Bill Summary for S 729 (2013-2014)

Summary date: 

Jun 17 2014

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2013-2014 Session
Senate Bill 729 (Public) Filed Wednesday, May 14, 2014
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT TO (1) PROHIBIT RECOVERY OF COSTS RELATED TO UNLAWFUL DISCHARGES FROM COAL COMBUSTION RESIDUALS SURFACE IMPOUNDMENTS; (2) ESTABLISH A MORATORIUM ON CERTAIN RATE CASES; (3) CREATE THE COAL ASH MANAGEMENT COMMISSION TO REVIEW AND APPROVE COAL COMBUSTION RESIDUALS SURFACE IMPOUNDMENTS CLASSIFICATIONS AND CLOSURE PLANS AND OTHERWISE STUDY AND MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS ON LAWS GOVERNING MANAGEMENT OF COAL COMBUSTION RESIDUALS; (4) REQUIRE EXPEDITED REVIEW BY THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES OF ANY PERMIT NECESSARY TO CONDUCT ACTIVITIES REQUIRED BY THIS ACT; (5) ESTABLISH VARIOUS REPORTING REQUIREMENTS TO THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY, INCLUDING A QUARTERLY REPORT FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES ON ITS OPERATIONS, ACTIVITIES, PROGRAMS, AND PROGRESS WITH RESPECT TO ITS OBLIGATIONS UNDER THIS ACT FOR COAL COMBUSTION RESIDUALS SURFACE IMPOUNDMENTS; (6) PROHIBIT LOCAL GOVERNMENT REGULATION OF MANAGEMENT OF COAL COMBUSTION RESIDUALS OR COAL COMBUSTION PRODUCTS; (7) PROHIBIT CONSTRUCTION OF NEW OR EXPANSION OF EXISTING COAL COMBUSTION RESIDUALS SURFACE IMPOUNDMENTS EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 1, 2014; (8) PROHIBIT THE DISPOSAL OF COAL COMBUSTION RESIDUALS INTO COAL COMBUSTION RESIDUALS SURFACE IMPOUNDMENTS AT COAL-FIRED GENERATING UNITS THAT ARE NO LONGER PRODUCING COAL COMBUSTION RESIDUALS EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 1, 2014; (9) PROHIBIT DISPOSAL OF STORMWATER TO COAL COMBUSTION RESIDUALS SURFACE IMPOUNDMENTS EFFECTIVE DECEMBER 31, 2018; (10) REQUIRE ALL ELECTRIC GENERATING FACILITIES TO CONVERT TO GENERATION OF DRY FLY ASH ON OR BEFORE DECEMBER 31, 2017, AND DRY BOTTOM ASH ON OR BEFORE DECEMBER 31, 2020, OR RETIRE; (11) REQUIRE THE ASSESSMENT OF GROUNDWATER AT COAL COMBUSTION RESIDUALS SURFACE IMPOUNDMENTS; (12) REQUIRE CORRECTIVE ACTION FOR THE RESTORATION OF GROUNDWATER QUALITY AT COAL COMBUSTION RESIDUALS SURFACE IMPOUNDMENTS; (13) REQUIRE A SURVEY OF DRINKING WATER SUPPLY WELLS AND REPLACEMENT OF CONTAMINATED WATER SUPPLIES; (14) REQUIRE THE IDENTIFICATION, ASSESSMENT, AND CORRECTION OF UNPERMITTED DISCHARGES FROM COAL COMBUSTION RESIDUALS SURFACE IMPOUNDMENTS; (15) REQUIRE THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES TO, AS SOON AS PRACTICABLE, BUT NO LATER THAN DECEMBER 31, 2015, PRIORITIZE FOR THE PURPOSE OF CLOSURE AND REMEDIATION COAL COMBUSTION RESIDUALS SURFACE IMPOUNDMENTS, INCLUDING ACTIVE AND RETIRED SITES, BASED ON THESE SITES' RISKS TO PUBLIC HEALTH, SAFETY, AND WELFARE, THE