AN ACT TO AMEND CERTAIN ENVIRONMENTAL AND NATURAL RESOURCES LAWS.
Amends GS 130A-290 to define the term yard trash to mean solid waste resulting from landscaping and yard maintenance, including brush, grass, tree limbs, and similar vegetative material. Adds and defines the term yard waste to mean yard trash and land-clearing debris, including stumps, limbs, leaves, grass, and untreated wood.
Amends GS 130A-294 by adding that yard waste diverted from the waste stream or collected as source separated material is not subject to a solid waste permit for transfer, treatment, processing, storage, or disposal in a permitted solid waste management facility. Specifies that operators of facilities where yard waste is subject to transfer, treatment, processing, storage, or disposal must comply with all other federal, state, or local laws, ordinances, rules, regulations, or orders. Specifies that this does not limit local government authority to manage the transfer, treatment, processing, storage, or disposal of yard waste.
The above provisions apply to the transfer, treatment, processing, storage, or disposal of yard waste occurring on or after July 1, 2017.
Sets out General Assembly findings concerning nutrient pollution and riparian buffers.
Amends GS 143-214.23A, concerning limitations on local government riparian buffer requirements, as follows. Replaces the term local government ordinance with the term local government action and amends the definition of the term so that it now includes local government ordinances, conditions of approval imposed on applicants for a development plan approval, and special or conditional permits. Expands on the definition of the term riparian buffer requirement to also include any other hydrologic bodies to which a riparian buffer may be applied (in addition to setbacks from surface water).
Prohibits a local government from enacting, implementing, or enforcing a local government action or applying for or renewing a permit issued by a State or federal agency that requires a local government action that establishes a riparian buffer requirement exceeding requirements directly imposed by State or federal law. Excludes permits required by a federal agency as a condition of federal funding or federal approval for a project initiated before the effective date of the statute. Local governments violating this prohibition that are required by a permit issued by a State or federal agency remain in place and may be enforced until the permit expires. Makes conforming changes.
Amends GS 113-201 to allow the Marine Fisheries Commission to adopt rules to establish Shellfish Aquaculture Enterprise Areas to facilitate shellfish aquaculture opportunities through advanced siting and preapprovals from relevant federal and State agencies. Requires the Secretary of Environmental Quality to only issue nontransferrable leases to residents of the state within designated Shellfish Aquaculture Enterprise Areas. Reverts any relinquished or terminated leased parcel within a Shellfish Aquaculture Enterprise Area to the State, to be made available to other applicants. Amends GS 113-201.1 to define Shellfish Aquaculture Enterprise Area as an area designated and permitted by the Department of Environmental Quality that is subdivided into parcels and made available for shellfish aquaculture leasing.
Amends GS 113-203 to make it illegal to transplant oysters or clams from public grounds or permitted aquaculture operations using waters in the prohibited, restricted, or conditionally approved classification (was, in the restricted or conditionally approved classification) to private beds, except when done in accordance with the statue and implementing rules. Prohibits the transplanting of seed oysters or seed clams taken from permitted aquaculture operations that use waters in the prohibited, restricted, or conditionally approved classification to private beds pursuant to a permit, when the Secretary of Environmental Quality determines that the nursery of shellfish in an area will present a risk to public health. Amends GS 113-168.4 to allow licensed individuals to sell fish taken outside the state's territorial waters or taken from coastal fishing waters if the sale is of fish reared in (was, oysters or clams from) a hatchery or aquaculture operation to the holder of an Aquaculture Operation Permit, an Under Dock Culture Permit, or a shellfish cultivation lease for further grow out.
Requires the Division of Marine Fisheries (Division) to review its Fishery Management Plan for river herring (blueback herring and alewife) and report by December 15, 2017, to the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Agriculture and Natural and Economic Resources on the continuing validity and scientific basis for the continued status of both species as "overfished." Sets out required information if the Division does not have an adequate scientific basis to review the status of both species.
Appropriates $100,000 in nonrecurring funds from the General Fund to North Carolina Sea Grant at North Carolina State University (Sea Grant) to study existing science regarding the current and projected future status of river herring populations in state waters. Specifies issues that must be examined in the study. Requires that if the Sea Grant determines that further study is required, Sea Grant must include in its report a research plan, time line, funding needs, and possible research partners that minimizes duplication with other public and private nonprofit organizations studying river herring fisheries issues in the State.
Allows the Division of Coastal Management of the Department of Environmental Quality and the State Property Office to negotiate with the federal government an agreement for the State to assume responsibility for acquiring dredged material easement sites appropriate for maintenance dredging of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway between Beaufort Inlet and the border with Virginia in exchange for the reduction in size and possible change in location of dredged material disposal easement sites currently held by the federal government. Sets out additional requirements for the agreement. Amends GS 143-215.73F to allow money in the The Shallow Draft Navigation Channel Dredging and Aquatic Weed Fund to be used to provide funding for siting and acquisition of dredged disposal easement sites associated with the maintenance of the Atlantic Intercoastal Waterway north of Beaufort Inlet and south of the Virginia border, under a memorandum of agreement between the states and federal government.
Recodifies GS 113-129(10a) as (10b) and enacts a new (10a) which establishes that the following are considered invasive species: brown tree snake, bullfrog, burmese python, coyote, European starling, feral swine, house sparrow, nutria, and red fox. Enacts new GS 113-292.1 requiring the Wildlife Resources Commission (Commission) to issue rules establishing open season and manner of take requirements in all counties of the state for all invasive species that the Commission determines to be game animals or birds. Requires the Commission to develop a program to encourage control of those invasive species that the Commission finds are not game animal or birds by State agencies, local governments, private landowners, hunters, and trappers. Repeals any local acts that conflict with the statute to the extent of the conflict.
Includes a severability clause.
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