Bill Summary for H 600 (2023-2024)

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Summary date: 

Sep 22 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

Conference report to the 6th edition makes the following changes.

Part I

Section 2.

Amends GS 143-214.7 (stormwater runoff rules and programs) as follows. Prevents the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) from requiring an applicant for a new permit to take any action with respect to an unaffiliated adjacent property and shall not condition issuance of a new permit on action to be taken by an existing permit holder with respect to the permitting of an unaffiliated adjacent property. Defines applicant, unaffiliated adjacent property, affiliate, parent, and subsidiary. Requires the Department, upon notice to the permit holder, to rescind a permit issued under GS 143-214.7 without the holder’s consent where the permitted development has not been initiated within five years after the date the permit was issued. 

Section 6.

Requires DEQ and the Wildlife Resources Commission (WRC) to annually report on the implementation and response to the fishery reporting requirements set forth in GS 113-170.3, including potential incentives to encourage reporting to the specified NCGA committee by May 1 of each year. Makes organizational change.

Section 7.

Amends GS 143-214.1A (water quality certification requirements for certain projects) as follows. Expands the scope of the statute to include maintenance dredging projects (defined) partially funded by the Shallow Draft Navigation Channel Dredging and Aquatic Weed Fund, in addition to other listed projects and applications.  Amends the timeframes governing DEQ’s decision on an application under the statute to allow a decision to issue 90 days of the date the application is deemed complete if a public hearing is held. Makes conforming changes.

Section 8.

Directs the Environmental Management Commission (EMC) to review 15A 23 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 in the rule 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 the EMC to report its findings including any legislative recommendations to the specified NCGA Committee by no later than June 1, 2024.

Section 9.  

Changes the deadline DEQ’s submission of its human health risk assessment of 1,4-dioxane in drinking water from October 1, 2023 to May 1, 2024. Now directs the NC Collaboratory (was, DEQ) to evaluate the technologies that are commercially available to remove 1,4-dioxane from wastewater effluent at facilities at various flow volumes, including at flow volumes of greater than 1 million gallons per day. Changes the deadline for the Collaboratory’s report to the specified NCGA Committee from January 15, 2024, to May 1, 2024.

Section 10.5

Amends GS 113-229 (pertaining to permits to dredge or fill in or about estuarine waters or state owned lakes) to prevent DEQ from including any condition in a permit that restricts dredging activities to a specified time frame, except those time frames, or moratorium periods, that are required pursuant to the federal Clean Water Act and Endangered Species Act, regulations promulgated thereunder, or other applicable federal law.

Section 11.

Updates statutory numbers of new provisions pertaining to submersible polystyrene devices.

Section 14.

Reinstates the provision applying the requirement that nutrient offset credits must be applied to a wastewater permit by applying the TMDL transport factor to the permitted wastewater discharge and to the nutrient offset credits as specified in the 1999 Phase I TMDL, only to wastewater discharge permit applications for a local government located in the Neuse River Basin with a customer base of fewer than 15,000 connections.

Section 18.

Amends GS 143-215.1(f3) (pertaining to wastewater systems) as follows. Allows permittees for wastewater systems to calculate its wastewater flows for new dwelling units discharging to wastewater systems serving two or more dwelling 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 DEQ (currently, no mention of wastewater systems serving two or more dwelling units). Specifies that if wastewater, flows are calculated pursuant to this subdivision, the minimum volume of sewage from each dwelling unit is 75 gallons per day and each additional bedroom above one bedroom increases the volume by 75 gallons per day. Requires permittees to calculate its wastewater flows for new dwelling units discharging to wastewater systems serving two or more dwelling units that have yet to be connected and for which the permittee has not allocated capacity at 75 gallons per day per bedroom, or at a lower rate approved by DEQ. For wastewater flows calculated pursuant to this subdivision, the minimum volume of sewage from each dwelling unit is 75 gallons per day and each additional bedroom above one bedroom increases the volume by 75 gallons per day.

