Bill Summary for S 71 (2015-2016)

Summary date: 

May 25 2016

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2015-2016 Session
Senate Bill 71 (Public) Filed Wednesday, February 11, 2015
AN ACT TO: (1) REQUIRE A COAL COMBUSTION RESIDUALS IMPOUNDMENT OWNER TO PROVIDE PERMANENT ALTERNATIVE WATER SUPPLIES FOR RESIDENTS IN AREAS SURROUNDING COAL COMBUSTION RESIDUALS SURFACE IMPOUNDMENTS; (2) EXTEND THE PERIOD FOR PUBLIC COMMENT AND REVIEW OF PROPOSED RISK CLASSIFICATIONS FOR COAL COMBUSTION RESIDUALS SURFACE IMPOUNDMENTS; AND (3) MODIFY APPOINTMENTS TO THE COAL ASH MANAGEMENT COMMISSION, THE MINING COMMISSION, AND THE OIL AND GAS COMMISSION, IN ACCORD WITH THE HOLDING OF MCCRORY V. BERGER.
Intro. by Lee.

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Bill summary

House amendments make the following changes to the 2nd edition.

Amendment 1 amends GS 130A-309.202(b1)(6), GS 143B-291(a1)(7) and (8), and GS 143B-293.2(a1)(3) and (5), concerning the appointment of specific members to each respective commission, by replacing "member" with "representative" of a nongovernmental conservation interest in the descriptions of each individual to be appointed pursuant to those statutes. Makes conforming changes to the same statutes.

Amendment 2 enacts new subsection (g) to GS 130A-309.214, concerning closure of coal combustion residuals surface impoundments, to establish that, notwithstanding any other requirement for closure under the statute or Part IV of Article 9 of GS Chapter 130A (Coal Ash Management), no later than December 1, 2016, an impoundment owner must submit plans to the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ)  to make at least 2.5 million tons of coal combustion residuals per year available for beneficial use for addition to concrete. Also establishes that at least 50% of the coal combustion residuals made available for beneficial use must be removed from the current inventory of coal combustion residuals. Establishes that facilities that are or have received coal combustion residuals from other sites will be the sites from which coal combustion residuals inventory will be used first. Provides that, no later than June 1, 2018, an impoundment owner must begin to supply these coal combustion residuals for beneficial use in accordance with the new subsection (g).

Amendment 4, as amended by Amendment 6, makes the following changes to the language of the previous edition amending GS 130A-309.211(c1).

Changes the date that the owner of a coal combustion residuals surface impoundment must execute a memorandum of agreement or other binding agreement with the DEQ to establish permanent drinking water supplies for households, as specified, from June 1, 2017, to October 1, 2017. Specifies the households for which permanent drinking water supplies are to be established pursuant to subsection (c1) are (1) each household with a drinking water supply well for which sampling and water quality analysis indicates that the well exceeds federal drinking water standards or groundwater quality standards for constituents associated with the presence of the impoundment and (2) each household with a drinking water supply well that is located in an area in which contamination resulting from constituents associated with the presence of a coal combustion residuals impoundment is expected to migrate, as demonstrated by groundwater modeling, and hydrogeologic, geologic, and geotechnical investigations of the site, conducted pursuant to subsections (c) and (d) of GS 130A-309.214.

Adds that for a household for which a filtration system is installed pursuant to subsection (c1), the impoundment owner is responsible for periodic required maintenance of the filtration system. Changes the date by which an impoundment owner must submit the specified information on permanent replacement water supplies proposed to be provided to each household to the State Water Infrastructure Authority, from August 1, 2016, to September 1, 2017.

Establishes that projects involving permanent replacement water supplies in connection to public water supplies are to be deemed approved for that purpose. Establishes that nothing in the statute is to be construed to obviate the need for other federal, State, and local permits and approvals. Directs the DEQ to expedite any State permits and approvals required for the projects.

Amendment 5 makes changes to GS 130A-309.211(c1) as previously described in Amendments 4 and 6.

Amendment 5 also establishes that the funds appropriated to the Coal Ash Management Commission in Section 2(g) of the act is for the purpose of (1) funding the five receipt-supported positions created in the Division of Emergency Management of the Department of Public Safety, as created by the act; (2) executing contractual arrangements for engineering or other consulting services the Commission determines are necessary or advisable to render requisite information and expertise on coal ash management issues; or (3) otherwise supporting the Commission's work. Makes a technical change.

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