TO DIRECT THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES TO REORGANIZE THE ECOSYSTEM ENHANCEMENT PROGRAM TO IMPROVE OPERATIONAL EFFICIENCY, AND TO MAKE CLARIFYING CHANGES TO THE STATUTES GOVERNING COMPENSATORY MITIGATION AND THE CLEAN WATER MANAGEMENT TRUST FUND.
Amends GS 143-214.11(a), which lists definitions applicable to the Ecosystem Enhancement Program, to add definitions for mitigation banking instrument, private compensatory mitigation bank, and private compensatory mitigation bank site. Clarifies that government entity does not include a unit of local government. Makes other clarifying and technical changes. Amends GS 143-214.11(b) to add that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will bid and award contracts for compensatory mitigation contracts following proposed GS 143-129.2A. Enacts new GS 143-214.11(d2), requiring DENR to purchase mitigation credits from private compensatory mitigation banks if in the state’s best interests.
Enacts new GS 143-129.2A to allow DENR to enter into a contract with any person, as specified, for compensatory wetlands mitigation design and construction. Details information to be included in all proposals for DENR. Describes factors to be used when evaluating proposals and awarding contracts. Specifies that DENR’s determination is conclusive even if the contract is not awarded to the proposer with the lowest bid.
Directs the Program Evaluation Division to review the efficiency of the Ecosystem Enhancement Program (Program) in meeting the state’s mitigation needs, and to evaluate two listed items. Directs DENR to consolidate the positions of program director and deputy director of the Program into one executive director position with all decision-making authority. Directs DENR to hold the mitigation provider harmless for any shortfall of mitigation units under a contract between the Program and the provider, as specified.
Enacts new GS 113A-254(a)(4) to add corporations or other privately owned businesses with expertise in the conservation, preservation, and restoration of the state’s environmental and natural resources to the list of parties eligible to apply for a Clean Water Management Trust Fund (Fund) grant.
Amends GS 113A-256(b)(6), directing the Fund Board of Trustees to consider the preservation or restoration of water resources with significant ecological, recreational, or economic value and uses as one of the conditions for awarding grants. Enacts new subsection (k) to GS 113A-256, directing the Board of Trustees to, as nearly as possible, award equal dollar amounts in each grant cycle for land preservation and land restoration, as defined.
© 2021 School of Government The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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