ENVIRONMENT, AND NATURAL RESOURCES; (16) REQUIRE OWNERS OF COAL COMBUSTION RESIDUALS SURFACE IMPOUNDMENTS TO SUBMIT A PROPOSED PLAN FOR CLOSURE OF ALL IMPOUNDMENTS TO THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES; (17) REQUIRE CLOSURE AND REMEDIATION OF CERTAIN COAL COMBUSTION RESIDUALS SURFACE IMPOUNDMENTS AS SOON AS PRACTICABLE, BUT NO LATER THAN AUGUST 1, 2019; (18) REQUIRE THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES TO ESTABLISH A SCHEDULE AND PROCESS FOR CLOSURE AND REMEDIATION OF ALL COAL COMBUSTION RESIDUALS SURFACE IMPOUNDMENTS BASED UPON THE DEPARTMENT'S RISK ASSESSMENT OF THESE SITES, BASELINE REQUIREMENTS SET BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY, EVALUATION OF PROPOSED CLOSURE PLANS SUBMITTED BY IMPOUNDMENT OWNERS, AND INPUT FROM THE PUBLIC AND OTHER STAKEHOLDERS; (19) ESTABLISH MINIMUM STATUTORY REQUIREMENTS FOR STRUCTURAL FILL PROJECTS USING COAL COMBUSTION PRODUCTS AND REQUIRE THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES TO INVENTORY AND INSPECT CERTAIN STRUCTURAL FILL PROJECTS; (20) PLACE A MORATORIUM ON CERTAIN PROJECTS USING COAL COMBUSTION PRODUCTS AS STRUCTURAL FILL UNTIL AUGUST 1, 2015, AND DIRECT THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES AND THE ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT COMMISSION TO STUDY THE ADEQUACY OF CURRENT LAW GOVERNING USE OF COAL COMBUSTION PRODUCTS AS STRUCTURAL FILL AND FOR BENEFICIAL USE; (21) PLACE A MORATORIUM ON THE EXPANSION AND CONSTRUCTION OF COAL COMBUSTION RESIDUALS LANDFILLS UNTIL AUGUST 1, 2015, AND DIRECT THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES TO ASSESS THE RISKS TO PUBLIC HEALTH, SAFETY, AND WELFARE, THE ENVIRONMENT, AND NATURAL RESOURCES OF COAL COMBUSTION RESIDUALS SURFACE IMPOUNDMENTS LOCATED BENEATH THESE LANDFILLS TO DETERMINE THE ADVISABILITY OF CONTINUED OPERATION OF THESE LANDFILLS; (22) STRENGTHEN THE REPORTING AND NOTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS APPLICABLE TO DISCHARGES OF WASTEWATER TO WATERS OF THE STATE; (23) REQUIRE CERTAIN EMERGENCY CALLS TO BE RECORDED; (24) REQUIRE DEVELOPMENT OF EMERGENCY ACTION PLANS FOR HIGH AND INTERMEDIATE HAZARD DAMS AND AMEND OTHER DAM SAFETY LAW REQUIREMENTS APPLICABLE TO COAL COMBUSTION RESIDUALS SURFACE IMPOUNDMENTS; (25) TRANSFER SOLID WASTE RULE-MAKING AUTHORITY FROM COMMISSION FOR PUBLIC HEALTH TO ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT COMMISSION; (26) AMEND COMPLIANCE BOUNDARY PROVISIONS; (27) PROVIDE FOR VARIOUS STUDIES; (28) REQUIRE THE STATE CONSTRUCTION OFFICE AND THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION TO DEVELOP TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS FOR USE OF COAL COMBUSTION PRODUCTS; AND (29) PROVIDE RESOURCES FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF THIS ACT.
Intro. by Apodaca, Berger.

