AN ACT TO (1) MAINTAIN THE CONFIDENTIALITY OF ENVIRONMENTAL INVESTIGATIONS FOR AGRICULTURAL OPERATIONS AND DIRECT THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES TO ADOPT RULES FOR A FORMAL COMPLAINT PROCEDURE; (2) CLARIFY THE AUTHORITY OF LOCAL GOVERNMENTS TO ADOPT ORDINANCES RELATED TO FERTILIZER; (3) REWRITE THE LANDSCAPE CONTRACTOR LICENSING STATUTES; (4) STUDY THE STATE'S PARTICIPATION IN THE COMMERCIAL VEHICLE SAFETY ALLIANCE NORTH AMERICAN STANDARD INSPECTION PROGRAM; (5) CLARIFY THE MEANING OF THE TERMS "PLANTING AND HARVESTING SEASON" AND "PLANTING AND HARVESTING PERIOD" FOR PURPOSES OF APPLYING FEDERAL LAWS OR REGULATIONS RELATING TO HOURS OF SERVICE RULES FOR CERTAIN DRIVERS TRANSPORTING AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS; (6) AMEND THE CHAIRMANSHIP OF THE AGRICULTURE AND FORESTRY AWARENESS STUDY COMMISSION; (7) ALLOW THE COMMISSIONER OF AGRICULTURE TO APPOINT LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS TO CARRY OUT THE LAW ENFORCEMENT RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND CONSUMER SERVICES; (8) AMEND THE HORSE INDUSTRY PROMOTION ACT; (9) ALLOW THE USE OF PESTICIDES TO CONTROL MOLES; (10) CLASSIFY TRESPASSING ON AN AGRICULTURAL FACILITY AS A FIRST DEGREE TRESPASS; (11) REQUIRE WRITTEN CONSENT TO OPERATE AN ALL-TERRAIN VEHICLE ON PROPERTY OWNED BY ANOTHER; (12) ALLOW DRAINAGE DISTRICTS TO MAINTAIN DITCHES IN BUFFER ZONES; (13) CLARIFY PERIODIC INSPECTIONS AUTHORITY OF THE NORTH CAROLINA HOUSING FINANCE AGENCY; (14) PERMIT SECURITY GRILLES AT ALL EXITS OF A BUILDING SUBJECT TO CERTAIN CONDITIONS; (15) DESIGNATE THE "GOT TO BE NC" MARKETING CAMPAIGN AS THE OFFICIAL AGRICULTURAL MARKETING CAMPAIGN FOR THE STATE; (16) ALLOW CERTIFICATION OF PRIVATE PESTICIDE APPLICATORS; AND (17) EXEMPT STATE FAIR ADMISSION FEES FROM RULE MAKING. Enacted August 6, 2014. Effective August 6, 2014, except as otherwise provided.
Summary date: Aug 14 2014 - More information
Summary date: Jul 24 2014 - More information
The conference report to the 5th edition makes the following changes.
Makes clarifying changes in GS 143-215.9D.
Amends GS 89D-13 to provide that the Chapter (Landscape Contractors) does not apply to any landscaping work where the price of all contracts for labor, material, and other items for a given job site during any consecutive 12 month period is less than $30,000 (was, less than $25,000).
Makes technical changes to GS 89D-17 and to the provision concerning members serving on the NC Landscape Contractors' Registration Board on the effective date of the act.
Requires the Department of Public Safety to submit its report on the study of the state's participation in the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance North American Standard Inspection Program for roadside commercial vehicle safety inspections on or before February 1, 2015 (was, November 1, 2014).
Amends GS 120-150, creating the Agriculture and Forestry Awareness Study Commission to delete proposed changes to Commission membership. Reinstates the deleted provision naming the chairs of the House Agriculture Committee and the chairs of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Environment, and Natural Resources as cochairs. Allows the President Pro Tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives to each appoint an additional member of each chamber to serve as cochair; if appointed, these cochairs are voting members of the Commission (was, the President Pro Tempore and the Speaker must each designate two members to serve as cochairs).
Amends GS 106-822 to define commercial horse feed to mean any commercial feed labeled or marketed (was, labeled) for equine use.
Amends GS 106-550 to add that it is in the interest of the public welfare that state farmers who produce seafood be permitted and encouraged to act jointly and in cooperation with growers, handlers, dealers, and processors in promoting and stimulating the increased production, use, and sale of specified commodities. Adds that the "Got to Be NC" marketing campaign is the official agricultural marketing campaign for the state.
Amends GS 143-440(b) to allow the Pesticide Board to adopt rules to classify private pesticide applicators.