Requires the EMC to implement the Dwelling Wastewater Design Flow Rate Rule (15A NCAC 02T .0114) to be consistent with GS 143-215.1(f3) and (f4) as enacted by the act and the Demonstration of Future Wastewater Treatment Capacities Rule (15A 9 NCAC 02T .0118) to be consistent with GS 143-215.1(f5) as enacted by Section 1 of SL 2023-55. The Wastewater Design Flow Rate Rule applies to all permits for dwelling units issued on or after November 1, 2023. Both rules sunset when permanent rules are effective. Requires the EMC to adopt rules consistent with these provisions. . Applies the APA’s effective date provisions triggered when 10 or more written objections are received to the rule (GS 150B-21.3).

Requires the EMC to study whether to amend the flow rates established pursuant to 15A NCAC 02T .0114(c) for schools, charter schools, boarding schools, preschools, and day care facilities, including schools with or without cafeterias, gyms, and showers, to consider reduced water consumption associated with new plumbing fixtures and appliances.

Deletes provisions authorizing the EMC to amend wastewater design flow rates consistent with SL 2023-55.

Section 19.

Requires DEQ to study proper handling of end-of-life lithium-ion batteries, and specifically whether any exceptions to a ban on disposal in landfills based on the size of a battery are appropriate. Requires DEQ to report its findings, including any recommendations for legislative action, to the EMC no later than May 1, 2024. (Previously, DEQ could enact rules to establish a regulatory framework for the proper handling of end-of-life lithium batteries and photovoltaic modules.)

Section 25.

Enacts Article 85A (Supply Chain Emergency Act) to GS Chapter 106. Sets forth procedures for when the Commissioner of Agriculture (Commissioners), in consultation with poultry/protein processors and slaughter facilities, determines that there is a imminent threat to or a disruption of the agricultural supply chain or food supply chain with respect to poultry or livestock due to a lack of capacity at rendering facilities or landfills, including authorizing the Commissioner to take emergency measures, which are not subject to the APA. Specifies that any emergency measures cannot last longer than 90 days and may only be renewed once.  

Part II

Section 27.

Changes the number of the new statute to GS 160A-499.7 (pertaining to online marketplaces).

Section 28.

Changes the section's effective date to January 1, 2024.

Section 30.

Amends GS 131E-78.5(a2) (stroke center designations) to allow the recognition of Primary Stoke Centers that offer mechanical endovascular therapies but have not been certified as Thrombectomy-Capable Stroke Centers as "Primary Stroke Centers with endovascular services" (was, may recognize those that have not been certified as Thrombectomy-Capable Stroke Centers but have attained a level of stroke care distinction by offering mechanical endovascular therapies).

Section 31.

Amends GS 90-414.6 (State ownership of the Health Information Exchange [HIE] Network data) to specify that patient identifiers created and utilized by the Authority to integrate identity data in the HIE Network, along with the minimum necessary required demographic information related to those patients, will be released to the NC Government Data Analytics Center (GDAC) and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) by the NC HIE Authority for purposes of entity resolution and master data management. Specifies that the identifiers are not considered public records.

Makes conforming changes to GS 143B-1385 (pertaining to GDAC) and authorizes GDAC to release identifiers to State agencies, departments, and institutions as part of the initiative for the purposes of entity resolution and master data management. Effective December 1, 2023.

Section 34.

Amends GS 143B-1333, the Department of Information Technology’s (DIT) Internal Service Fund (ISF), as follows. Expands what is funded through the fee scheme established under the statute to include all of DIT’s procurement activities, including the Statewide IT Procurement Office (currently fees are directed to the IT Strategic Sourcing Office).   

Section 38.

Extends the effective date to December 31, 2025, for the following six rules adopted by the Appraisal Board on April 19, 2022: (1) 21 NCAC 57A .0201 (Qualifications for Trainee Registration and Appraiser Licensure and Certification); (2) 21 NCAC 57A .0405 (Appraisal Reports); (3) 21 NCAC 57A .0407 (Supervision of Trainees); (4) 21 NCAC 57A .0601 (Experience Credit to Upgrade); (5) 21 NCAC 57A .0604 (Types of Appraisal Experience); and (6) 21 NCAC 57A .0605 (Reporting Appraisal Experience).

