AN ACT TO AMEND AND CLARIFY THE STATUTES GOVERNING THE NUTRIENT OFFSET CREDIT PROGRAM.
Modifies and adds to GS 143-214.26 regarding the option to purchase nutrient offset credits. Now provides for the purchase of nutrient offset credits to offset (was, to partially offset) nutrient loadings to surface waters as required by the Environmental Management Commission (Commission). Establishes that nutrient offset credits are effective for the duration of the nutrient offset project unless the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) finds the credits are effective for a limited period of time. Expands the program by eliminating the requirement for all nutrient offset projects authorized under the statute to be located within the same hyrdologic area in which the associated nutrient loading takes place.
Adds the following permissible credit sources, which can be further limited by rule as necessary to achieve nutrient strategy objectives.
Adds that, to offset NPDES (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System)-permitted wastewater nutrient sources, credits can only be acquired from a nutrient offset project located in either the same hydrologic area, meaning an eight-digit cataloging unit designated by the US Geological Survey, or a location that is downstream from the source and upstream from the water identified for restoration under the applicable TMDL (total maximum daily load) or nutrient management strategy.
Adds that credits can only be acquired from an offset project located within the same hyrdologic area to offset stormwater or other nutrient sources.
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