Amends GS 150B-1 to exempt the Board of Agriculture with respect to annual admission fees for the State Fair from Article 2A (Rules) of GS Chapter 150B (Administrative Procedure Act). Requires the Board to annually post the admission fees on its website and provide notice of the fees and a citation to the statute to those on the mailing list.
Adds a severability clause.
Summary date: Jun 26 2014 - More information
Senate amendment makes the following changes to the 4th edition:
Amends proposed GS 143-215.9D, Agricultural operation investigations confidential, adding a provision that if the Department of Environment and Natural Resources determines that a violation has occurred, the complaint of the violation and all records accumulated with the investigation will be considered public records, pursuant to GS 132-6.
Summary date: Jun 24 2014 - More information
The Senate committee substitute to the 3rd edition makes the following changes.
Clarify the Authority of Local Government to adopt ordinances related to fertilizer
Makes proposed GS 106-678 effective if S 38 (Amend Environmental Laws 2014) does not become law.
Adds a section amending GS 106-678, if S 38 does become law, to provide that nothing in the statute prohibits a county or city from exercising its authority to regulate explosive, corrosive, inflammable, or radioactive substances under GS 153A-128 or GS 160A-183.
Rewrite Landscape Contractor Licensing Statutes (new)
Repeals GS 89D-1 through 89D-10 (creating the NC Landscape Contractors' Registration Board and requiring certification of landscape contractors).
Amends GS Chapter 89D by enacting new GS 89D-11 through GS 89D-24 to create the NC Landscape Contractors' Licensing Board and require licensure of landscape contractors. New GS 89D-12 prohibits anyone from engaging in the practice of landscape construction or contracting or holding himself or herself out as a landscape contractor unless licensed by the North Carolina Landscape Contractor Licensing Board. Defines landscape contractor as anyone (a) engaged in the business requiring the art, experience, ability, knowledge, science, and skill to prepare contracts and bid for the performance of landscape services, including installing, planting, repairing, and maintaining gardens, lawns, shrubs, vines, trees, or other decorative vegetation, including the grading and preparation of plots and areas of land for decorative utilitarian treatment and arrangement; (b) practicing the act of horticulture consultation or planting design for employment purposes; (c) who constructs, installs, or maintains landscape drainage systems and cisterns, provided that the contractor makes none of the specified connections; (d) designs, installs, or maintains low voltage landscape lighting, provided that the systems do not exceed listed specifications; or (e) engages in the construction of garden pools, retaining walls, walks, patios, or other decorative landscape features.
New GS 89D-13 lists exemptions from the provisions of GS Chapter 89D. New GS 89D-14 creates a nine-member North Carolina Landscape Contractors' Licensing Board (Board), with appointees as listed, and new GS 89D-15 sets forth Board powers and duties. New GS 89D-16(a) allows an applicant to sit for the examination if the applicant pays required fees and submits evidence demonstrating the applicant's qualifications for licensure, as specified. Directs the Board to establish and administer examinations.
New GS 89D-17 authorizes the Board to issue a license in the name of a corporation, provided specified conditions are met. Details additional requirements for licenses and licensees. New GS 89D-18 authorizes the Board to issue a license to a nonresident individual or a foreign entity that meets applicable requirements. Sets forth provisions related to certificates of authority and information requested by the Secretary of Revenue. Defines terms applicable to GS 89D-18.
New GS 89D-19 allows the Board to issue a license without examination to any person licensed, certified, or registered as a landscape contractor in another state or country if that state or country's requirements are substantially equivalent. New GS 89D-20 provides for annual renewal of landscape contractor licenses on or before August 1, in accordance with continuing education requirements and the fee schedule set out in new GS 89D-21. New GS 89D-22 authorizes the Board to deny, restrict, suspend, or revoke a license for reasons including fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation in the application for a license or its renewal, fraudulent misrepresentation in the practice of landscape contracting, gross malpractice or incompetence, violation of rules adopted by the Board, or failure to file or keep the required surety bond in force. Allows the Board to assess costs in a proceeding against an applicant or licensee found to be in violation of the chapter. New GS 89D-23 authorizes the Board to assess a civil penalty of $2,000 or less for each violation of GS Chapter 89D or any rules adopted by the Board, with proceeds remitted to the Civil Penalty and Forfeiture Fund. New GS 89D-24 authorizes the Board to file a motion for an injunction against anyone engaging in landscape construction without a license. Also requires that the licensed landscape contractor notify the Board of any written complaints filed against the landscape contractor not resolved within 30 days.
