AN ACT TO PROVIDE REGULATORY RELIEF TO THE AGRICULTURAL COMMUNITY OF NORTH CAROLINA BY PROVIDING FOR VARIOUS TRANSPORTATION AND ENVIRONMENTAL REFORMS AND BY MAKING VARIOUS OTHER STATUTORY CHANGES.
Senate committee substitute makes the following changes to the 1st edition.
Amends the long title.
Amends the section concerning oversize vehicle permits pursuant to 19A NCAC 02D .0607, making technical and clarifying changes.
Deletes proposed changes made to GS 20-119(g) concerning the permitting of overwidth vehicles carrying baled hay. Amends GS 20-116 to provide that the DOT must issue annual overwidth permits for vehicles, no wider than 12 feet, carrying baled hay from place to place on the same farm, from one farm to another, or from farm to market or vice versa. Provides that vehicles that exceed 10 feet in width must (1) be operated during daylight hours only and (2) must display a red flag or flashing warning lights on both the rear and front end of the vehicle as specified.
Amends GS 20-146 concerning the operation of vehicles on the right side of highways, adding subsection (a1) that provides that self-propelled grain combines or other self-propelled farm equipment must be operated to the right of center line except as provided for in GS 20-116(j)(4).
Amends the definition of an agricultural spreader vehicle found in GS 20-51, providing that it is a vehicle designed for off-highway use to spread feed, fertilizer, seed, lime, or other agricultural products (previously, off-highway vehicle used to spread fertilizer, seed, lime, or other agricultural products on a field). Adds language exempting all-terrain vehicles or utility vehicles from registration and titling requirements when used for agricultural purposes.
Amends GS 20-118(c)(12) concerning specified road weight limitation exceptions for vehicles, providing that the limitations as specified do not apply to certain vehicles that transport within 150 miles of the point of origination agriculture, dairy, and crop products from a farm to a processing plant or market (was, agriculture and crop products) or feed or feed ingredients (was, feed only) from a storage or holding facility to a farm or mill. Also provides that the exception for vehicles carrying water, fertilizer, pesticides, seeds, fuel, or animal waste from a farm does not require that the above items be transported in a farm vehicle defined as specified. Effective July 1, 2015.
Amends proposed GS Chapter 63, Article 11, Marking and Notice of Meteorological Towers, making technical changes and providing that the required database containing location information about meteorological towers must be established and maintained by January 1, 2017 (was, January 1, 2016) and be made available on the Department of Transportation's website. Deletes provision which exempted towers constructed prior to the effective date of the Article. Amends the definition of height in GS 63-110.
Amends GS 105-277.2, concerning definitions for agriculture, horticulture, and forestland, deleting language from the definition for individually owned which provided for a rebuttal of the presumption that a principal business of an applicant is farming agricultural land, horticultural land, or forestland. Instead allows the presumption to be rebutted but provides that it has no bearing on the determination of whether the land meets one of the classes. If the presumption is rebutted, it does not invalidate the determination that the principal business is the specified type of land in the other county.
Amends the effective date for the proposed changes to in Section 11 of the bill concerning present use value modifications, making a clarifying change and providing that except as specified the remainder of Section 11 (amending GS 103-277.4) is effective when it becomes law.
Amends the catchline of proposed GS 121-39A, concerning the termination of a conservation agreement to Termination or substantial modification of agreements (was, Termination of agreements).
Amends GS 106-737.1, Revocation of conservation agreement, providing that a conservation agreement between private parties can be revoked by written notice to the county and adds a provisions providing that conservation agreements where at least one party is a public body of NC can be revoked in accordance with the procedure set forth in GS 121-39A.
Amends GS 106-743.2, concerning conservation agreements for farmland, adding a provision providing that a notice of termination of a conservation agreement pursuant to this section will not trigger the procedure set forth in GS 121-39A.
Amends GS 106-744 concerning agricultural conservation easements, deleting language which provided an exception to the perpetual duration of an agricultural conservation easement after at least 20 years.
Amends the effective date for Section 12 of the bill, providing that proposed GS 121-39A(c) is effective July 1, 2015, applying to conservation agreements executed on or after that date, with the remainder of the section becoming effective July 1, 2015, applying to agreements in effect on that date and executed on or after that date.
Amends GS 106-549.97 concerning regulations regarding farmed cervids, making clarifying changes. Also provide that the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services can issue new captivity licenses or permits for farmed cervid facilities only if Chronic Wasting Disease-susceptible source animals are from a certified herd from an existing licensed facility. Adds that until the USDA has adopted an approved method of testing for Chronic Wasting Disease in living cervids, no cervids susceptible to Chronic Wasting Disease can be imported into North Carolina.
