Bill Summary for S 734 (2013-2014)

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Summary date: 

May 29 2014

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2013-2014 Session
Senate Bill 734 (Public) Filed Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Intro. by Wade, B. Jackson, Brock.

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Bill summary

Senate amendments make the following changes to the 3rd edition.

Amendment #10 rewrites GS 150B-21.3A(d)(2) to clarify that any change in a readopted rule must be a "substantive change" in order to trigger the requirement in GS 150B-21.4 for the agency to prepare a fiscal note. Amends GS 150B-25.1(a) to provide that the petitioner in a contested case has the burden of proving the facts alleged in the petition by a preponderance of the evidence except as otherwise provided by law or by this section (was, except as provided by this section). Amends subsection (b) to provide that in a contested case involving the imposition of civil fines or penalties by a state agency for a violation of the law, the state agency has the burden of showing by a preponderance of the evidence that the person who was fined actually committed the act for which the fine or penalty was imposed. Also amends subsection (c) to make the standard for the burden of proof a showing by the state agency, by a preponderance of the evidence that a career state employee subject to GS Chapter 126 was discharged, suspended, or demoted for just cause.

Amendment #11 rewrites GS 110-86(2)(f) which exempts certain nonpublic schools as described in Part 2 of Article 39 of GS Chapter 115c from the definition for "child care." Provides that the exemption includes nonpublic schools with early childhood standards that operate a child care facility for more than six and one-half hours per day, but do not receive NC Pre-K or child care subsidy funding. Deletes language declaring that thesix and one-half hours per day requirement only relates to instructional hours and excludes before or after school programs.

Amendment #12

Amends proposed GS 106-678, concerning local government authority to regulate fertilizers, setting out new limitations that provide that none of the provisions in this section will prohibit DENR or the Environmental Management Commission (EMC) from enforcing water quality standards. Also provides that no provision can prohibit local governments or political subdivisions from adopting ordinances that regulate fertilizers with the intent to protect water quality, provided the ordinances have been approved by DENR or the Environmental Management Commission as part of a local plan or NPDES permit application, and do not exceed the State's minimum requirements to protect water quality.

Changes parts of the effective date clause for Section 3.4, concerning water supply watershed classifications, providing that this section is effective when it becomes law and applies to any petition for rule making regarding water supply watershed reclassification received by the EMC on or after January 1, 2013 and prior to January 1, 2014 (was, between January 1, 2012 up to the effective date of this section).

Amends GS 89D-13, regarding who is exempt from specified regulations concerning landscape contractor to no longer require any person or business licensed pursuant to Article 1 of Chapter 87 of the General Statutes who possesses a classification as a building contractor, a residential contractor, or a public utilities contractor to use the contractor's own employees to perform landscape construction or contracting.Also deletes the limitation that a public utilities contractor exempted by this subdivision may only perform specified activities.

Amendment #13

Enacts new GS 143, Article 80, titled Permit Choice, providing that if a permit applicant submits a permit for any type of development but a rule or ordinance changes between the time the permit application was submitted and the permit was granted, then the permit applicant can chose which version of the rule or ordinance will apply to the permit. Applies to all development permits issued by the State and local governments. Effective when it becomes law and applies to permits for which a permit decision has not been made by that date.

Amendment #14

Enacts new GS 8-58.62 to require an owner or operator of a facility who makes a voluntary disclosure of a violation of environmental laws discovered through performance of an environmental audit must be only entitled to exercise of the privilege or immunity established under this Part once in a two year period, not more than twice in a five year period, and not more than three times in a ten year period.

Amendment #15 makes the following changes.

Amends GS 150B-21.4 to provide that before an agency publishes in the North Carolina Register the proposed text of a permanent rule change that would require the expenditure or distribution of funds subject to the Budget Act, it must submit the text of the proposed rule change, an analysis of the proposed rule change, and a fiscal note on the proposed change to the Office of State Budget and Management. Requires submission of the text of the proposed rule change and a fiscal note to specified entities before an agency publishes in the North Carolina Register (was, before adopting) a permanent rule change that would affect the expenditures or revenues of a local government. Establishes the same requirements for adoption of permanent rules having a substantial economic impact that are not identical to a federal regulation the agency must adopt.

Amends GS 143-215.10J to amend the criteria to be met in order for any waste containment basin to be considered a fresh water storage facility meeting all requirements for closure to require that the basin be constructed before 2006 (was, before 1967), and to require that the only liquid currently entering the basin be from rainwater or rainwater runoff (previously, this requirement was only for basins that had not been used for the containment of dairy cattle waste after September 1, 2006).

Changes Part 7D, Environmental Audit Privilege and Limited Immunity, to Article 7D and makes conforming changes. Also amends the proposed statutes in this Article to correct the statutory numbering and make conforming corrections.

Adds that the changes in Section 3.23 of the act, increase certain penalties for taking of protected plants, become effective December 1, 2014, and applies to offenses committed on or after that date.

Makes all of the changes in Section 3.31, rewrite landscape contractor licensing statutes, effective August 1, 2015.

Corrections internal section references. Makes technical changes.

Amendment #16 amends GS 143-215.108 to clarify that nothing in the statute is to be interpreted to give the Commission or the Department the power to regulate the emissions from any combustion heater, appliance, or fireplace in private dwellings, except to the extent required by federal law.