Members currently serving on the NC Landscape Contractors' Registration Board will continue to serve until new members are appointed to the Board created by this act. Details additional appointing criteria for new appointees, and transfers all items from the Registration Board to the Licensing Board. Provides that any person who, on or before December 31, 2014, meets one of four enumerated criteria will receive a landscape contractor's license from the Board without the examination requirement, upon submission of a completed application and fee payment on or before August 1, 2015. Specifies that landscape contractors currently registered are not required to renew registration for the 2015 calendar year.
Effective August 1, 2015.
Pesticide Use For Moles (new)
Amends GS 113-300.2 to allow using pesticides to control any species of mole other than the star-nosed mole if (1) all rules regulating application are followed and (2) the pesticides used are applied in a manner that minimizes hazards to nontarget species.
Clarify periodic inspections authority of housing finance agency (new)
Amends GS 153A-364(b), which allows for periodic inspections for hazardous or unlawful conditions as part of a targeted effort within a designated geographic area. Exempts residential buildings or structures subject to periodic inspections by the NC Housing Finance Agency (Agency) if the Agency has issued a finding that the building or structure is in compliance with federal standards. Requires the owner or manager of a residential building or structure that is subject to periodic inspections by the Agency to submit a copy of the Compliance Results Letter within 10 days of receipt; if the letter is not provided, the building or structure will be subject to periodic inspections until the letter is provided.
Security Grilles (new)
Allows horizontal sliding or vertical security grilles at exits or exit access doors if the grilles are openable from the inside without the use of a key or special knowledge or effort when the space is occupied by authorized persons and the grilles remain secured in the full open position during occupancy by the general public. Requires the Building Code Council to adopt a rule to make the Code consistent with these provisions.
Amends the act's long title.Agriculture, Animals, Business and Commerce, Occupational Licensing, Courts/Judiciary, Criminal Justice, Criminal Law and Procedure, Development, Land Use and Housing, Property and Housing, Government, State Agencies, Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Department of Environmental Quality (formerly DENR), Department of Public Safety, Local Government
Summary date: Jun 23 2014 - More information
House committee substitute makes the following changes to the 2nd edition:
Changes the short and long titles.
Enacts new GS 143-215D, Agricultural operation investigations confidential, providing that complaints and records associated with environmental investigations for agricultural operations are confidential records and can only be released by court order. Also enacts new GS 143-215.9E, which provides that DENR can request additional information from the complainant. Also allows DENR to accept or decline to further investigate any complaint about agricultural operations if an initial review leads to a finding to believe that a complaint is frivolous or was filed in bad faith.
Directs DENR to adopt rules in order to develop a formal system for receiving, investigating, and responding to environmental complaints about agricultural operations.
Enacts new GS 106-678 prohibiting local governments from adopting or continuing in effect any ordinance or resolution regulating fertilizer. Provides that the statute does not prevent local governments from exercising planning and zoning authority, or fire prevention or inspection authority, nor does it limit the authority of DENR or the EMC to enforce water quality standards. Also provides that the statute does not prohibit a local government or political subdivision of the state from adopting ordinances regulating fertilizers to protect water quality if the ordinances have been approved by the EMC or DENR as part of a local plan or National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit application and do not exceed the state's minimum requirements to protect water quality. The statute also does not prohibit local governments from exercising authority to regulate explosive, corrosive, inflammable, or radioactive substances.
Directs the Department of Public Safety to study the state’s participation in the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance North American Standard Inspection Program for roadside commercial vehicle safety inspections. Requires the study to include (1) an explanation of how the program is implemented, (2) a history of when North Carolina began to participate in the program, (3) data on the amount of safety inspection decals that are issued each year, and (4) a geographic analysis of where the decals are issued. The results of the study are to be submitted to the Agriculture and Forestry Awareness Study Commission by November 1, 2014.
Amends GS 20-381 to define planting and harvesting season and planting and harvesting period as January 1 through December 31 of each year for the purposes of federal law or regulations that relate to hours of service rules for drivers transporting agricultural commodities and farm supplies for agricultural purposes.
Amends the chairmanship of the Agriculture and Forestry Awareness Study Commission, found in GS 120-150, to allow the Speaker of the House and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate to appoint two members each from their respective bodies to serve as co-chairs of the Commission (previously, the chairs of the House Agriculture Committee and the chairs of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Environment, and Natural Resources were on the Committee and served as Committee co-chairs). Makes conforming changes to the Commission membership.
