not subject to Part 3 (Rules Review Commission Review) of Article 2A of GS Chapter 150B and become effective as though 10 or more written objections had been received. Provides that the prohibition for the Director of the Division of Water Resources expires on the date that rules are adopted by the Environmental Management Commission.

Section 2

Amends GS 143-214.7 to exclude from the definition for built-upon area for purposes of implementing stormwater programs landscaping material, including, but not limited to, gravel, mulch, sand, and vegetation placed on areas that receive pedestrian or bicycle traffic or on portions of driveways and parking areas that will not receive the full weight of vehicular traffic. Also provides that an owner or developer of a property can opt out of any of the exemptions from built-upon areas. 

Section 3

Amends the provisions governing fast-track permitting for stormwater management found in GS 143-214.7B, directing the Environmental Management Commission (EMC) to revise its rules by July 1, 2017, to include the specified licensed professionals as qualified to prepare a stormwater management system permit without a technical review, so long as the application complies with the Minimum Design Criteria. These professionals are landscape architects, engineers, geologists, soil scientists, and other licensed professions that the EMC deems appropriate. 

Section 4

Directs the EMC to amends its rules so that mitigation is not required for losses of 300 linear feet or less of stream bed and providing that for losses of 300 linear feet or more of stream bed, mitigation is not required for 300 linear feet of those losses. Provides that the EMC must adopt temporary rules as soon as practicable to implement these new provisions. 

Directs the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to submit written comments to the United States Army Corps of Engineers in support of the Wilmington District of the Army Corps of Engineers adopting Regional Conditions that will increase the threshold for the requirement of mitigation for loss of stream bed of perennial or intermittent streams from 150 to 300 linear feet. Comments must be submitted during the time period for public comment set by the Wilmington District in its published notice of the proposed 2017 five-year reauthorization of Nationwide Permits issued pursuant to the Clean Water Act. Specifies that written comments must include a history of the current NC threshold of 150 linear feet and an outline of thresholds in other jurisdictions. 

Section 5

Repeals Section 14.6(p) and 14.6(q) of SL 2015-241 (2015 Appropriations Act), which required the Coastal Resources Commission (CRC) to amends its rules to allow the use of temporary erosion control structures as specified. Directs the CRC to adopt temporary rules for the use of temporary erosion control structures consistent with amendments made to the temporary erosion control structure rules adopted by the CRC on May 11, 2016. Directs the CRC to also adopt permanent rules to implement the above provisions.

Section 6

Directs the CRC to amend the Sediment Criteria Rule to exempt sediment from the cape shoals system used as a borrow site and portions of oceanfront beach that receive such sediment from the permitting requirements of the Sediment Criteria Rule. Further directs the CRC to adopt permanent rules substantively similar to these provisions. 

Section 7

Directs the Division of Coastal Management (Division) in the DEQ, in consultation with the CRC, to study any change in erosion rates directly adjacent to existing and new terminal groins, with the ends of determining if long-term erosion rates should be adjusted to reflect any mitigation of shoreline erosion. Requires the Division to report the results of the study to the Environmental Review Commission (ERC) on or before December 31, 2016.

Section 8

Makes technical, clarifying, and conforming changes to provisions enacted in SL 2015-286 concerning effective dates for life-of-site permits for sanitary landfills and transfer stations.

Section 9

Amends SL 2015-241, Section 14.20(f), as amended, and provides that GS 130A-294(b1)(2), which requires a person to franchise the operation of the sanitary landfill from each local government that has jurisdiction prior to applying for a permit for a sanitary landfill, as amended, applies to franchise agreements that (1) are executed on or after October 1, 2015, and (2) are executed on or before October 1, 2015, if all parties to the agreement consent to modify the agreement for the purpose of extending the agreement’s duration to the life-of-site of the landfill for which the agreement was executed.  Applies to franchise agreements that were (1) executed on or after October 1, 2015, and (2) executed on or before October 1, 2015, if all parties to the agreement consent to modify the agreement for the purpose of extending the agreement’s duration of the life-of-site of the landfill for which the agreement was executed.

