Bill Summary for S 151 (2013-2014)

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Summary date: 

Feb 28 2013

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2013-2014 Session
Senate Bill 151 (Public) Filed Thursday, February 28, 2013
Intro. by Rabon.

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Bill summary

Amends GS 143, Article 21, Part 2A, Registration of Water Withdrawals and Transfers; Regulation of Surface Water Transfers, by creating a new subsection GS 143-215.22L(v), Modification of Certificate. This new subsection provides for the modification of previously issued interbasin water transfer certificates and petitions for the transfer of surface water.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (Department) and the Environmental Management Commission (Commission) can make the following modifications only after providing electronic notice to identified, interested parties: (1)typographical error corrections; (2) clarifications of existing conditions or language; and (3) updates to conservation, drought management or compliance and monitoring plans. The Commission has the authority to make other modifications it deems are minor only after providing electronic notice to identified, interested parties.

Holders of interbasin water transfer certificates may request modifications by the Commission in line with the following procedures:

(1) Certificate holder (holder) must be in substantial compliance and the certificate must have been issued pursuant to GS 162A-7, 143-215.22I, or 143-215.22L.(2) Holder must file a notice of intent for a notification which includes nontechnical descriptions of holder's request and proposed water source. (3) Holder will prepare an environmental document, pursuant to GS 143-215.22L(d).(4) Upon satisfaction that submitted documentation is adequate, the Department will publish notice of the modification request in the NC Register as well as hold a public hearing at a location convenient to both the source and receiving river basins. The Department will provide notice of the hearing in the Environmental Bulletin, a newspaper of general circulation in the source river basin and in the receiving basin, and as provided in GS 143‑215.22L(c)(3). (5) Department will accept comments on the requested modification for at least 30 days following the hearing. (6) The Commission or Department can require the holder to provide additional information reasonably necessary to make a final determination. (7) The Commission will make a final determination on the requested modification based on the factors found in GS 143-215.22L(k) and by reviewing any other information the Commission deems relevant. The Commission will state in writing its findings of fact and conclusion. (8) The Commission will grant the requested modification if it finds the holder established by a preponderance of the evidence that the modification satisfies the requirements of GS 143-215.22L(m). However, the Commission can grant the modification in whole, in part, or deny the request, as well as impose limitations and conditions as it deems necessary and relevant. (9) The Commission will not grant a modification if it would result in the transfer of water to an additional major river basin.

Coastal area counties can also petition for a certificate to transfer surface water to supplement ground water supplies in the 15 counties designated as the Central Capacity Use Area or to transfer surface water withdrawn from the mainstem of a river to provide service to one of the coastal area counties. The procedures by which a determination on the petition will be made are identical to procedures 2-9, as outlined above for requests for modifications.

Also amends GS 143-215.22L(a)(1), instances where a certificate is required for transfer, adding the requirement that measurements of daily water transfers are calculated as a daily average. If the average exceeds 2 million gallons a certificate is required, and no transfer can exceed 5 million gallons in any one day, regardless of daily average, without requiring a certificate. Deletes GS 143-215.22L(a)(2), language stating that an increase of 25% or more above the average daily amount transferred during the year ending July 1, 1993, if the total transfer, including increase, is 2 million gallons or more per day.

Amends GS 143-215.22G(1) (Definitions), adding and defining public water system and mainstem.

Amends GS 143-215.22L(g), Petition, adding new language and deleting old language clarifying the description information that should be included in a transfer petition. The new language states petition should include a general description of the facilities being used including current and projected areas to be served by the transfer, current and projected capacities of intakes, and other relevant facilities (was, description including the location and capacity of water intakes, pumps, pipelines, and other facilities).

Makes clarifying and conforming changes in line with the newly defined terms above.

Amends SL 2011-298, making technical and conforming changes.

Amends SL 2011-298(4b), stating that section 1 of SL 2011-298 will expire if cumulative volume of water transfer from one river basin to another to supplement ground water in the Central Coast Plain Capacity Use Area, on or after August 31, 2007, exceeds 20.3 million gallons a day (was, expires if the transfer by any person that does not hold a certificate for an interbasin transfer on or before the effective date of this act exceeds 8 million gallons per day).

Amends SL 2007-518, deleting majority of Section 7 (concerning isolated river basins), only leaving language that states this act becomes effective when law and applies to any petition for a certificate of transfer of surface water from one river basin to another first made on or after that date.

Amends GS 153A (Counties) and GS 160A (Cities and towns) by adding new sections GS 153A-145.1 and GS 160A-203, both titled Structures on public trust ocean beaches. Provides in both new sections that when there is reasonable cause to believe certain structures, fixtures, or debris violates the public trust rights of the people of the state or legal right of access to public trust areas, a civil action may be instituted by a city or county for injunctive relief.