AN ACT TO IMPROVE AND STREAMLINE THE REGULATORY PROCESS IN ORDER TO STIMULATE JOB CREATION, TO ELIMINATE UNNECESSARY REGULATION, TO MAKE VARIOUS OTHER STATUTORY CHANGES, AND TO AMEND CERTAIN ENVIRONMENTAL AND NATURAL RESOURCES LAWS.
Conference report makes the following changes to the 3rd edition.
Part II. State and Local Government Regulations
Amends GS 153A-348 (counties) and GS 160A-364.1 (cities) to provide that if a use existed prior to the adoption of the zoning or unified development ordinance making that use a violation, and that use is provided grandfathered statusand subsequently terminated for any reason, then the respective county or city must bring an enforcement action within 10 years of the date of the termination of the grandfathered status, unless the violation poses an imminent hazard to health or public safety.
Amends Part 3 of Article 1 of GS Chapter 116, adding new GS 116-40.11 to provide for a right to representation by a licensed attorney or non-attorney advocate, at the student's own expense,for any student enrolled at a constituent institution of the University of North Carolina who is accused of a violation of the disciplinary or conduct rules of the constituent institution. Provides an exception to the right to be represented(1) if the constituent institution has implemented a "Student Honor Court" which is fully staffed by students to address such violations and (2) for any allegation of "academic dishonesty" as defined by the constituent institution. Provides similar provisions applicable to any student organization, officially recognized by a constituent institution, that is accused of a violation of the disciplinary or conduct rules of the constituent institution. Specifies that nothing in this section is to be construed to create a right to be represented at a disciplinary proceeding at public expense. Effective whenthe sectionbecomes law and applies to all allegations of violationsoccurring on or after that date.
Requires each constituent institution to track certain data on the disciplinary proceedings and to report the data to the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina. Directs the Board of Governors to submit a combined report to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee and the House and Senate Education Appropriations Subcommittees by May 1, 2014.
Provides that a city or county may not enact an ordinance to regulate a field that is also regulated by a state or federal law enforced by an environmental agency or that regulates a field that is also regulated by a rule adopted by an environmental agency. Provides an exception to allow a city or county to enact an ordinance that regulates a field that is also regulated by state or federal law enforced by an environmental agency or regulates a field that is also regulated by a rule adopted by an environmental agency if the ordinance is approved by a unanimous vote of the members present and voting. Applies to ordinances enacted on or after the effective date for this section (effective when it becomes law). Provides that this section expires October 1, 2014. Defines environmental agency for the purposes of this section.
Directs the Environmental Review Commission to study the circumstances under which cities and counties should be authorized to enact ordinances (1) that regulate fields already regulated by federal or state statute and (2) that are more stringent than state or federal statute or state rule. Requires the Commission to report its findings and recommendations to the 2014 Regular Session of the 2013 General Assembly.
Part III. Business and Labor Regulations
Repeals GS 58-89A-5(8) which defines hazardous financial condition. Amends GS 58-89A-50 to change the surety bond requirement under subsection (a)from the existing formula based on the applicant's prior year compensation to a flat amount of $100,000 and authorizes the applicant to submit in lieu of a surety bond an irrevocable letter of credit from an FDIC-insured financial institution or a cash deposit. Deletes subsection (d) (which prohibited a licensee from requiring a client to contribute to the licensee's surety bond payment). Amends GS 58-89A-60(b) to change the standard applicable tothe financial information submitted bya licenseapplicant from demonstrating that the applicant is not in a hazardous financial condition to demonstrating that the applicant meets the financial requirements specified by the Commissioner of Insurance. Amends GS 58-89A-95.Requires the licensee togive written notice of theProfessional Employer Organization (PEO) agreementto each employee assigned to a client company work site.Deletes subsection (c), which requires the licensee to give each employee written notice when the employee ceases to be an employee. Amends GS 58-89A-100 by deletinglanguage in subsection (1) requiring the contract between a licensee and a client company to reserve to the licensee the right of direction and control over its own employees assigned to the client while allowing the client to retain sufficient control over the licensee'semployees necessary to conduct the client's business. Deletes subsection (4) (which requires the contract to reserve to the licensee the right to hire, fire, and discipline its employees). Instead provides that a licensee has the right to hire, discipline, and terminate an assigned employee as necessary to fulfill the licensee's responsibilities under this Chapter and a PEO agreement. Also provides that the client company has the right to hire, discipline, and terminate an assigned employee. Repeals GS 58-89A-155(a)(4) (which relates to a notice requirement under a different Article within Chapter 58). Provides that this section becomeseffectiveOctober 1, 2013.
Amends GS 110-90.2 to provide that the required criminal history for a child care provider must be completed within 15 business days (was, 15 calendar days) of the receipt of the properly submitted request from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Provides that if the check reveals no criminal history, DHHS is to make a determination of the fitness of the childcare provider within 15 calendar days of receiving the results of the criminal background check. However, if the check reveals that the provider has a criminal history as defined by subdivision (a)(3) of this section, then DHHS has 30 business days from the receipt of the criminal background check to make a determination of the fitness of the provider.
Amends GS 160A-194 (cities) and GS 153A-134 (counties) to prohibit cities and counties from regulating and licensing digital dispatching services for prearranged transportation services for hire. Also amends GS 160A-304 to specify additional transportation for hire related activities and practices which a city is prohibited from adopting an ordinance to regulate.
