Bill Summary for H 600 (2023-2024)

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Summary date: 

Jun 28 2023

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2023-2024 Session
House Bill 600 (Public) Filed Thursday, April 13, 2023
Intro. by Riddell, Zenger, Brody, Chesser.

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Bill summary

Senate amendments to the 5th edition make the following changes.

Amendment #1 makes the following changes.

Section 2

Amends GS 143-214.7(b5) by removing the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) as one of the possible recipients of an application for a new stormwater permit, or the reissuance of a permit due to transfer, modification, or renewal.

Section 4

Amends the implementation of the Post-Construction Stormwater Rule, 15A NCAC 02H .1001, to exempt from the Rule public linear (was, linear) transportation projects undertaken by an entity other than the North Carolina Department of Transportation, or a unit of local government (was, DOT only) that are part of a common plan of development.

Section 6

Amends GS 113-170.3 by separating out the responsibilities of the Fisheries Director of the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries and the Executive Director of the Wildlife Resources Commission related to violations of the reporting requirements by any person (1) who recreationally harvests a listed fish from coastal fishing waters, joint fishing waters, and inland fishing waters adjacent to coastal or joint fishing waters and (2) holding a commercial fishing license engaged in a commercial fishing operation who harvests any fish in coastal or joint fishing waters, as follows. Authorizes the Fisheries Director to suspend, revoke, or refuse to issue a commercial or recreational fishing license for an individual guilty of an infraction for violations. Authorizes the Executive Director to revoke or refuse to issue a recreational fishing license issued by the Wildlife Resources Commission for any individual guilty of an infraction for violations for two consecutive years or upon failure to pay outstanding infraction fines when required to do so.

Section 7.1

Amends proposed GS 143-214.1A, as follows. Specifies that the listed requirements apply to applications for certification under section 401 of the Clean Water Act for projects involving the distribution or transmission of energy or fuel, including natural gas, diesel, petroleum, or electricity (previously not limited to the specified types of projects). Amends those applicable requirements as follows. Makes the requirements for the determination of and notification of application completeness also applicable to supplemental applications or to supplemental information on a pending application. Adds that an application is deemed incomplete only if it does not provide sufficient information necessary for DEQ to determine if the proposed discharges into navigable waters will comply with State water quality requirements. Provides that for the purposes of this statute, State water quality requirements means water quality standards approved by the US EPA and in effect for purposes of the federal Clean Water Act. Requires DEQ to issue a public notice soliciting comments on the application within 5 days of the date the application is deemed complete. Requires that the application be approved or denied within 60 days of the date that the application is deemed complete (was, within 60 days of the filing of a completed application). Provides that the 60-day review period constitutes the reasonable period of time for State action on an application for purpose of 33 USC Sec. 1341(a)(1) absent a negotiated agreement with the federal permitting or licensing authority (was, with the US EPA) to extend that time frame for a period not to exceed one year. Requires DEQ to issue a certificate upon determining that the proposed discharges (was, discharges from point sources) into navigable waters will comply with State water quality standards. Adds a requirement that DEQ include as conditions in a certification any applicable effluent limitations or other limitations necessary to assure that the discharges will comply with State water quality requirements; prohibits DEQ from imposing any other conditions. Adds the requirement that DEQ deny a certification application only if no reasonable conditions would provide assurance that the proposed discharges into navigable waters will comply with State water quality requirements; specifies what must be included in a statement along with the denial. No longer limits DEQ’s review of applications for certification to water quality impacts from point source discharges from the proposed project into navigable waters located within the State and prohibited considering water quality impacts from the activity as a whole. Makes conforming and technical changes.

Section 7.3

Deletes the provision that required the Environmental Management Commission to review 15A 4 NCAC 02B .0208 (Standards for Toxic Substances and Temperature) to determine if the standards and methodologies for establishment of water quality criteria for specific pollutants included therein are scientifically sound, protective of human health and the environment, and result in water quality criteria that are technologically achievable without placing undue economic burdens on publicly owned treatment works and their ratepayers.

Requires DEQ to prepare a human health risk assessment of 1,4-dioxane in drinking water supported by peer-reviewed scientific studies and deliver the assessment to the Joint Legislative Commission on Governmental Operations by October 1, 2023. Requires evaluating technologies commercially available to remove 1,4-dioxane from wastewater effluent at facilities at various flow volumes. Requires a report to the same Commission on the findings of the technical and economic feasibility and limitations of each treatment technology and a cost benefit analysis by January 15, 2024.

Section 8

Amends GS 143-215.73F by adding that any invoices submitted for reimbursement or payment from the Shallow Draft Navigation Channel Dredging and Aquatic Weed Fund for projects to provide the State's share of the costs associated with any dredging project designed to keep shallow draft navigation channels located in State waters or waters of the State located within lakes navigable and safe, to be signed by the representative of the unit of local government sponsoring the project.

