Bill Summary for S 389 (2021-2022)

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Summary date: 

Mar 29 2021

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2021
Senate Bill 389 (Public) Filed Monday, March 29, 2021
Intro. by B. Jackson, Sanderson, Edwards.

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Bill summary

Section 1

Adds to and modifies the conditions that must be satisfied by local governments using grants under the Public Beach and Coastal Waterfront Access Program (Program) under GS 113A-134.3. Now requires that the local government to agree to dedicate and record the dedication of acquired lands in perpetuity for public access and for the benefit of the general public. Establishes a minimum term of 25 years for any lease or easement acquired by a local government using Program grant funds. Requires a local government to reimburse the State if the property is used for a purpose other than beach or coastal waters access or the local government elects to sell or otherwise dispose of the property (previously, required agreement to transfer title to the State if property is used for a purpose other than beach or coastal waters access). Specifies reimbursement must be the greater of either the amount of Program grant funds provided to purchase the property, or an amount equal to the same proportion of the current market value of the property as the proportion of the original purchase price of the property funded with Program grant funds. 

Section 2

Eliminates the duty of the Secretary of Environmental Quality (Secretary) to keep a list of interested persons who wish to be notified of proposed developments and proposed rules designating areas of environmental concern and to notify such persons by regular mail pursuant to GS 113A-124. Makes conforming changes to eliminate the mailed notification requirement for interested persons or groups under GS 113A-119(b) regarding development permit applications and modifications. Applies to permit applications received on or after July 1, 2021. 

Section 3

Regarding contested case petitions filed for disputed development permit decisions under GS 113A-121.1, requires a determination by the Coastal Resources Commission of the appropriateness of a contested case to be made within 30 days after a request for determination is received (was, 15 days).  Effective October 1, 2021.

Section 4

Makes the following changes to GS 143-214.7 regarding stormwater runoff rules and programs. Specifies that the addition of new administrative requirements to an existing permit or certification, including annual compliance certification requirements, are not considered a new or increased stormwater control (which are prohibited by the statute as applicable to preexisting development). Adds a new requirement to require permittees of new stormwater permits and stormwater permits that are reissued due to transfer, modification, or renewal to submit an annual certification on the project's conformance with permit conditions. Makes changes regarding the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ)'s authority to transfer a permit without the consent of the owner as follows. Now provides for DEQ to transfer a permit without the consent of the owner or of the successor-owner of the property on which the permitted activity is occurring or will occur. Authorizes DEQ to require the submittal of an application for permit transfer (previously provided for the successor owner to request the transfer) when the permit holder is either (1) a deceased natural person, (2) a business association that has dissolved, has completed the winding up of the business, and does not have a successor-in-interest to the permit (previously only required dissolution), (3) a person or entity who has been lawfully and finally divested of the title to the property on which the permitted activity is occurring or will occur through foreclosure, bankruptcy, or other legal proceeding (previously only provided for persons and did not specify how divested), or (4) a person or entity who has sold the property on which the permitted activity is occurring or will occur (previously only provided for persons). Adds qualifications for the successor-owner of the property, including that (1) the person or entity holds the title on which the permitted activity is occurring or will occur, (2) is the claimant of the right to engage in the permitted activity, (3) is an association, or (4) is any other natural person, group of persons, or entity deemed appropriate by DEQ to operate and maintain the permit (previously limited to the holder of the title to the property or the claimant of the right to engage in the permitted activity).

