Bill Summaries: S658 WATER SAFETY ACT OF 2023.

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  • Summary date: Apr 10 2023 - View Summary

    Appropriates the following from the General Fund to the North Carolina Collaboratory for 2023-24 for research and programs related to per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS): (1) $20 million for programs related to management of aqueous film-forming foams (AFFF) containing PFAS used by local fire departments and for other PFAS-related research. Sets out the definition of local fire department and specifies five purposes for which these funds can be used and (2) $4 million in recurring funds for other PFAS research projects, prioritizing funding for a multiyear human exposure study related to PFAS in counties identified with higher than average PFAS exposure risks through inhalation, ingestion, and dermal exposure and setting out criteria for selecting participants. Requires the Collaboratory to report on the use of these funds and its PFAS research programs to the NCGA by January 15 of odd-numbered years; specifies information to be included in the report.

    Appropriates $2 million in recurring funds for 2023-24 from the General Fund to the Collaboratory for water-related research for emerging compounds, water quality improvements, or other discretionary research deemed important to the State.

    Requires the Commission for Public Health to review a specific report from the National Toxicity Program and studies reviewed in the report and relevant studies to assess the association between fluoride exposure and IQ in children. Requires the Commission to determine whether there is sufficient evidence for a link between fluoride in the public water supply and cognitive decline or other neurological detriment in children. Requires a report to the NCGA by February 1, 2024, including recommendations on specified issues. Provides that if the Commission determines there is a link, then the Department of Health and Human Services must create a list of water utilities (public and private) in the state, their fluoride concentration, the number of children or households to which they provide water, and any other pertinent information; also requires a ranking of the risk to children of the water supplied by each utility.

    Amends Section 8.9 of SL 2021-180 to require that grants in the Collaboratory's research grant program for the specified UNC constituent institutions identified as historically Minority-Service Institutions be focused on areas within the Collaboratory's mission, as it is set forth in GS 116-255 (which establishes the Collaboratory, sets out its powers and duties and sets out funding conditions and restrictions), instead of specifying a mission.

    Amends GS 116-255 by adding the following to the provisions governing funds received by the Collaboratory. Allows the Collaboratory to negotiate or impose revenue-sharing requirements for intellectual property developed through its research awards using State funds. Provides that funds appropriated by the NCGA to the Collaboratory do not revert but instead remain available until expended and do not apply to the carryforward limitation imposed on UNC constituent institutions.

    Effective July 1, 2023.