Section 40.

Repeals GS 115C-218.35(e) (requiring charter schools to comply with directive requiring the local board of education to inquire to local systems regarding water and sewerage capacity). Enacts GS 115C-218.36, which directs the board of directors of a charter school, prior to applying for a development approval, to inquire directly to water and sewerage system about their capacity to serve the proposed charter school facility. Sets forth timelines for response. If the public system has the capacity, directs the system to reserve the necessary capacity for the proposed charter school facility for 24 months from the date of the written inquiry from the board of directors. Upon costs associated with water and sewer infrastructure for the proposed charter school facility having been incurred by the board or an agent of the board, neither the public system nor a local government can deny access to the public system in which capacity is reserved for the proposed charter school facility during the 24-month period.

Section 41.

Amends GS 150B-21.7 (effect of transfer of duties or termination of agency on rules under the APA) to require agencies to notify the Codifier of Rules within 30 days after either an executive order or law abolishes part or all of an agency and does not transfer a function of that agency to another agency, thus causing a rule concerning a function abolished by the law/executive order to be repealed (currently, law just requires the agency to notify the Codifier without any timeframe of when that notice must be provided). Specifies that if the Codifier does not receive timely notice, then the Codifier must remove the rule from the State administrative code after notice to the agency.

Section 42.

Prevents an agency of this State from enforcing against any person a policy, guideline, or other interpretive statement that describes the procedure or practice requirements of the agency unless those requirements have been adopted as a rule in accordance with the APA.

Section 43.

Expands the exemptions pertaining to the procedures for letting public contracts under GS 143-129(e) to include repair work made through a competitive bidding group purchasing program (defined) involving a combination of installation labor and equipment acquisition (currently, just purchases made through a competitive bidding group purchasing program). 

Section 44.  

Enacts new GS 153A-134.1 (pertaining to regulation of battery-charged security fences--counties) and GS 160A-194.1(pertaining to regulation of battery-charged fences-cities). Defines a battery-charged security fence to mean an alarm system and ancillary components, or equipment attached to that system, including a fence, a battery-operated energizer intended to periodically deliver voltage impulses to the fence, and a battery charging device used exclusively to charge the battery. Establishes the following seven requirements that all battery-charged security fences are required to meet: (1) interfaces with a monitored alarm device enabling the alarm system to transmit a signal intended to summon the business or law enforcement in response to an intrusion or burglary; (2) is located on property that is not designated by a county or city exclusively for residential use; (3) has an energizer powered by a commercial storage battery that is not more than 12 volts of direct current; (4) has an energizer that meets the standards established by the most current  version of the International Electrotechnical Commission Standard 60335-2-76; (5) is surrounded by a non-electric perimeter fence or wall that is not less than 5 feet in height; (6) does not exceed 10 feet in height or 2 feet higher than the non-electric perimeter fence or wall, whichever is higher; (7) is marked with conspicuous warning signs that are located on the battery-charged security fence at not more than 30-foot intervals and read: "WARNING—ELECTRIC FENCE".

Bars counties and cities from (1) adopting ordinances, rules, or regulations that require a permit, fee, review, or approval for the use or installation of a battery-charged security fence beyond any permit that may be required by an ordinance adopted by the county’s governing board under GS 74D-11; (2) imposing installation or operating requirements inconsistent with the described standards; (3) prohibiting the installation or use of battery-operated security fences on property zoned for nonresidential purposes.  

Section 45.

Amends requirements for interpreter and transliterator licensure. Amends certification requirements under GS 90D-7 to include North Carolina Interpreter and Transliterator Licensing Board (Board) approved national entities in lieu of certification by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc and removes the option of holding a quality assurance North Carolina Interpreter Classification System level A or B. Amends GS 90D-8 to include a requirement of a two-year associate degree in interpreting from an accredited institution (was, one of the four options) for provisional licensure as an interpreter or transliterator; also raises the minimum assessment score for Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment (EIPA) from 3 to 3.5 and allows for other certifications from Board-approved bodies to be considered for licensure. To meet statutory hourly requirements, interpreters and transliterators shall provide documentation when applying for provisional licensure. Effective December 1, 2023.