Section 10

Amends proposed GS 113A-107(g) to instead require that State guidelines for the coastal area adopted under the statute be made publicly available on the Department’s website by posting (1) the guidelines in their entirety or (2) a link to the guidelines in the NC Administrative Code on the Office of Administrative Hearings website. Requires each guideline to cite the law under which the rule was adopted.

Section 13

Amends proposed GS 143-214.26(g) to specify that the prohibition applies to nutrient offset banks approved by DEQ and owned by a local government (previously did not require approval by DEQ).  Amends the effective date of GS 143-214.26(g) by providing that it applies to nutrient offset banks owned by a local government and approved by DEQ on or after the date the act becomes law, except that this does not apply to a local government that has a nutrient offset banking instrument approved by DEQ prior to the effective date.

Section 13.5

Amends GS 130A-291.1 to require that an application for a permit for a septage management firm be granted or denied within 60 business days (90 in current law and 30 in the previous edition) of receiving a complete permit application. Makes conforming changes. Requires a septage management firm to meet the requirements of this statute, GS 130A-291.3 (requiring training of septage operators), and rules adopted by the Environmental Management Commission before beginning operation. Provides that for purposes of determining the annual fee, the number of trucks operated by the firm is limited to those pumper trucks and vehicles used in the transportation, containment, or consolidation of liquid septage (was, limited to only those pumper trucks) that transport septage on State-maintained roads.

Section 15

Deletes previous section 15, which amended GS 143-215.1 to allow alternative peak daily sewage flow rates and permit wastewater treatment system expansions beyond existing allocation in certain circumstances.

Section 15.5

Deletes former Section 15.5 which required the specified implementation of the Dwelling Wastewater Design Flow Rate Rule, 15A NCAC 02T .0114.

Adds the requirement that the Environmental Management Commission amend 15A NCAC 02T .0114 as it applies to dwelling units to be consistent with the wastewater flow rate in GS 143-215.1(f3), as enacted by SL 2023-55, which allows the permittee for a wastewater treatment system to calculate its wastewater flows for new dwelling units, including units that have yet to be connected and for which the permittee has allocated capacity, at 75 gallons per day per bedroom, or at a lower rate approved by the DEQ.

Section 23

Deletes former Section 23, which made changes concerning the system development fee.

Section 27

Amends GS 110-86 by amending the definition of childcare so that the exclusion from that definition for cooperative arrangements among parents includes arrangements between a group of parents, regardless of whether the parents are working, to provide for the academic instruction (was, instructional needs) of their school age children (was, children) and adds that they must meet the requirements of GS 115-364 (school admission requirements).

Amendment #2 adds the following new Section 33.1

Amends GS 143-138(b5) (permit exclusions for certain minor activities in residential buildings under the State Building Code [Code]), GS 143-183(b21) (same exclusions pertaining to commercial buildings), and GS 160D-1110(c) (pertaining to building code enforcement by local governments) to raise the cap on the value of the project performed under the Code from $20,000 to $40,000 before a permit is required. Makes conforming changes to refer to the "North Carolina Fire Code" instead of the "North Carolina Fire Prevention Code." Amends GS 160D-1110(d) to enact new subsubsection preventing local governments from requiring more than one building permit for simultaneous projects at the time of the application located at the same address and subject to the State Residential Code (Residential Code). Makes conforming changes to GS 160D-1110(g) to reflect new $40,000 minimum value that became effective October 1, 2023.

Amends GS 87-1(a) (definition of general contractor) to increase the minimum value of the cost of the undertaking required for a person to qualify as a general contractor under the definition from $30,000 to $40,000. Amends GS 87-14 (registration for issuance of building permits) to increase the minimum value of the cost of the project that will require compliance with statutory requirements listed therein from $30,000 to $40,000. Also amends GS 87-14 (regulations as to issue of building permits) to increase the minimum value of the combined costs required for a building permit under GS 160D-1110 from $30,000 to $40,000.

Increases minimum value of the cost of undertaking from $30,000 to $40,000 in GS 44A-11.1 (pertaining to requirement to designate a lien agent as part of the building permitting process or as part of a contract for improvements to real property) and GS 89D-12(c) (the minimum value of the landscape construction or contracting work performed by landscape contractors in order for licensing requirement to kick in).

Effective October 1, 2023, and applies to permit applications for construction, installation, repair, replacement, remodeling, renovation, or alteration projects submitted on or after that date.

Amendment #3 deletes all of Section 7.2, consisting of proposed amendments to GS 143-215 (effluent standards or limitations) and submission and reporting requirements to the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).

Amendment #5 adds new Section 33.5.

Specifies that if House Bill 488 (Code Council Reorganization and Various Code Amendments) becomes law, then repeals Section 12 of that act (amendments to GS 160A-317(a) and GS 153A-284(a) that specify that a city or county may only require connection of an owner’s premises to a sewer line; however, if the county/city has adequate capacity to transport and treat the proposed new wastewater from the premises at the time of connection).