Amends GS 130A-294(b1)(2) to limit the franchise granted to a sanitary landfill for the life-of-site of the landfill to a period of 60 years. Amends GS 160A-319 to clarify that no franchise shall be granted for a period of more than 60 years, including a franchise granted to a sanitary landfill for the life-of-site of the landfill under GS 130A-294(b1), provided that a franchise for solid waste collection or disposal systems and facilities, other than sanitary landfills (was, a franchise for solid waste collection or disposal systems and facilities) cannot be granted for a period of more than 30 years.

Amends GS 153A-136(a)(3) to provide that a county may regulate the storage, collection, transportation, use, disposal, and other disposition of solid waste by an ordinance that grants a franchise the exclusive right to commercially collect or dispose of solid waste within a defined portion or all of the county and set terms of any franchise, provided no franchise is granted for a period of more than 30 years unless a franchise granted to a sanitary landfill for the life-of-site of the landfill under GS 130A-294(b1) cannot exceed 60 years (was, may set the terms of any franchise, except no franchise may be granted for a period of 30 years). 

Section 10

Directs the Division of Waste Management in the DEQ to examine solid waste management activities with an eye towards determining if they are conducted in a beneficial manner in terms of efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Also requires a study landfill capacity and usage issues, as well as cost issues, associated with transport of waste due to lack of, or underutilized, landfill capacity in a jurisdiction. Requires a report to be submitted, with any legislative recommendations, to the ERC by December 31, 2016.

Section 11

Amends GS 130A-294, concerning the solid waste management program, directing DEQ to approve the aerosolization of leachate and wastewater collected from a landfill as an acceptable method of disposal. Further provides that the aerosolization of leachate or wastewater that results in effluent free-production or a zero liquid discharge does not constitute a discharge that requires a permit under the air or water permitting statutes, GS Chapter 143, Article 21 or Article 21B.

Section 12

Provides that Sections 8 and 9 of the act are effective retroactively to July 1, 2015, and that Sections 10, 11, and 12 are effective when the act becomes law.

Section 13

Amends GS 90-187.10, concerning licenses for certain veterinary practices, providing that a license is not needed for a  farrier or any person engaged in the activity or profession of shoeing hooved animals, provided that the person's actions are limited to shoeing hooved animals or trimming, clipping, or maintaining hooves.

Section 14

Amends GS 143-254.5 concerning disclosure of personal information by the Wildlife Resource Commission (WRC) and GS 143B-289.52 concerning the same by the Marine Fisheries Commission, providing that customer email addresses and customer identification numbers issued are considered "identifying information" and are not available to the public. 

Enacts new GS 132-1.14 concerning personally identifiable information of public utility customers obtained by the Utilities Commission from customers seeking assistance from the Public Staff for rate or service disputes, providing that such information is not considered public record under GS 132-1. Sets out permissible disclosure of such information. Further provides that personally identifiable information means a customer's name, physical address, email address, telephone number, and public utility account number.

Provides that Section 14 is effective October 1, 2016.

Section 15

Amends GS 14-419 concerning the investigation of possession of reptiles by the NC Museum of Natural Sciences (Museum) or the NC Zoological Park (Zoo), providing that if either entity finds that a seized illegally owned reptile is a venomous reptile, large constricting snake, or a regulated crocodilian, the Museum or the Zoo must determine the interim disposition of the seized reptile until a final disposition is determined by a court (previously, an interim disposition was not provided for). Provides that the Museum or Zoo are not liable to the owner of the reptile if it is determined that euthanasia is the appropriate interim disposition, or if the seized reptile dies of natural or unintended causes. Adds new subsection (b1) providing that if convicted of any violation of GS Chapter 14, Article 55 (Regulation of Venomous Reptiles), the court must issue a final disposition of the confiscated reptiles, which could include transfer of title to the State of North Carolina and reimbursement for the cost of seizure, delivery, and storage of the reptiles. Further provides that a law enforcement officer or animal control officer can kill a dangerous reptile if the officer determine there is an immediate threat public safety. Allows a large constricting snake or crocodilian to be given to the Zoo or to a Zoo representative (was, Zoo to decide if the animal is regulated).

