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  • Summary date: Apr 4 2011 - View Summary

    Enacts new Article 5 of GS Chapter 159G establishing the North Carolina Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Authority (Authority). Locates the Authority in the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for administrative purposes. Provides definitions for the following as they apply in the proposed Article: (1) Authority means the NC Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Authority established in new GS 159G-71; (2) Commission means the State Water Infrastructure Commission; and (3) Strategic plan means the statewide strategic plan for the state's water and wastewater infrastructure developed by the Commission. Provides for 12 members with four members each appointed to the Authority by the Governor, the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Provides guidelines and criteria for initial appointments, terms, member qualifications, selection of a chair, filling of vacancies, and meeting other organizational needs of the Authority. Declares that the purpose of the Authority is to administer the state's funding for water and wastewater infrastructure projects. Identifies the duties of the Authority including awarding grants and loans for water and wastewater systems and implementing and maintaining the strategic plan for the State's water and wastewater infrastructure developed by the Commission after the plan is approved by the General Assembly. Requires the chair of the Authority to report each year by January 1 to the Joint Legislative Commission on Governmental Operations, the Environmental Review Commission, the Subcommittees on Natural and Economic Resources of the House of Representatives and Senate Appropriations Committees, and the Fiscal Research Division of the General Assembly regarding the implementation of the Authority's duties under proposed GS 159G-72. Includes specifications regarding the content of the report. Directs the Authority to appoint an Executive Director (ED), provides for hiring of clerical and other assistance as necessary by the ED, and provides criteria regarding compensation for the ED. Requires any state agency or other entity receiving state or federal funds to fund state water or wastewater infrastructure to cooperate with the Authority in using and disbursing those funds pursuant to the strategic plan. Directs the Department of Commerce to notify the Authority of grants and loan guarantees that it awards under GS 143B-431(d) for waste and wastewater infrastructure under the Community Development Block Grant program and of funds provided for water and wastewater infrastructure projects from the Industrial Development Fund established in GS 143B-437.01. Under current law, GS 113A-253.1(a), the General Assembly appropriates $100 million from the General Fund to the Clean Water Management Trust Fund each calendar year. Amends GS 113A-253.1(a) to provide that $25 million of the funds appropriated under this section are to be transferred annually to the Water Infrastructure Fund established in GS 159G-22 to be used in accordance with GS Chapter 159G. Transfers the Construction Grants and Loans Section of the Division of Water Quality and the Financial Services Unit in the Public Water Supply Section of the Division of Environmental Health from DENR to the Authority. Requires the Authority and the Rural Economic Development Center to develop a transition plan for the transfer of the Clean Water Partners Program and the water and wastewater portion of the Economic Infrastructure Program currently operated by the Rural Economic Development Center and program funds to the Authority by July 1, 2012. Amends GS 113A-253 and GS 113A-254 to provide that the Clean Water Management Trust Fund will not fund wastewater projects. Repeals Article 4 of GS Chapter 159G (established the State Water Infrastructure Commission). Amends GS 159G-30 to move the responsibility for administering loans and grants made from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund, the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, the Wastewater Reserve, and the Drinking Water Reserve from DENR to the Authority. Amends GS 159G-32 to authorize the Authority (was, DENR) to make loans and grants from the Wastewater Reserve for certain specified projects and to make loans and grants from the Drinking Water Reserve for public water system projects. Makes additional conforming changes to GS Chapter 159G-20, through159G-26, 159G-30, 159G-32 through 159G-35, and 159G-37 through 159G-44. Effective July 1, 2012.