Further amends GS 143-214.7 as follows. Requires joint application by the permit owner and the successor-owner unless the permit owner is a natural deceased person, a dissolved business association, or the successor-owner requests acceptance without the signature of the permit holder. Requires submission of the application within 90 days when permit conditions are met on or after July 1, 2021. Authorizes DEQ to request an application at any time after determining that the permit transfer conditions have been met prior to July 1, 2021, with the application required to be submitted within 180 days of the request. Requires the permit transfer application for an activity that does not conform to the approved plans and permit conditions to include a schedule for compliance within one calendar year, or an application for permit modification, with low density permits permitted to include a request for an updated built-upon areas limit. Prohibits DEQ from imposing new or different design standards on the project (was terms and conditions in the permit) without the prior express consent of the successor-owner. Adds a new subsection allowing a low-density permittee whose permit was issued prior to January 1, 2017, to submit an application for a permit modification that limits built-upon area to the current level which exceeds the permitted built-upon area limit. Specifies updated built-upon area limits for modification applications granted, requiring issuance of updated permits based on the current amount of built-upon area for projects if the area is less than or equal to 110% of the maximum allowable build-upon area for the permit; requires compliance with the updated limit in the required annual certification. Requires mitigation of the impacts of the excess built-upon area for areas exceeding 110% of the maximum allowable built-upon area at the time of permit issuance, with the addition of one or more stormwater control measures on the property before DEQ can issue an updated permit. 

Revokes low density stormwater certifications and approvals issued prior to September 1, 1995, as of January 1, 2022, with the built-upon area considered an existing development. Requires future development on such projects or sites to comply with GS 143-214.7 and any recorded deed restrictions.

Expands GS 143-215.6A to allow the Secretary of DEQ to assess a civil penalty of up to $25,000 for violations of GS 143-214.7 (previously restricted to subsection (d1) of that statute).

Section 5

Amends GS 113A-64.2 to require a request for remission of a civil penalty imposed by GS 113A-64 (regarding violations of Article 4, Sedimentation Pollution Control Act) to be filed within 30 days of receipt of the assessment notice (was, 60 days). Applies to penalties assessed on or after October 1, 2021. 

Section 6

Amends GS 143-215.94E, which requires the owner or operator of an underground storage tank found to be leaking petroleum to immediately undertake to collect and remove the discharge or release and to restore the area affected, and which allows an owner, operator, or landowner to request payment or reimbursement from the Commercial Leaking Petroleum Underground Storage Tank Cleanup Fund (Commercial Fund) for the cost of a task within one year of completion. Adds that if DEQ determines that further information is needed in order to determine payment eligibility, then DEQ may give the applicant up to 30 days to respond to the request for information; specifies that this response time is not to be included in the original 12-month deadline.

Section 7

Amends GS 130A-310.8 to require after DEQ has given notice, after determining the location and general extent of contamination (was, required a determination of the existence of the site), to the owner of real property on which an inactive hazardous substance or waste disposal site is located, that the owner submit a survey plat within 90 days (was, 180 days) of areas designated by DEQ. Changes the title of the notice from "NOTICE OF INACTIVE HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCE OR WASTE DISPOSAL SITE" to "NOTICE OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINATION." Adds that if the notice is submitted pursuant to a remedial action plan approved by DEQ, then the notice is to be titled "NOTICE OF RESTRICTED USE." Makes conforming changes. Amends the following items to be included in the notice to require it to include the (1) location areas exceeding unrestricted use standards with respect to permanently surveyed benchmarks (was, the location and dimension of the disposal areas and areas of potential environmental concern) and (2) type, location, and quantity of hazardous substances known to exist (was, known by the owner of the site to exist) on the site. Amends the provisions setting out what is to be included in an instrument of transfer when property that contains an inactive hazardous substance or waste disposal site is sold, leased, conveyed, or transferred, as follows: (1) expands on the scope of the provision to include when only a portion of that property is sold, leased, conveyed, or transferred; (2) requires the inclusion of a statement that hazardous substances were present in environmental media at the property (was, that the property has been used as a hazardous substance or waste disposal site); (3) adds a requirement to include a statement, when applicable, that the property has been remediated by use of land controls. Provides that if a site subject to this statute is remediated under Part 8 of Article 9 of GS Chapter 130A (Risk-Based Environmental Remediation of Sites), a Notice of Restricted Use may be filed instead of a Notice of Residual Contamination.

Amends GS 143-215.85A (concerning recordation of oil or hazardous substance discharge sites)to provide that if a site subject to the statute is remediated under Part 8 of Article 9 of GS Chapter 130A (Risk-Based Environmental Remediation of Sites), a Notice of Restricted Use may be filed with DEQ’s approval instead of a Notice of Residual Contamination or a Notice of Oil and Hazardous Substance Discharge Site.

