Bill Summary for H 765 (2015-2016)

Summary date: 

Jul 1 2015

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2015-2016 Session
House Bill 765 (Public) Filed Tuesday, April 14, 2015
AN ACT TO PROVIDE FURTHER REGULATORY RELIEF TO THE CITIZENS OF NORTH CAROLINA BY PROVIDING FOR VARIOUS ADMINISTRATIVE REFORMS, BY ELIMINATING CERTAIN UNNECESSARY OR OUTDATED STATUTES AND REGULATIONS AND MODERNIZING OR SIMPLIFYING CUMBERSOME OR OUTDATED REGULATIONS, AND BY MAKING VARIOUS OTHER STATUTORY CHANGES.
Intro. by McElraft.

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Bill summary

Senate amendments make the following changes to the 3rd edition.

Amendment #1 amends GS 8-58.52 to add that new GS Chapter 8 Part 7D, Environmental Audit Privilege and Limited Immunity, does not apply to activities regulated under the Coal Ash Management Act of 2014 and rules promulgated under that Act. Makes additional clarifying changes.

Amendment #2 adds the requirement that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), no later than 30 days after the bill becomes law, submit new Part 7D to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and request approval to implement the new Part in concert with the state's authority to continue administering delegated, approved, or authorized federal environmental programs within the State. Adds the requirement that DENR report to the Environmental Review Commission (ERC) on that request by September 1, 2015, and report monthly thereafter until approval is received. Changes the effective date of new Part 7D from July 1, 2015, to becoming effective upon the date of approval from the EPA to implement the Part.

Amendment #3 adds the requirement that DENR evaluate the water quality of surface waters in the Coastal Counties and the impact of stormwater on the quality, including considering the appropriate levels of built-upon area and stormwater management requirements necessary to protect the water quality of surface waters in the Coastal Counties. Requires DENR to report on the study to the ERC by April 1, 2016. Effective when the act becomes law.

Amendment #4 deletes proposed changes to GS 143-214.7, concerning stormwater runoff rules and programs. Also deletes the requirements that a state agency or local government that implements a stormwater management program approved under GS 143-214.7(d) submit its current stormwater management program or a revised stormwater management program to the EMC by January 1, 2106 for review.

Amendment #5 deletes proposed new GS 62-351 and instead requires DENR to study whether and to what extent activities related to the construction, maintenance, and removal of linear utility projects should be exempt from certain environmental regulations. Retains the definition of linear utility project from the proposed statute, except no longer includes communications related lines. Defines environmental regulation to mean a regulation established or implemented by any of the nine specified entities. Requires DENR to report the study results to the Environmental Review Commission by March 1, 2016.

Amendment #6 provides that for the purposes of implementing Section .1300 of Subchapter 2H of Chapter 2 of Title 15A of the North Carolina Administrative Code (Discharges to Isolated Wetlands and Isolated Waters), the isolated wetlands provisions of Section .1300 applies only to a Basin Wetland or Bog that are not jurisdictional wetland under the Clean Water Act (was, a Basin Wetland or Bog and no other wetland types as described in the North Carolina Wetland Assessment User Manual prepared by the North Carolina Wetland Functional Assessment Team, version 4.1 October 2010, that are not jurisdictional wetlands under the federal Clean Water Act). Specifies that the isolated wetlands provisions of Section .1300 do not apply to an isolated man‑made ditch or pond constructed for stormwater management purposes or any other man‑made isolated pond (was, also or any other type of isolated wetland, and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources must not regulate such water bodies under Section .1300).

Amendment #11 deletes the contents of Section 4.7, amending risk-based remediation provisions and replaces it with the following concerning risk-based remediation. Amends GS Chapter 130, Article 9, Part 8 (Risk-Based Environmental Remediation of Industrial Sites), to make it applicable to all sites, not just industrial sites. Now defines contaminated sites to mean any real property that is contaminated an may be subject to remediation under an of the programs or requirements in GS 130A-310.67(a). Adds and defines the term contaminated off-site property. Amends the term Fund to mean the Risk-Based Remediation Fund instead of the Inactive Hazardous Sites Cleanup Fund. Makes conforming changes to GS 130A-310.66 and GS 130A-310.67 reflecting the application of the provisions to all sites, not just industrial sites. Further amends GS 130A-310.67 to provide that the provisions and regulations do not apply to sites subject to specified provisions. Provides that Part 8 does not apply to the Coal Ash Management Act of 2014. Removes the provision limiting the application of the Part to sites where a discharge, spill, or release was reported before March 1, 2011.

Amends the duties of DENR in regards to reviewing and approving remedial action plans as found in  GS 130A-310.71, providing that DENR must determine whether the remediation party has adequately demonstrated as specified that contamination will not migrate to off-site property at levels above unrestricted use standards, except as permitted to remain pursuant to a cleanup pursuant to GS 130A-310.73A9(a)(2) (previously, did not make an exemption for remaining contamination after the specified cleanup).  Also provides that, in determining whether the remediation plan provides for adequate maintenance of engineering and institutional controls as specified, DENR can consider reliance on other State or local land-use controls in lieu of land-use restrictions under GS 130A-310.69. Makes conforming changes. Adds new provision that requires a "Notice of Residual Contamination" to be prepared and filed in the chain of title of each contaminated site or off-site property, if, as provided above, reliance on other State or local land-use controls is approved by DENR. Sets out content requirements for the notice. Amends GS 130A-310.73 concerning remediation standards, providing that a person conducting remediation may not demonstrate attainment of a remediation standard by using institutional controls that result in an incompatible use of the property in relation to the surround land uses. Makes additional clarifying changes.

Enacts new GS 130A-310.73A allowing contaminated sites where contamination has migrated to off-site properties to be remediated according to Part 8 if (1) the person who proposes to conduct the remediation remediates the contaminated off-site property to unrestricted use standards or (2) the person who proposes to conduct the remediation provides the owner of the contaminated adjacent property with a copy of Part 8 and the publication produced by the Department and gets written consent from the owner of the contaminated off-site property for the person to remediate the contaminated off-site property using site-specific remediation standards. Requires the Department, in consultation with specified entities, to develop a publication with information about risk-based remediation.

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