AN ACT TO DISAPPROVE CERTAIN WASTEWATER TREATMENT AND DISPERSAL RULES ADOPTED BY THE NORTH CAROLINA COMMISSION FOR PUBLIC HEALTH, TO CREATE A TASK FORCE TO RECOMMEND NEW WASTEWATER TREATMENT AND DISPERSAL RULES, TO CREATE STANDARDS FOR AN ON-SITE WASTEWATER EVALUATOR; AND TO MAKE TECHNICAL CORRECTIONS. SL 2019-151. Enacted July 22, 2019. Effective July 22, 2019.
Bill Summaries: H268 AMEND ON-SITE WASTEWATER LAWS/MISC. TC. (NEW)
Summary date: Jul 22 2019 - View Summary
Summary date: Jul 8 2019 - View Summary
Senate amendment makes the following changes to the 4th edition.
Adds that if S190 (An Act to Expand the Authorization for a County to Impose a Special Assessment for Dam Repair) becomes law, then Section 1 of the act becomes effective July 1, 2019, instead of when the act becomes law. Section 1 of S 190 amends GS 153A-210.1, which provides that Article 9A authorizes counties to impose special assessments on benefited properties and use resulting revenues to meet the counties' critical infrastructure needs by extending the sunset of Article 9A from July 1, 2019, to July 1, 2022, with respect to dam repair projects authorized in GS 153A-210.2(a1). Makes conforming changes. Amends the act's short and long titles.
Summary date: Jun 20 2019 - View Summary
Senate committee substitute makes the following changes to the 3rd edition.
Modifies the membership of the On-Site Wastewater Task Force (Task Force) as follows. Removes the qualification that members are appointed. Now provides for a representative of rather than a member from each of the following: the NC Division of Public Health, On-Site Water Protection Branch; the NC Environmental Heath Supervisors Association; the NC Home Builders Association; the NC On-Site Wastewater Contractor Inspector Certification Board; the NC Septic Tank Association; the Consulting Soil Scientists Association of North Carolina; the NC Board of Examiners for Engineers and Surveyors with specified experience; and the NC Board for Licensing of Soil Scientists. Further specifies that representatives of the Consulting Soil Scientists Association of North Carolina and the NC Board for Licensing of Soil Scientists must have experience conducting private consultative services of sites evaluated for on-site wastewater systems. Adds to the membership a person currently certified as a Water Pollution Control Systems Operator and actively conducting business as an operator of on-site wastewater systems (replacing a member from the Department of Environmental Quality) and a representative of the NC Licensing Board for General Contractors (replacing a member from the Carolinas Association of General Contractors).
More specifically establishes that the specified administrative rules regarding the treatment and disposal of domestic type sewage will remain in effect until replacement rules adopted by the Commission for Public Health become effective. Exempts the specified rules from the periodic review and expiration of existing rules process required by state law.
Provides that the specified administrative rules regarding on-site wastewater treatment and dispersal adopted by the Commission for Public Health on August 8, 2018, and approved by the Rules Review Commission will not become effective if the enumerated rules of the act are in fact disapproved.
Amends GS 130A-343, concerning the approval of on-site surface water systems. Modifies the definition of accepted wastewater dispersal system to include a wastewater dispersal system specifically identified in a rule adopted by the Public Health Commission (rather than other approved trench dispersal systems by the Department of Environmental Quality) meeting the existing criteria. Makes further conforming and technical changes. Concerning the Public Health Commission's designation of a wastewater dispersal system as an accepted wastewater dispersal system, requires the Commission to make the previously specified findings based on clear, convincing, and cogent evidence based on actual field surveys and county activity reports (previously, did not specify the bases for the evidence).
Modifies proposed GS 130A-336.2 by eliminating the provision which restricted a wastewater system owner's remedies against authorized on-site wastewater evaluators, certified contractors, and certified pollution control systems operators to the remedies provided in the laws and rules governing each individual profession.
Amends the act's short title.
Summary date: Apr 25 2019 - View Summary
House committee substitute makes the following changes to the 2nd edition.
Modifies the membership of the On-Site Wastewater Task Force (Task Force) to include one member from the NC Environmental Health Supervisors Association rather than one member from the NC Association of County Commissioners, and one member representing the NC Board of Examiners for Engineers and Surveyors with experience in designing on-site wastewater systems rather than one member from the Professional Engineers with the same experience. Modifies the requirements of the Task Force's report to now include recommendations on new rules to prevent the implementation of rules and ordinances, and enforcement against the use of on-site wastewater treatment and dispersal systems in non-sewered areas of the state (was, new rules to prohibit municipalities from prohibiting the design and installation of on-site wastewater treatment and dispersal systems).
Modifies proposed GS 130A-336.2 as follows.