Part IV. Environmental and Public Health Regulations
Amends GS 130A-248(g) to require that all hotels, motels, tourist homes and other establishments that provide lodging for pay toinstall either a battery operated or electrical carbon monoxide detector in every enclosed space meeting specified conditions. Effective October 1, 2013, and expires October 1, 2014. Further amends subsection (g), effective October 1, 2014, to require all hotels, motels, tourists homes, and other establishments that provide lodging for pay to have carbon monoxide detectors installed in every enclosed space meeting identified conditions and addsthe requirement that the carbon monoxide detectors must receive primary power from the building's wiring where the wiring is served from a commercial source and receive power from a battery when the primary power source is interrupted.
Directs the Building Code Council, DHHS, and the Commission for Public Health to jointly study the requirements for installing carbon monoxide detectors in lodging establishments to determine whether the requirements enacted in this act are adequate to protect the public health and safety of the traveling public. Requires that the findings and recommendations of the study be reported to the General Assembly no later than April 15, 2014.
Part V. Amend Environmental Laws
Deletes Sections 31 and 32 of this act, dealing with regulations applicable to the Mining and Energy Commission.
Amends GS 87-97(e) to provide that if a local health department fails to respond to an application to construct or repair a well within 30 days, the permit to construct or repair the well is to be automatically issued and the local health department may challenge the issuance of the permit as provided in GS Chapter 150B.
Amends GS 143-215.1(j)(3) to clarify thata violation of groundwater quality standards includesa violation occurring in limestone aquifers in Coastal Plain sediments.
Directs the Environmental Review Commission to study state stormwater programs and to report its findings and recommendations to the 2014 Regular Session of the 2013 General Assembly.
Deletes proposed changes to GS 89C-19, concerning public works and safety requirements.
Directs the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in conjunction with theDepartment of Transportationand DHHS, as well as local governments operating delegated permitting programs on behalf of the state departments, to study their internal processes for review of applications and plans submitted for approval. Sets out four specific areas that the entities should examine, including the mechanisms in place to ensure that staff who are not professional engineers are not engaged in the unauthorized practice of engineering. Findings and recommendations are to be submitted to the Environmental Review Commission (ERC) no later than January 1, 2014. The ERC, in consultation with specified entities, will study the matter and report its findings and recommendations to the 2014 General Assembly.
Part VI. Solid Waste Reform Provisions
Amends GS 130A-294(a)(4)c.9 to make a clarifying change, providing this subdivision applies only to the extent required by federal law.
Amends GS 130A-295.6(a), concerning requirements for sanitary landfills, providing thatan applicant for a proposed sanitary landfill must contract with a qualified third-party, approved by DENR, to conduct a study of the environmental impacts of any proposed sanitary landfill, in conjunction with its application for new permits pursuant to GS 130A-295.8. Requires the applicant for a sanitary landfill to pay all costs incurred by complying with the public notice and public hearing requirements of this subsection. Makes a clarifying change to GS 130A-295.6(d). Amends GS 130A-295.6(h), concerning leachate collection lines, providing that remote camera inspections of leachate collection lines must occur upon the completion of construction of any sanitary landfill and at least once every five years (previously, cleaning was required at least once a year, with a few exceptions). Requires the cleaning of leachate collection lines to the point necessaryto ensureproper functioning of the lines and to address the buildup of leachate over the landfill liner. Enacts new requirements regarding the requirements for daily cover at sanitary landfills, providing that when DENR has approved the use of an alternative method of daily cover for use at landfills, that alternative method will be approved for use at all landfills located in the state. Sets outnew requirements that provide for the study, research, and development of alternative disposal techniques and waste-to-energy matters by landfills that are authorized toreceive more than 240,000 tons of waste per year, including researching the development of alternative disposal technologiesby providingaccess to nonproprietary information and site resources to local community or state colleges and universities and other parties and the performance of a feasibility study of landfill gas-to-energy and other waste-to-energy technology.
Provides that the Commission for Public Health cannot require vehicles or containers used for the collection and transportation of solid waste to be leak-proof; however, they can require the design of these containers to be leak-resistant according to industry standards. Requires the Commission to adopt a rule identical to this provision to replace the Collection and Transport Rule and for purposes of this act and implementation can be found at 15A NCAC 13B .0105. Upon adoption of a permanent rule by the Commission, the provisions of this section will expire.
Amends GS 20-116(g), concerning the size of vehicles and their load, providing, for the purposes of this subsection, the terms "load" and "leaking" do not include water accumulated from precipitation.
Amends GS 130A-290 by adding a new subdivision which defines leachate as meaning a liquid that has passed throughor emerged from solid waste and contains soluble, suspended, or miscible materials removed from such waste. Provides that the term "leachate" does not include liquid adheringto tires of vehicles leaving a sanitary landfill and transfer stations.
Amends GS 153A-292(b) and GS 160A-314.1, concerning fees for collection of solid waste,to clarifythat, except as provided in these subsections, a fee for use of adisposal facilitymay not exceed the cost of operating the facility. Provides that the fee can exceed costs if the city or county enters into a contract with another county or city to accept the other entity's solid waste and the city or county by ordinance levies a surcharge on the fee, which can be used for any purpose for which the county or citycan appropriate funds.
Amends GS 160A-314 to authorize cities and counties to transfer excess funds from a utility or public service enterprise fund used for the operation of a landfill in order to be used to support other services provided for by the city orcounty's general fund.
Amends GS 130A-294(b1), providing that local governments can elect to include a surcharge on other local governments' waste as part of a franchise agreement entered into with a private landfill owner or operator.Applicable to franchise agreements executed on or after the effective date.
Effective August 1, 2013.
PartVII. Industrial Commission
Amends GS 97-78(b), deleting language that provided that the administrator and executive secretary appointed pursuant to this subsection were subject to the State Personnel System. Amends GS 97-79(b), providing that deputies appointed pursuant to this subsection will not be considered hearing officers within the meaning of GS 126-5(d)(7). Effective July 1, 2015.
Also makes technical corrections and additional clarifying changes to this act.
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