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Bill summary

Unless otherwise indicated, the Senate Committee substitute to the 1st edition deletes the provisions of the previous edition and adds the following provisions. 

Deletes the whereas clauses.

Part I.

Adds new Part I.

Enacts new GS 62-133.13 prohibiting the Utilities Commission from allowing an electric public utility from recovering from the customers costs that result from an unlawful discharge to the surface waters of the state from a coal combustion residuals surface impoundment, unless it is determined that the discharge was due to an event of force majeure (an event that cannot be reasonably anticipated or controlled). Effective when the act becomes law and applies to discharges occurring on or after January 1, 2014. Prohibits the Utilities Commission from issuing an order authorizing an electric public utility the recovery of any additional costs related to coal combustion residuals surface impoundments until the end of the moratorium. Prohibits the Utilities Commission from entering a final order granting an increase in base rates of an electric public utility for costs related to coal combustion residuals surface impoundments before January 15, 2015. 

Part II.

Adds new Part II.

Enacts new Part 2I, Coal Ash Management, in Article 9 of GS Chapter 130A, referred to as the Coal Ash Management Act of 2014. Sets out terms and their definitions. Establishes the nine member Coal Ash Management Commission, with members appointed by the General Assembly and Governor, as specified. Gives the Coal Ash Management Commission the power to (1) review and approve the classification of coal combustion residuals surface impoundments, (2) review and approve Coal Combustion Residuals Surface Impoundment Closure Plans, (3) review and make recommendations on the provisions of this Part and other statutes and rules related to managing coal combustion residuals, and (4) undertake any additional requested studies. Requires disclosure of potential conflicts of interest. Classifies members as covered persons for purposes of the State Government Ethics Act.  Members must be appointed no later than September 1, 2014.

Requires the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to act as expeditiously as practicable, but no later than the deadlines established in the new statute, to issue all permits necessary to conduct activities required by the Part. Requires DENR to determine whether an application for any necessary permit is complete within 30 days after receiving the application. Allows for applicants to cure deficiencies and specifies deadlines for final determinations as to whether an application is complete. Specifies deadlines and public hearing requirements for draft permit decisions and sets the deadline for issuing a final permit decision.

Requires DENR to submit quarterly written reports to the Environmental Review Commission (ERC) and the Coal Ash Management Commission (Commission) on issues related to DENR's obligations under this Part concerning coal combustion residuals surface impoundments. Specifies items to be included in the report. Requries DENR to report, by October 1 of each year, to each member of the General Assembly who has a coal combustion residuals surface impoundment in the member's district; specifies information to be included in the report. Requires a public utility generating coal coal combustion residuals and coal combustion products to submit an annual summary, by October 1 of each year, to DENR; specifies items that must be included in the summaries.

Invalidates all provisions of local ordinances that regulate or have the effect of regulating the management of coal combustion residuals and coal combustion products within the local government's jurisdiction, to the extent necessary to effectuate the purposes of this Part, that (1) place any restriction or condition not placed by this Part upon management of coal combustion residuals and coal combustion products within any county, city, or other political subdivisions or (2) conflict with, or are in any manner inconsistent with, the Part's provisions. Provides that if a local zoning or land use ordinance imposes requirements, restrictions, or conditions that are generally applicable to development, and coal combustion residuals and coal combustion products would be regulated under the ordinance of general applicability, the operator of the proposed activities may petition the Environmental Management Commission (EMC) to review the matter. Sets out petition hearing requirements. Provides that a local zoning or land use ordinance is presumed to be valid and enforceable to the extent that it imposes requirements, restrictions, or conditions that are generally applicable to development, unless the EMC makes a finding of fact to the contrary. Specifies findings that must be made before the EMC may preempt local ordinances and sets out the timeframe during which the preemption decision must be made. The EMC's decision is final unless a party to the action files a written appeal within 30 days of the decision. 

Adds a severability clause.

Requires the EMC to adopt rules necessary to implement the Part and makes the rules exempt from GS 150B-19.3 (limitation on certain environmental rules).

Prohibits the construction of new and expansion of existing coal combustion residuals surface impoundments on or after July 1, 2014. Prohibits, on or after October 1, 2014, the disposal of coal combustion residuals into a coal combustion residuals surface impoundment at an electric generating facility where the coal-fired generating units are no longer producing coal combustion residuals. Prohibits, on or after December 31, 2018, the discharge of stormwater into a coal combustion surface impoundment at an electric generating facility where the coal-fired generating units are no longer producing coal combustion residuals. Prohibits, on or after December 31, 2019, the discharge of stormwater into a coal combustion surface impoundment at an electric generating facility where the coal-fired generating units are actively producing combustion residuals. Requires that on or before December 31, 2018, all electric generating facilities owned by a public utility convert to the disposal of dry fly ash, or retire the facility. Requires that on or before December 31, 2019, all electric generating facilities owned by a public utility convert to the disposal of dry bottom ash, or retire the facility.