Adds to the required content of the Notice of Intent to Construct the Authorized On-Site Wastewater Evaluator's name, certification number, mailing address, email address, and telephone number; an evaluation of soil conditions and site features conducted and signed and sealed by a licensed soil scientist or for geologic or hydrogeologic conditions by a licensed geologist (previously, a soil evaluation conducted and signed and sealed by a licensed soil scientist or licensed geologist); and a plat or site plan (previously required a plat with no alternative). Specifies that the owner can apply for the building permit for the project upon the decision of completeness of the Notice of Intent by the local health department, or if the local health department fails to act within the five business day time period previously provided. Removes the provision authorizing the Evaluator to employ technologies not yet approved in the state. Now requires the Evaluator's designs, plans, and specifications to allow for the installation of an Accepted system in lieu of a conventional system, if applicable, in accordance with the Accepted system approval.
Modifies the required documents the Evaluator must provide the owner at the post-construction conference to now include a signed and sealed copy of the reports on soil conditions and site features (was, soil and site evaluations), layouts, drawings, specifications, justifications on any proposed design daily flow reductions (previously not included), and any special inspection reports or corrections made during construction.
Makes a clarifying change to the remedies provisions of subsection (p) to refer to certified water pollution control systems operators as described in subdivision (i)(2).
Clarifies that the NC On-Site Wastewater Contractors and Inspectors Certification Board has the exclusive authority to promulgate rules regarding certification of Evaluators where review and seal of a professional engineer is not necessary under the statute.
Summary date: Apr 11 2019 - View Summary
House committee substitute makes the following changes to the 1st edition.
Changes the act's long and short titles. Adds the following.
Establishes the 10-member On-Site Wastewater Task Force (Task Force). Provides for the Task Force's membership, meetings, support, and expenses. Directs the Task Force to study and issue a report to recommend new wastewater rules to the Commission of Public Health (Commission) to replace specified approved and disapproved rules, as well as new rules to prohibit municipalities from prohibiting the design and installation of on-site wastewater treatment and dispersal systems. Requires the Task Force to hold its first meeting no later than October 31, 2019, and transmit its report to the specified NCGA committees and the Commission no later than February 1, 2020, at which time the Task Force is terminated. Specifies that the rules for on-site wastewater treatment and dispersal found in Chapter 18A, Title 15A of the Administrative Code remain in effect until the Commission takes action on the recommendations made by the Task Force.
Enacts GS 130A-336.2 to allow a licensed soil scientist certified under conditions developed and administered by the NC On-Site Wastewater Contractors and Inspectors Certification Board (Certification Board) to prepare singed and sealed soil and site evaluations, specifications, plans, and reports, at the direction of the owner of the proposed wastewater system, for the proposed wastewater system site layout, construction, operation, and maintenance of a wastewater system in accordance with the statute and rules adopted under the statute. Prohibits an Authorized On-Site Wastewater Evaluator (Evaluator) from performing any of the functions performed by a professional engineer for engineered wastewater systems. Requires prior notice of intent to construct a wastewater system using an Evaluator to the local health department with jurisdiction over the proposed location. Directs the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to develop a common form to use for the notice that contains minimum information specified. Gives the local health department five days to determine the completeness of the notice and to return an incomplete notice. Allows the local health department five days to review additional information submitted to cure the deficiencies. Deems failure of the local department to act within the timeframe completeness.
Details requirements, restrictions, and other parameters of the Evaluator in the evaluation the soil and site, construction and activities, including requiring the preparation of a signed and sealed statement of special inspections and assisting the owner in selecting a contractor.
Details the responsibilities of the on-site water system contractor, including submitting a signed and dated statement of responsibility to the owner of the wastewater system prior to the commencement of work that contains acknowledgement of the requirements of the system as specified by the Evaluator.
Grants immunity for DHHS, its authorized agents, and local health department for wastewater systems developed by the Evaluator. Specifies that the statute does not relieve DHHS, its authorized agents, or local health departments from any of their obligations under state or administrative law.
Allows a local health department to conduct a site visit of the wastewater system at any time. Requires an Evaluator to make periodic visits to observe the progress and quality of construction and allows the Evaluator to employ independent inspectors to observe and direct the construction. Places liability on Evaluator for any errors or omissions made by independent contractors they employ. Requires that all construction and inspection reports must be signed by the authorized inspector or Evaluator with copies furnished to the owner and the certified contractor, and included in the submittal package to the local health department.
Maintains that the wastewater system is subject to local health department rules in effect at the time the owner submits the notice of intent to construct the system. Requires the local health department to notify the owner of any compliance issues.
Requires the Evaluator to establish a written operation and management program and provide the program to the owner. Provides for the owner contracting with a certified water pollution control system operator if necessary under the Commission's rules. Places responsibility on the owner for continued adherence to the operations and management program established by the Evaluator.
Establishes a requirement for a post-construction conference to be held by the Evaluator with the owner, the certified contractor, the certified water pollution control system operator, if any, and local health department representatives. Requires the conference to include start-up and certification of system components. Details required documentation the Evaluator must provide the owner at the conference, including a signed and sealed copy of reports on the soil and site evaluations, layouts, drawings, specifications, and any special inspection reports or corrections made during construction. Requires the owner to sign and notarize a document confirming acceptance and receipt of the report. Requires the owner to submit copies of the Evaluator's report and the operations and management program, a fee, and the notarized letter to the local health department. Requires the local health department to issues the owner an authorization to operation within five days of receipt of the required documents and fees.