Deletes Section 13 (concerning the enforcement of certain air quality standards) and Section 15(a) (concerning modifications to the burning act) from the bill.
Amends GS 106-950 concerning fires that are exempt from open fire regulations, providing that the regulations do not apply and no air quality permit can be required under specified conditions. Adds to the exemptions the burning of polyethylene agricultural plastic used in connection with specified agricultural operations when conducted as quickly as possible and in a way that minimizes total emissions.
Amends Section 21 of SL 2013-413 no longer requiring that the term new animal waste management include a system serving a feedlot that has been abandoned or unused for a period of four years or more and is then put back into service. Requires the Environmental Management Commission to revise its permanent rule on Swine Waste Management System Performance Standards so that it applies to any farm that received a permit for its animal waste management system that allows a level of production at the farm greater than the largest production for which the farm has received a permit in the past and so that they also apply to any other animal waste management system otherwise subject to regulation under GS 143-215.10I. Sets out eight conditions providing that when all the conditions are met the facility is exempt from the Swine Waste Management System Performance Standards, including that the system depopulated after January 1, 2005, and ceased operation no longer than 10 years prior to the current date and that the system was in compliance with individual or general permits issued under GS 143-215.10C prior to the time the system ceased operation.
Enacts new GS 143-215.10U, Use of animal waste for energy production; nuisance, providing that animal waste management systems can be certified as an energy-producing animal operation if it meets four specified criteria including that it is an animal operation or dry litter poultry facility subject to a permit under GS 143-215.10C for the operation of an animal waste management system and that it is a renewable energy facility that generates energy through the use of swine or poultry waste as specified. Exempts certified energy-producing animal operations from being considered a nuisance in regards to the odor. Effective December 1, 2015. Directs the Environmental Management Commission (EMC) to adopt rules for the establishment of a certification program to implement the statute. Requires the EMC to revise their rules to prohibit determining an odor to be objectionable from a certified energy-producing animal operation.
Amends GS 74-49 concerning the definition of mining in regards to agricultural activities, making technical and organizational changes. Also add, for the purposes of this Article, that mining means the excavation or grading when solely conducted for activities on agricultural land that are exempt from the requirements of GS Chapter 113A, Article 4.
Amends GS 68-20 concerning the holding and advertising period for unclaimed livestock, impounded for running at large, providing that if the owner does not redeem the livestock within the timeframe specified, then the impounder must notify the sheriff's office and the sheriff must then post a notice and description of the livestock, stating the place, date, and hour of sale on the sheriff's department website. After 10 days from that posting, the impounder must sell the livestock at public auction. If the owner of livestock remains unknown, then three days after the publication of the notice required by GS 68-18.1, the impounder must notify the sheriff's office and the sheriff must then post a notice and description of the livestock, stating the place, date, and hour of sale on the sheriff's department website. After 10 days from such posting the impounder must sell the livestock at public auction.
Amends GS 106-968, concerning prescribed burning making clarifying changes.
Amends GS 18B-902(d) concerning ABC permits, establishing a farm winery permit for $150 and a farm winery on-premises unfortified wine permit for $100. Amends GS 18B-1001, adding and defining the Farm winery on-premises unfortified wine permit to the list of current of allowable ABC permits. Amends GS 18B-1100, concerning commercial permits, adding the farm winery permit to the list of commercial permits. Enacts GS 18B-1103A, Authorization of farm winery permit, providing that wineries that produce at least 75% of their wine from honey, grapes, or other fruit or grain grown in NC can obtain a farm winery permit. Includes provisions which allow the Commissioner of Agriculture to authorize the manufacturing of wine produced from grapes grown outside of NC in certain specified circumstances. Sets out a list of 10 authorized acts that a holder of a farm winery permit is permitted to do. Amends GS 18B-1112, Authorization of vendor representative permit; 18B-1114.1, Authorization of winery special event permit; and 18B-1201, definitions for the Article concerning wine distribution agreements, making conforming changes adding the farm winery permit to those provisions. Effective July 1, 2016.
Directs the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to study ways to promote NC farm wineries, with a report on its findings to be submitted to the Agriculture and Forestry Awareness Study Commission no later than February 1, 2016. Effective when the bill becomes law.
Amends GS 106-24.1 making clarifying changes to provide that the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services cannot disclose USDA-generated information received that is confidential under federal law (previously stated that all information received pursuant to the specified provisions must be held in confidence by the Department).
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