Requires the owner of a coal combustion residuals surface impoundment to conduct groundwater monitoring and assessment.  Requires owners, by December 31, 2014, to submit a proposed Groundwater Assessment Plan to DENR for approval. Requires that implementation of the plan begin no later than 10 days after it is approved. Also requires the owner to submit a Groundwater Assessment Report to DENR no later than 180 days after the plan is approved. Requires an owner to submit, no later than 90 days after submitting the Groundwater Assessment Report, a proposed Groundwater Corrective Action Plan to DENR for approval; specifies items that must be included in the action plan. Requires that the action plan implementation begin no later than 30 days from the approval of the action plan. Requires the owner of a coal combustion residuals surface impoundment to conduct, no later than October 1, 2014, a Drinking Water Supply Well Survey (Well Survey) that identifies all drinking water supply wells within one-half mile from the established compliance boundary of the impoundment. Directs that the Well Survey be submitted to DENR. Requires DENR to determine based on the Well Survey and no later than December 1, 2014, which drinking water supply wells the owner must sample, how frequently the samples must be taken, and for what time period the sampling must be done. Provides actions that may be taken by DENR and requirements that DENR may impose on the owners based on the sampling and water quality analysis results, including providing an alternate supply of drinking water. Requires the owner to submit, by January 31 of each year, an annual Groundwater Protection and Restoration Report that includes a summary of all groundwater monitoring, protection, and restoration activities related to the impoundment for the preceding year.

Requires, no later than December 31, 2014, the owner of a coal combustion residuals surface impoundment to submit to DENR a topographic map that identifies the location of (1) outfall from engineered channels designed for collecting water from the toe of the impoundment, and (2) seeps discharging from the impoundment that are not captured by engineered channels designed for collecting water from the toe of the impoundment. Sets out requirements for the topographic maps. Requires the owner of a coal combustion residuals surface impoundment to conduct an assessment of unpermitted discharges from the impoundment to the state's surface waters. Requires the owner to submit to DENR, no later than December 31, 2014, a proposed Unpermittted Discharge Assessment Plan; requires implementation of the plan no later than 30 days after approval. Requires DENR to notify an owner if it is determined than an unpermittted discharge from a coal combustion residuals surface impoundment has violated surface water quality standards. Requires an owner, no later than 30 days from the notification, to submit a proposed Unpermitted Discharge Corrective Action Plan to DENR; specifies items that must be included in the plan. Requires that the owner begin implementation of the Corrective Action Plan no later than 30 days after it is approved. Requires the owner of a coal combustion residuals surface impoundment to submit, no later than August 1, 2014, a proposed Plan for the Identification of New Unpermitted Discharges to DENR for approval. Species items that must be included in the Plan and requires implementation of the Identification Plan no later than 30 days after it is approved. Requires that an owner of a coal combustion residuals surface impoundment submit to DENR an annual Surface Water Protection and Restoration Report no later than January 31 of each year. The first report is due October 1, 2014.

Directs DENR, as soon as is practical but no later than August 1, 2015, to develop proposed classifications for all coal combustion residual surface impoundments, including active and retired sites, for the purpose of closure or remediation of the impoundments. Directs DENR to assess the risk of these sites to public health, safety, and welfare; the environment; and natural resources and requires DENR to determine a schedule for closure and required remediation based on the degree of risk from these sites. Authorizes DENR to request other information from the owner or operator of an impoundment which DENR deems relevant, and specifies factors that, at minimum, DENR should consider. Directs DENR to issue a proposed classification for each impoundment based upon the assessment, classifying the impoundments as low-risk, intermediate-risk, or high-risk. Requires the Secretary of the Environment and Natural Resources (Secretary) to issue a written declaration that includes findings of fact and documents the proposed classification within 30 days after a proposed classification has been issued. Requires that DENR make copies of the written declaration issued under this section available for inspection and specifies that copies should be provided to the local health director, posted on DENR’s web site, and placed at the local public library and other locations to ensure accessibility to the public. Provides that before a final classification of an impoundment is issued, DENR must give notice of the intent to issue the written declaration. Specifies timeframe for posting notice and guidelines governing the posting of notice via differing mediums. Requires DENR to hold a public meeting to explain the written declaration to the public no later than 60 days after the issuance of the written declaration. Provides that the public meeting is to be held in the county or counties in which the site is located. Also specifies timelines to allow receipt of written comment on the declaration. Requires the Department to submit a proposed classification to the Commission within 30 days of receiving all written comments. Provides that the Commission may only approve the classification if it is determined that the classification was developed in accordance with the statute and that the classification accurately reflects the level of risk posed by the impoundment. The classification is deemed approved if the Commission fails to act within 60 days.