Amends GS 143B-279.10 (concerning recordation of contaminated sites) to provide that if a site subject to the statute is remediated under Part 8 of Article 9 of GS Chapter 130A (Risk-Based Environmental Remediation of Sites), a Notice of Restricted Use may be filed instead of a Notice of Residual Contamination or a Notice of Contaminated Site.

Section 8

Amends GS 143-215.8B as follows. Changes the term “basinwide water quality management plan” to “basinwide water resources management plan” (plan). Amends the impacts that are to be considered when developing and implementing the plans for the 17 major river basins to now require consideration of (1) all activities across a river basin that impact surface or ground water quality, including all point sources and nonpoint sources of pollutants (previously did not specify that the activities were to impact surface or ground water quality) and amends the examples of sources of pollution given to no longer include septic tank systems, golf courses, farms using fertilizers and pesticides, public and commercial lawns and gardens, and adds waste disposal sites and (2) all water withdrawals and transfers (was, all transfers into and from a river basin) required to be registered under the specified statute. Amends what is to be required of the water resources management plans, as follows: (1) now requires that if any of the waters in the river basin are designated as nutrient sensitive waters, then the plan must report on the status of those waters (was, the plan must establish a goal to reduce the average annual mass load of nutrients delivered to surface waters within the river basin from point and nonpoint sources); (2) requires the plan to report on the incremental progress toward achieving the established nutrient reduction goal (was, the plan must require incremental progress toward achieving the goal); and (3) adds the requirement that the plan provide surface and ground water resources to the extent known by DEQ, other withdrawals, permitted minimum instream flow requirements and evident needs, and pertinent information contained in local water supply plans and water shortage response plans. Requires plans to be updated at least every 10 years to account for changes in the already listed items as well as water quantity and advancements in water conservation and reuse. Adds that the North Carolina Environmental Management Commission may also include critical basin issues as they arise in the required report to the Environmental Review Commission. Amends that reporting requirement to now require a report on the progress in developing and implementing basinwide water resource management plans and on increasing public involvement and education to require the report to be submitted in even-numbered years instead of annually. Requires the report to include a written statement on water quality and quantity conditions (was, as to all concentrations of heavy metals and other pollutants in the state’s surface waters) identified in the course of preparing or revising the plans. Adds a provision identifying the 17 major river basins using US Geological Survey cataloging units.

Section 9

Amends GS 148-10 to give the Department of Public Safety, instead of DEQ, general supervision over the sanitary and health conditions of the central prison, over the prison camps, or other places of confinement of prisoners under the jurisdiction of the Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice. Makes conforming repeal of the requirement to report to the Department of Public Safety.

Section 10

Amends GS 113A-61.1(c), which requires that when it is determined that a person engaged in land-disturbing activity has failed to comply with the Sedimentation and Erosion Control Program, the approving authority must immediately serve that person with a notice of violation. No longer requires the notice to be delivered in person when the person engaged in the activity has not received a previous notice of violation under the statute. Removes the provision that allowed a notice of violation to be served in the manner prescribed for service of process under GS 1A-1, Rule 4, when an approving authority is unable to deliver the notice of violation in person within 15 days following discovery of the violation. Effective October 1, 2021.

Part 11

Repeals the following subsections of GS 113A-65.1: (1) subsection (f), which made the issuance of a stop-work order a final agency decision subject to judicial review in the same manner as an order in a contested case and required the petition for judicial review to be filed in the superior court of the county in which the land-disturbing activity is being conducted and (2) subsection (h), which required the Attorney General to file a cause of action to abate the violations which resulted in the issuance of a stop-work order within two business days of the service of the stop-work order and set out the subsequent requirements and procedures. Effective October 1, 2021.

Part 12

Amends GS 125-2 to give the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources the duty to provide library services to readers of North Carolina who are unable to use standard print materials (was, provide library services to blind and physically handicapped readers). Makes conforming changes.