Amends GS 106-900 to authorize the Commissioner of Agriculture to appoint as many Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DACS) law enforcement officers as is deemed necessary to meet specified DACS law enforcement responsibilities. Requires officers to meet the same standards of other sworn law-enforcement officers, including training standards of the NC Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission, pursuant to GS Chapter 17C, and take a constitutional oath of office. Allows the Commissioner to designate certain officers to have the powers and duties of a forest ranger and the power to enforce forest laws. Makes language gender neutral.
Amends GS 14-159.12, concerning first degree trespass, providing that trespassing in an agricultural facility is a first degree trespass punishable as a Class A1 misdemeanor. Statute also provides that if the trespass is committed with the intent to disrupt normal operation of the facility or the trespass includes an act that places the offender or others on the premises at risk of serious bodily injury then it will be punishable as a Class H felony. Effective December 1, 2014, applying to offenses committed on or after that date.
Amends GS 14-159.3 to require that a person must obtain written consent from a property owner before operating an all-terrain vehicle on that property (previously, only require consent). Further provides that a landowner that has given written consent for the operation of an all-terrain vehicle owes the same duty of care to the people that received written consent as that a trespasser would be owed. Effective December 1, 2014, applying to offenses committed on or after that date.
Amends GS 156-82.1 concerning the duties and powers of the board of drainage commissioners, providing that no state statute, rule, or local government ordinance regarding riparian buffers for the protection of water quality will apply to the construction, operation, maintenance, or repair of canals, water retardant structures, or other improvements under the control and supervision of the board.
Summary date: Apr 3 2013 - More information
House committee substitute makes the following changes to the 1st edition.
Makes technical changes to the act to insert gender neutral language and to replace "fire fighter" with "firefighter." Replaces occurrences of "North Carolina Forest Service, Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services" with North Carolina Forest Service of theDepartment of Agriculture and Consumer Services." Makes additional technical changes to maintain consistency of titles and terms used.
Amends GS 166A-19.77 to replace occurrences of"Divisionof Forest Resources" with "North Carolina Forest Service."
Summary date: Mar 20 2013 - More information
Amends GS 1-339.17(c1) and GS 20-81.12(b35) making technical changes, replacing "Division of Forest Resources" with "North Carolina Forest Service," conforming to the renaming of the NC Forest Service.
Amends GS 77-13 and GS 77-14, making technical changes, replacing "Department of Environment and Natural Resources" with "Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services."
Amends GS 97-2 (Definitions), GS 105-259(b)(41), GS 105-277.7(a)(2), GS 105-296(j), and GS 106-202.14(b)(3), making technical changes, replacing "Division of Forest Resources" with "North Carolina Forest Service."
Amends GS 106-860(d)(11), making technical changes, replacing "Director of Forest Resources" with "Assistant Commissioner of the North Carolina Forest Service."
Amends GS 106-878, 106-887(a), and 106-903, making technical changes, replacing "Division of Forest Resources" with "North Carolina Forest Service."
Amends GS 106-955 (Definitions), replacing "Division of Forest Resources" with "North Carolina Forest Service" and making other technical changes. Provides that the term fire fighter also now includes engaging in emergency response duties pursuant to GS 166A-19.77.
Amends GS 106-956, changing the title from Standby duty to On-call. Provides that on-call duty is when a firefighter is required to be available to return to the duty station or respond to an emergency within 30 minutes. Firefighters on call will receive an electronic communication device. After 14 consecutive days on duty, the fire fighter will be off duty for two days. On the days the firefighter is off duty, he or she can only be contacted in times of emergency.
Amends GS 106-966(1), GS 106-968, GS 106-969, making technical changes, replacing "Division of Forest Resources" with "North Carolina Forest Service."
Amends GS 113-291.10(a)(3), making technical changes, replacing "Director" with "Assistant Commissioner."
Amends GS 143-116.8 (Motor vehicle laws applicable to State parks and forests road system), making technical changes, adding Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to those administering land in the state parks and forests.
Provides that it is illegal to operate a vehicle in the State forest system at a speed above 25 mph. This speed limit is subject to change depending on the conditions. No speed limit is effective until posted.
Provides that the Commissioner of Agriculture (Commissioner) has authority to place vechicle control signs and signals in the state forest road system, or any other signs as seems appropriate. Failure to obey any of these signs is an infraction and can be punished as provided in GS 20-176.
Provides that the Commissioner may, through rules and regulations, establish parking areas and can remove illegally parked vehicles.
Amends GS 143-166.2(d), GS 143-166.7, and GS 143-214.25A(a), making technical changes.
Amends GS 143A-65.1, changing section title to North Carolina Forest Service.
Effective July 1, 2013.
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