Allows the local health department to assess a fee for the system of up to 30% of the cumulative total of the fees established for similar systems to support the department's work under the statute.
Specifies that change in ownership an authorized system has no affect so long as the site and type of facility the system serves are unchanged.
Provides for owners' remedies against Evaluators, certified contractors, and certified pollution control systems operators to the remedies provided in the statutes and rules governing each individual profession. Clarifies that they are subject to professional discipline.
Grants the Commission rulemaking authority to implement the statute. Specifies that the Certification Board has exclusive authority to adopt rules regarding certification of and issuance of permits for on-site wastewater treatment and dispersal systems in instances where review by professional engineers is not necessary by Evaluators.
Establishes an annual reporting requirement for DHHS to report to the Environmental Review Commission and the specified NCGA committee, beginning January 1, 2020, on the program, as specified. Directs DHHS to obtain activity reports from the local health departments showing the wastewater systems developed under the statute.
Summary date: Mar 5 2019 - View Summary
Disapproves the following rules, as adopted by the North Carolina Commission for Public Health on August 8, 2018, and approved by the Rules Review Commission on October 18, 2018: 15A NCAC 18E .0103 (Incorporation by Reference), 15A NCAC 18E .0105 (Definitions), 15A NCAC 18E .0303 (Licensed or Certified Professionals), 15A NCAC 18E .0401 (Design Daily Flow), 15A NCAC 18E .0402 (Septic Tank Effluent Characteristics), 15A NCAC 18E .0403 (Adjustments to Design Daily Flow), 15A NCAC 18E .0505 (Soil Depth), 15A NCAC 18E .0805 (Tank Leak Testing and Installation Requirements) 15A NCAC 18E .1401 (Plans for Prefabricated Tanks), 15A NCAC 18E .1402 (Tank Design and Construction), and 15A NCAC 18E .1404 (Plans and Specifications for Risers, Effluent Filters, and Pipe Penetration Boots).
Disapproves the following rules, as adopted by the North Carolina Commission for Public Health on August 8, 2018, and approved by the Rules Review Commission on November 15, 2018: 15A NCAC 18E .1002 (Reclaimed Water Systems), 15A NCAC 18E .1101 (General Dosing System Requirements), 15A NCAC 18E .1102 (Pump Dosing), 15A NCAC 18E .1104 (Siphon Dosing), 15A NCAC 18E .1105 (Timed Dosing), 15A NCAC 18E .1106 (Pressure Dosed Gravity Distribution Devices), 15A NCAC 18E .1202 (Siting and Sizing Criteria for Advanced Pretreatment Systems with a Design Daily Flow Less Than or Equal to 1,500 Gallons/Day), 15A NCAC 18E .1203 (Siting and Sizing Criteria for Advanced Pretreatment Systems with a Design Daily Flow Greater Than 1,500 Gallons/Day and Less Than or Equal to 3,000 Gallons/Day), 15A NCAC 18E .1204 (Advanced Pretreatment Drip Dispersal Systems), 15A NCAC 18E .1205 (Advanced Pretreatment Sand Lined Trench Systems), 15A NCAC 18E .1206 (Advanced Pretreatment Bed Systems), 15A NCAC 18E .1303 (Owner Responsibilities for Wastewater System Operation and Maintenance), 15A NCAC 18E .1304 (Management Entity Responsibilities for Wastewater System Operation and Maintenance), 15A NCAC 18E .1305 (Local Health Department Responsibilities for Wastewater System Operation and Maintenance), 15A NCAC 18E .1306 (System Malfunction and Repair), 15A NCAC 18E .1307 (Wastewater System Abandonment), 15A NCAC 18E .1701 (General), 15A NCAC 18E .1702 (Application), 15A NCAC 18E .1703 (Department and Commission Application Review), 15A NCAC 18E .1704 (Approval Criteria for Provisional Systems), 15A NCAC 18E .1705 (Approval Criteria for Innovative Systems), 15A NCAC 18E .1706 (Approval Criteria for Accepted Systems), 15A NCAC 18E .1707 (Design and Installation Criteria for Provisional, Innovative, and Accepted Approvals), 15A NCAC 18E .1709 (Wastewater Sampling Requirements for Advanced Pretreatment Systems), 15A NCAC 18E .1710 (Compliance Criteria for Advanced Pretreatment Systems), 15A NCAC 18E .1711 (Provisional and Innovative Approval Renewal), 15A NCAC 18E .1712 (Authorized Designers, Installers, and Management Entities), and 15A NCAC 18E .1713 (Local Health Department Responsibilities).
Disapproves the following rules, as adopted by the North Carolina Commission for Public Health on August 8, 2018: 15A NCAC 18E .0508 (Available Space), 15A NCAC 18E .1301 (Operation and Maintenance of Wastewater Systems), and 15A NCAC 18E .1708 (Modification, Suspension, and Revocation of Approvals).