Further directs the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR) and the WRC to jointly study and develop a list of potential designated representatives for the storage and safekeeping of venomous reptiles, large constricting snakes, or crocodilians. Also directs them to study and develop potential procedural and policy changes to improve the regulation of dangerous reptiles, with a report to be submitted to the ERC no later than December 31, 2016. 

Section 16

Exempts public water supply systems from the Daily Flow Requirements if flow rates and yields less than those required by the rule (1) are achieved through an engineering design that utilizes low-flow fixtures and low-flow reduction technologies and the design is prepared, sealed, and signed by a professional engineer licensed pursuant to GS Chapter 89C, and (2) provide for a flow that is sufficient to sustain the water usage required in the engineering design. Directs the Commission for Public Health to adopt rules substantively identical to the above provisions and requires them to become effective as though 10 or more written objections had been received.

Section 17

Amend GS 95-79 concerning agreements declared illegal providing that provisions that directly or indirectly condition the terms of an agreement not to sue or to settle pending litigation upon an agricultural producer's status as a union or nonunion employer or entry into or refusal to enter into an agreement with a labor union or labor organization is invalid and unenforceable as against public policy.

Section 18

Amends GS 132-6.2 concerning the provision of public records required by public agencies under GS 132-9, enacting new subsection (a1), which establishes, notwithstanding subsection (a) of the statute, that public agencies can satisfy public record access requirements by making their public records and computer databases available online in a format that allows a person to download a copy of the records and databases. Provides that if such access is provided, then the public agency does not have to provide copies through any other method or medium. Such copies can be voluntarily provided by another method or medium and a reasonable charge for such a service can be negotiated.  Also, requires that a public agency satisfying its requirement to provide access to public records and computer databases under GS 132-9 by making those public records or computer databases available online in a format that allows a person to obtain a copy by download to also allow for inspection of any public records also held in a non-digital medium. Also enacts new subsection (f) to define computer database and media or medium. Requires the State Chief Information Officer, working with specified entities, to report on the development and use of computer databases by State and local agencies and the need for public access to these public records to the General Assembly by February 1, 2017. Effective July 1, 2016.  

Section 19

Amends GS 160A-296 concerning the control of streets by cities and towns, providing that cities are prohibited from imposing a fee on businesses listed in GS 160A-206(b), such as gas, telecommunications, electricity, or video programming businesses, for conducting activities in a right-of-way, unless the costs for those activities exceed the amount the city has collected for sales and use tax under GS Chapter 105, Article 5.

Section 20

Enacts GS 143-214.7(d3) to provide that except as required by federal law, no State agency or unit of local government can prohibit a unit of the federal government from pumping standing stormwater from federal land located landward of a primary dune over the dune and into the ocean. Provides that all necessary approvals for such activities must be granted, within 24 hours of the request for approval, with any failure to grant approval within 24 hours to be deemed an approval. 

Section 21

Amends SL 2015-125 concerning requiring moped insurance, delaying the effective date of provisions that would require mopeds to be insured form July 1, 2016, to July 1, 2017. Also directs the Department of Insurance to review which insurance companies provide moped liability insurance, including the typical costs and requirements that must be met by a moped owner in order to obtain moped liability insurance. Requires a report to be submitted by December 15, 2016, to the Joint Legislative Transportation Oversight Committee. 

Section 22

Provides a severability clause

Section 23

Provides that unless otherwise noted, act is effective when it becomes law. 

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