Requires an owner of a coal combustion residuals surface impoundment to submit a proposed Coal Combustion Residuals Surface Impoundment Closure Plan for DENR's approval. Specifies requirements and closure deadlines that apply to the plans depending on the impoundment's risk classification. High-risk impoundments must be closed by December 31, 2019, intermediate-risk impoundments by December 31, 2024, and low-risk impoundments by December 31, 2029. Further specifies items that must be included in the Closure Plan. Requires DENR to review the Closure Plan for consistency with the requirements as to whether the Plan is protective of public health, safety and welfare; the environment; and natural resources. Requires that DENR, before issuing a decision on the Closure Plan, make copies of the Closure Plan available to specified entities and in specific public places; give notice as specified in the act; and conduct a public meeting no later than 60 days after receiving the Closure Plan. Specifies timeframes within which comments are allowed. Requires DENR to disapprove a Closure Plan unless DENR finds that the Closure Plan is protective of public health, safety, and welfare, the environment, and natural resources, and otherwise complies with this Part. Allows the person submitting the Closure Plan to seek review as provided under Article 3 (Administrative Hearings) of GS Chapter 150B if DENR disapproves the plan. Requires DENR to submit an approved Closure Plan to the Commission within 30 days of approval. Provides that the Commission may approve the Closure Plan only if it determines that the plan was developed in accordance with the statute; that the implementation of the plan according to the plan's schedule is technology feasible; and that the benefits to public health, safety, and welfare; the environment; and natural resources outweigh the negative impacts on electricity costs and reliability. If the Commission does not act within 60 days, the Closure Plan is deemed approved. Allows for appeals of the Commissions' final decision as provided under Article 4 (Judicial Review) of GS Chapter 150B. Requires the owner to begin implementation of the approved plan as soon as practicable, but no later than 60 days after approval. 

Deletes Part IX of the previous edition (temporary moratorium on structural fill).

Provides that projects using coal combustion products as structural fill involving the placement of less than 10,000 tons of coal combustion products per acre or less than 100,000 tons of products in total per project which proceed in compliance with the statute and related rules are deemed permitted. Requires receiving an individual permit from DENR for projects using coal combustion residuals as structural fill involving the placement of 10,000 or more tons of coal combustion products per acre, or 100,000 or more tons of products in total per project. Specifies information that must be submitted to DENR at least 60 days before initiation of a proposed project using coal combustion products as structural fill.

Sets out specific requirements for the design, construction, and operation of structural fill sites. Requires projects involving placement of 10,000 or more tons of coal combustion products per acre or 100,000 or more tons of product in total per project to have an encapsulation liner system. Sets out requirements for the liner system.

Requires applicants for projects  to construct or operate a structural fill for projects involving placement of 10,000 or more tons of coal combustion products per acre or 100,000 or more tons of product in total per project to establish financial assurance that will ensure that sufficient funds are available for facility closure, post-closure maintenance and monitoring, any corrective action required, and to satisfy any potential liability for accidents and subsequent costs incurred by DENR in responding to an incident. Specifies several ways in which the sufficient availability of funds may be established. Requires a permit holder to maintain financial responsibility and provide any requested information in order to continue to hold a permit for a structural fill.

Requires the final cover to be applied over the coal combustion product placement area no later than 30 working or 60 calendar days, whichever is less, after coal combustion product placement has stopped. Specifies other requirements that must be met when the project has closed. Specifies additional closure and post-closure requirements for projects involving placement of 10,000 or more tons of coal combustion products per acre or 100,00 or more tons of product in total per project, and requires that post-closure care be conducted for 20 years.

Requires the owner of land where coal combustion products have been used in volumes of more than 1,000 cubic yards to file a statement of the volume and locations of the coal combustion residuals with the register of deeds in the county where the property is located. Specifies items that must be included in the statement and the process for recordation. 

