Bill Summary for S 744 (2023-2024)

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Summary date: 

Apr 13 2023

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2023-2024 Session
Senate Bill 744 (Public) Filed Thursday, April 6, 2023
Intro. by Moffitt.

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Bill summary

Section 1

Requires the Wetlands Definition Rules to be implemented as follows. Restricts wetlands classified as waters of the State to waters of the United States as defined by 33 C.F.R. § 328.3 and 40 C.F.R. § 230.3. Requires the Environmental Management Commission (EMC) to adopt rules to amend the Wetland Definition Rules so that it is consistent with this provision. Sunsets this provision when the permanent rules become effective.

Section 2

Amends GS 143B-279.13, concerning the Department of Environmental Quality's (DEQ) express permit review program, as follows. Requires DEQ to issue or deny permits or certifications within the foll0wing processing days: 45 days for stormwater permits, stream origination certifications, and water quality certifications; 15 days for erosion and sedimentation control permits; and 60 days for Coastal Area Management Act permits. Deems a permit or certification as approved if DEQ fails to issue or deny the permit or certification within the following processing days: 90 days for stormwater permits, 60 days for stream origination certifications and water quality certifications, 30 days for erosion and sedimentation control permits, and 75 days for Coastal Area Management Act permits. Sets out criteria to be used when calculating processing days for purposes of these deadlines. Requires DEQ to return $1,000 of an application fee to an applicant for a permit or certification issued or denied beyond the number of processing days.

Amends GS 143-215.3D by amending the fee charged for a state stormwater permit, so that instead of a fee of $505, the fee varies as follows: $505 for a permit regulating stormwater runoff for a development of 5 acres or less, $555 for a permit regulating stormwater runoff for development greater than 10 acres and not exceeding 25 acres, and $625 for a permit regulating stormwater runoff for a development greater than 25 acres. Requires DEQ to return any amount in excess of $505 of the application fee to an applicant for a stormwater permit if the permit is not issued or denied within 90 processing days.

Section 3

Requires the EMC to implement the Fast-Track Stormwater Permit Rules as follows. Prohibits requiring field surveys and signed, sealed, and dated plans of the site layout and the stormwater collection system. Provides that if there is an increase in built-upon area or a change in SCM design from the permitted plans, the permit applicant does not have the burden of providing evidence to ensure that the proposed system complies with all applicable water quality standards and requirements. Prohibits a site inspection of the project. Requires final action on the permit application within 30 days of receipt of a complete as-built package. Requires the EMC to adopt a rule to amend the Fast-Track Stormwater Permit Rule consistent with these provisions. Expires when permanent rules become effective.