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  • Summary date: May 15 2020 - View Summary

    Enacts Part 8, Ban Manufacture, Use, and Distribution of Certain Toxic Chemicals, of Article 21A, GS Chapter 143.

    Makes it unlawful to knowingly manufacture, use, process or distribute polyfluoroalkyl and its substances (PFAS). Excludes the use and distribution of products specifically authorized or required to contain PFAS by federal law.

    Permits the Secretary of the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ, Secretary) to assess penalties up to $5,000 for a violation of a requirement of Part 8, or up to $25,000 if the violation involved a hazardous waste, and up to $10,000 for repeat offenses, with penalties for multiple occurrences capped at $200,000 for any month. Provides for considerations to be considered in determining penalty amounts, and procedures for civil penalties, including notice. Allows for contested case petitions within 30 days following the receipt of notice of the assessment.

    Provides for remission requests within 30 days of receipt of the notice assessment, which must be accompanied by a waiver of the right to a contested case hearing and a stipulation to the facts on which the assessment is based. Allows for remission requests to be resolved by the Secretary and the violator, and if they are unable to resolve the request, then the Secretary must deliver the request and recommended action to the Committee on Civil Penalty Remissions of the Environmental Management Commission.

    Requires the Secretary to request the Attorney General to begin a civil action in specified superior court for penalties not paid within 30 days of notice of the assessment, or 30 days after a final agency decision or order has been served if the violator contests the case or requests remission. Sets a three year statute of limitations on civil actions from the date of the final agency decision or court order service.

    Appropriates $100,000 in nonrecurring funds from the General Fund to DEQ for the 2020-21 fiscal year to fund additional monitoring and enforcement activities to address PFAS contamination.

    Includes a severability clause.