Bill Summary for S 648 (2019-2020)
|View NCGA Bill Details||2019-2020 Session|
AN ACT TO PROVIDE FURTHER SUPPORT TO THE SHELLFISH AQUACULTURE INDUSTRY IN NORTH CAROLINA.Intro. by Sanderson, Rabon.
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Senate committee substitute to the 1st edition makes the following changes.
Makes organizational changes.
Now requires shellfish leases to be terminated unless they comply with the following: (1) franchises and shellfish bottom leases must be terminated unless they produce at least 20 bushels rather than 40 bushels of shellfish per acre or the holder of the lease purchases 23,000 shellfish seed per acre annually rather than 45,000 and plants at least 15,000 shellfish seed per acre annually rather than 30,000 and (2) water column leases must be terminated unless they produce at least 50 bushels of shellfish per acre rather than 100 or the holder of the lease purchases at least 23,000 shellfish seed per acre annually rather than 45,000.
Amends GS 113-202(n) to authorize the Secretary of the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to, upon termination of any leasehold, make the bottom available for a new lease application for a period of 18 months, designate the bottom as a Shellfish Aquaculture Enterprise Area, or make the bottom open to the public for use in accordance with applicable laws and rules governing the use of general public grounds (previously, final termination of any leasehold threw open the bottom in question to the public for use in accordance with applicable laws). Requires former leaseholders to remove abandoned gear within 30 days of final termination of the leasehold (previously limited requirement to markers), and allows the State to remove abandoned gear after 10 days' notice to the owner and charge the owner for the cost. Amends subsection (a), which sets forth minimum standards for suitable areas for the production of shellfish to allow the area leased to contain a natural shellfish bed as provided in subsection (n), as amended. Applies to leases terminated on or after July 1, 2019.
Sunsets the proposed moratorium on new shellfish cultivation leases and new water column leases for aquaculture in the specified waters in the New Hanover County areas on July 1, 2021. Modifies the specified waters' metes and bounds description.
Sunsets the proposed moratorium on new shellfish cultivation leases and new water column leases for aquaculture in the specified waters in Bogue Sound on July 1, 2021.
Specifies that the proposed changes to GS 143B-289.57 (requiring the Marine Fisheries Commission to appoint a three-member Shellfish Cultivation Lease Review Committee to hear appeals of decisions made by the Secretary regarding shellfish cultivation leases) and GS 113-202(g) (regarding contesting shellfish cultivation lease decisions) apply to decisions of the Secretary made on or after July 1, 2019.
Directs the Division of Marine Fisheries and the Marine Fisheries Commission to study how to reduce user conflict related to shellfish cultivation leases by January 1, 2020, and adopt rules and reform internal operating procedures consistent with the study's findings by March 1, 2021.
Directs the NC Coastal Federation (Federation) to study a low-interest loan program to provide start-up and expansion capital to shellfish growers in state waters. Details required elements of the study, including investigating and recommending optimal loan terms and limitations on loan amounts and uses. Allows the Federation to use administrative funds provided under SL 2018-5 for the crab pot cleanup program to conduct the study. Directs the Federation to report to the specified NCGA committee and division by March 15, 2020.
Directs the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to study crop insurance and other risk of loss mitigation and protection programs available to persons engaging in shellfish aquaculture in the state. Details required components of the study, including identifying options for insurance or other risk protection programs subsidized or underwritten by the State and whether the option would provide sufficient spread of risk to be an actuarially sound investment of public funds. Requires the DACS to report to the specified NCGA committee and division by November 1, 2020.