Requires the North Carolina Interpreter and Transliterator Licensing Board to adopt temporary rules to implement the provisions of this act, which will remain in effect until permanent rules that replace the temporary rules become effective.

Section 46.

Enacts GS 143B-1033. Prohibits employers from discriminating against or taking any adverse employment actions against an employee based on either the employee's membership in the NC Wing-Air Patrol, or the employee's statutorily authorized absence, meaning one that is required to perform duties incident to a State approved mission or US Air Force authorized mission, is no longer than seven consecutive scheduled working days for the employee, and which does not exceed 14 scheduled working day absences for the employee in one calendar year. Permits the employer to require documentation of the employee's mission order. Specifies that the enactment does not require an employer to pay salary or wages to an employee during an authorized absence unless the employee chooses to use paid leave. Applies to absences occurring on or after December 1, 2023.

Part III

Section 50.

Updates the reference to the repeal of Section 12 of SL 2023-108 to reflect the passage of H 488.

Section 51.

Amends GS 143-136.1(a), as enacted by SL 2023-108, by amending the membership of the Residential Code Council as follows. Requires that members appointed by the NCGA upon recommendation of the Speaker of the House to hold (1) an unlimited general contractor license and specialize in residential construction (was, only hold an unlimited residential contractor license) and (2) an unlimited, intermediate, or limited general contractor license (was, an unlimited general contactor license) and specialize in coastal construction. Requires a member appointed by the NCGA upon recommendation of the Speaker Pro Tempore to hold (1) an unlimited or intermediate general contractor license and specialize in residential construction (was, hold an intermediate residential contractor license only) and (2) an unlimited, intermediate, or limited general contractor license and specialize in residential construction (was, hold a limited residential contractor license only).

Effective January 1, 2025.

Section 52.

Amends GS 20-116 to increase the height limit on vehicles from 13 feet, six inches, to 14 feet. Applies to offenses committed on or after December 1, 2023.

Section 53.

Amends GS 131E-13, which concerns the lease or sale of hospital facilities to or from for-profit or nonprofit corporations or other business entities by municipalities and hospital authorities. Adds that the statute does not apply to leases in which the same tenant has continuously held possession of a hospital facility, or part of a hospital facility, since at least June 30, 1984. Adds that subsection (d) of the statute, which sets forth eight requirements that must be met before a municipality or hospital authority leases, sells, or conveys a hospital facility or part of a hospital facility, does not apply to subleases in which the same tenant, acting as a sublessor, has continuously held possession of a hospital facility, or part of a hospital facility, since at least June 30, 1984; however, upon notice by the tenant to a municipality or hospital authority that the tenant, acting as a sublessor, has approved a sublease of a hospital facility, or part of a hospital facility, the municipality or hospital authority must comply with the provisions of subdivisions (h)(1) through (h)(4) of this statute (concerning requirements to be met when a lease sale, or conveyance has not been approved and additional prospective leases or buyers are solicited). Makes clarifying changes to the statute. Effective January 1, 2024.

Removes proposed GS 90-413 (pertaining to retention of medical records).

Deletes proposed Shallow Draft Applicability Rule.

Removes proposed changes to GS 87-1 (pertaining to general contractor project cost minimums); GS 87-14 (regulations as to issue of building permits); GS 143-138(b5) (permit exclusions for minor activities); GS 143-138(b21) (permit exclusion for certain minor activities in commercial buildings and structures); GS 160D-1110(c) and (g) (project cost minimums under the State building code); GS 160D-1110(d) (pertaining to local government permitting under the State building code); GS 44A-11.1(a)(liens relating to improvements on real property); and GS 89D-12(c) (landscape contractors).

Deletes proposed changes to GS 130A-335(c2) (prohibiting counties from regulating certain off-site wastewater systems). 

Makes conforming and organizational changes.