Allows DENR and the Department of Transportation (DOT) to agree on specific design, construction, siting, operation, and closure criteria that may apply to DOT structural fill projects.

Requires DENR to prepare, by July 1, 2015, an inventory of all structural fill projects with a volume of 10,000 cubic yards or more. Requires DENR to inspect those projects at least annually for compliance with laws related to construction and operation of the project or facility.

Despite the new statutes, classifies the following coal combustion residuals surface impoundments as high-risk and requires that they be closed as soon as practicable, but no later than August 1, 2019: (1) impoundments located at the Dan River Steam Station, operated by Duke Energy Carolinas, located in Rockingham County; (2) impoundments located at the Riverbend Steam Station, operated by Duke Energy Carolinas, located in Gaston County; (3) impoundments located at the Asheville Steam Electric Generating Plant, operated by Duke Energy Progress, located in Buncombe County; and (4) impoundments located at the Sutton Plant, operated by Duke Energy Carolinas, located in New Hanover County. Requires that these impoundments be dewatered; that all coal combustion residuals be removed from the impoundments and transferred for disposal in specified types of landfills or used in a structural fill or any other legal, beneficial use; and requires corrective action to restore groundwater quality to be implemented where groundwater quality is degraded as a result of the impoundment.

Deletes the proposed changes to GS 130A-290(a)(35) and GS 143-213(18) and instead amends GS 130A-290 by replacing the term combustion products with coal combustion residuals and the term combustion products landfill with coal combustion residuals landfill. Adds that coal combustion residuals does not include coal combustion products as defined in GS 130A-309.201. Amends the term "open dump" to mean any facility or site where solid waste is disposed of that is not a sanitary landfill and that is not a coal combustion residuals surface impoundment or a facility for the disposal of hazardous waste. Amends the term "solid waste" to add that the term includes coal combustion residuals.  

Part III.

Prohibits the use of coal combustion products, as structural fill until August 1, 2015, in order to allow DENR, EMC, and the General Assembly time to review and evaluate the use of coal combustion residuals as structural fill. Allows coal combustion products to be used as structural fill for (1) projects where the fill is used with a base liner, leachate collection system, cap liner, groundwater monitoring system and where the constructor or operator establishes financial assurance, or (2) as the base or sub-base of a concrete or asphalt paved road constructed under the authority of a public entity. Requires DENR and the EMC to review subpart 3 (use of coal combustion products in structural fill) of Part 2I and 15A NCAC 13B .1701, et seq. Specifies activities that must be included in the review and requires a report to the ERC by January 15, 2015. Requires all electric generating facilities owned by a public utility producing coal combustion residuals and coal combustion products to issue a request for proposals on or before December 31, 2014 for (1) the conduct of a market analysis for the concrete industry and others that might beneficially use coal combustion residuals and coal combustion products; (2) study the feasibility and advisability of installation of technology to convert existing and newly generated coal combustion residuals to commercial grade coal combustion products suitable for use in the concrete industry and others; and (3) an examination of all innovative technologies that might be applied to diminish, recycle or reuse, or mitigate the impact of coal combustion residuals. Requires all electric general facilities to present the material and formation received and an assessment of that information to the EMC and the Commission by August 1, 2016.

Establishes a moratorium on the construction of new or expansion of existing coal combustion residuals landfills. Requires DENR to evaluate each coal combustion residuals landfills currently operating in the state and assess specified risks of coal combustion residuals surface impoundments located beneath coal combustion residuals landfills to determine the advisability of continued operation. Requires a report to the ERC no later than January 15, 2015.

Part IV. 

Part includes language from Section 1 of the previous edition with the following changes.

Amends the caption of GS 143-215.1C. Amends proposed GS 143-215.1C (a1) to specify that the discharge reporting requirements apply to owners or operators that have been issued a permit. Requires reporting a discharge of 1,00 gallons or more of untreated wastewater to the state's surface waters to DENR within 24 hours after determining that the discharge has reached the surface waters (was, 1,00 galls or more of untreated wastewater or wastewater containing coal combustion products, or a spill of any amount of untreated wastewater or wastewater containing coal combustion products that reaches waters of the state). Makes conforming changes and deletions in (b) of the statute. Also deletes language adding requirements concerning notice to counties immediately downstream. Makes the changes to GS 143-215.1C effective September 1, 2014. Amends GS 166A-19.12 to require recording all calls to the 24 hour Operations Center emergency hotline and requires keeping the recordings for at least one year.

Part V.

Amends proposed changes to GS 143-215.27 to specify that emergency repairs to dams may be started immediately (was, all repairs); makes conforming changes.

Deletes proposed GS 143-215.31(f) and instead proposes (a1), which does the following. Requires the owner of a high hazard dam or an intermediate hazard dam to develop an Emergency Action Plan, which must be submitted within 90 days of classification to DENR and to the Department of Public Safety for approval. Sets out four items that must be included in the Action Plan. Requires the Action Plan to be updated annually. Requires information in the Action Plan that constitutes sensitive public security information to be maintained as confidential information and provides that it is not subject to disclosure under the Public Records Act. Requires that Actin Plans be submitted by October 1, 2015.

Instead of repealing SL 2009-390 Section 3(b), amends Section 3(b) to provide that any impoundments or other facilities that were in use January 1, 2010, in connection with nonnuclear electric generating facilities under the Utilities Commission's jurisdiction, and that were exempted under GS 143-215.25A(f) before January 1, 2010, are deemed to have received all of the necessary approvals from DENR and the Commission for Safety.

Amends GS 143-215.32 to delete proposed (e) and (f) and instead moves those provisions into new (a1) with the following changes. Specifies that the owner of a coal combustion residuals surface impoundment must conduct the weekly impoundment inspection. Amends the inspection requirements to include erosion or enlarged seeps on structures. Also requires inspection for any other abnormal conditions at the impoundment that could pose (was, may pose) a risk to public health, safety or welfare, the environment, or natural resources (was, health or safety risk). Requires that observed conditions be documented with DENR and a registered professional engineer. Requires the engieer to investigate the condition, and if necessary, develop a plan of corrective action. Requires the owner to provide documentation of the completed corrective action to DENR.  Adds the requirement that DENR inspect, at least annually, each dam associated with a coal combustion residuals surface impoundment. Makes clarifying changes to the requirement that impoundments be inspected annually by an independent registered professional engineer.

Deletes the appropriation to DENR.

Part VI.

Adds new Part 6, which amends various sections of GS Chapter 130A, with the purpose of transferring all rule-making authority regarding solid and hazardous waste management from the Commission for Public Health to the EMC. Makes technical and conforming changes throughout GS Chapter 130A.

Part VII.

Adds new Part 7, requiring the Commission to study whether and under what circumstances no further action or natural attenuation is appropriate for coal combustion residual surface impoundments classified as low-risk. Directs the commission to consider (1) whether there is any contact or interaction between coal combustion residuals and groundwater or surface water, (2) whether the area has reverted to a natural state, as evidenced by wildlife and vegetation, and (3) whether no further action or natural attenuation would be protective of public health, safety, and welfare; the environment; and natural resources. Results of the study, and any recommendations, are to be submitted to the ERC no later than October 1, 2015.

Also requires the DOT to evaluate additional opportunities for the use of coal combustion residuals in constructing and maintaining roads and bridges in NC. Results and recommendations are to be submitted to the ERC no later than December 1, 2014.

Part VIII.

Adds new Part 8 enacting new GS 62-301.1, regulatory fee for combustion residual surface impoundments, establishing a new regulatory fee in order to defray costs to NC for coal combustion residuals oversight. Provides that this fee is in addition to the regulatory fee imposed by GS 62-302 and the collected fees can only be used to pay expenses incurred by the Commission and DENR in providing oversight of coal combustion residuals. The is set at 0.03% of the jurisdictional revenues of public utilities with an impoundment. Sets out schedule for when fees are to be submitted.  Creates the Coal Combustion Residuals Management Fund.

Appropriates $1.75 million to DENR from the Coal Combustion Residuals Management Fund to fund 25 new positions to carry out oversight of coal combustion products and coal combustion residuals. Appropriates remaining funds after the above appropriation to the Commission to fund 4 new positions to support the Commission. Specifies the assignment of the new positions.

Part IX.

Adds new Part 9, a severability clause, providing that if any part is held to be invalid, such invalidity does not affect other provisions of the bill.

Unless otherwise indicated, effective when the act becomes law.

 

Makes conforming changes to the act’s title.

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