STREAMLINE DAM REMOVAL.

View NCGA Bill Details2017-2018 Session
Senate Bill 107 (Public) Filed Thursday, February 16, 2017
AN ACT TO REMOVE SAFETY HAZARDS AND RESTORE NORTH CAROLINA'S NATURAL RIVERINE RESOURCES BY FACILITATING THE REMOVAL OF OBSOLETE AND UNWANTED DAMS.
Intro. by Wells, Gunn, B. Jackson.

Status: Ch. SL 2017-145 (Senate Action) (Jul 20 2017)

Bill History:

S 107/S.L. 2017-145

Bill Summaries:

  • Summary date: Jul 25 2017 - More information

    AN ACT TO REMOVE SAFETY HAZARDS AND RESTORE NORTH CAROLINA'S NATURAL RIVERINE RESOURCES BY FACILITATING THE REMOVAL OF OBSOLETE AND UNWANTED DAMS. Enacted July 20, 2017. Section 3 is effective July 20, 2017. The remainder is effective July 1, 2017.


  • Summary date: Jun 22 2017 - More information

    House committee substitute makes the following changes to the 2nd edition.

    Amends GS 143-215.25. Defines mill dam and run-of-river dam and amends the proposed definition ofprofessionally supervised dam removal to refer to the voluntary removal of a low or intermediate hazard mill dam or run-of-river dam (2d edition did not specify which kind of dams).

    Amends GS 143-214.7C. Amends the caption to read Prohibit the requirement of mitigation for certain impacts; establish threshold for mitigation of impacts to streams. Makes organizational changes and updates the statute to reflect changes made in SL 2017-10.

    Deletes Section 3, regarding amending 15A NCAC 2K.0223 (Dam Height and Storage Determination).


  • Summary date: Apr 20 2017 - More information

    Senate committee substitute makes the following changes to the 1st edition.

    Amends the proposed definition of professionally supervised dam removal in GS 143-215.25 to define the term as the removal of a low- or intermediate-hazard dam that is not operated primarily for flood control or hydroelectric power generation purposes and is designed and supervised by a qualified engineer.

    Amends the proposed new subsection (c) in GS 143-215.27, providing that a professionally supervised dam removal that complies with the specified requirements is not subject to the procedures set forth in subsection (a) of the statute. Modifies and adds to the specified requirements to include: (1) a qualified engineer must certify that the dam is a low- or intermediate-hazard dam; (2) the person proposing to remove the dam must notify the director of the Division of Energy, Mineral, and Land Resources of the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) of the proposed removal at least 60 days prior to removal (was, 30 days prior), and the notice must include the qualified engineer's name, NC license number, and notarized certification from the owner of the dam that the dam is a low- or intermediate-hazard dam not currently operated for the purposes of flood control or hydroelectric power generation; and (3) the person who proposes to remove the dam must notify the NC Floodplain Mapping Program of the Department of Public Safety, the NC Department of Transportation, adjacent property owners of the dam and reservoir, and all impacted local governments of the proposed removal at least 60 days prior to the removal (previously, did not include a time limitation for this notice, and did require notice be given to NC DOT or adjacent property owners), and the notice must also include a qualified engineer's determination that the removal will not increase impacts to downstream bridges or road crossings. Makes clarifying changes. 

    Combines and modifies the proposed provisions in GS 143-215.28A to set the fee for notification of a professionally supervised dam removal under GS 143-215.27(c)(1) to be $500, to be paid to DEQ (was, not to exceed the lesser of 0.5% of the actual cost of removal or $500).

    Eliminates the provisions recodifying and amending GS 143-215.32(a) and GS 143-215.32(a1) (pertaining to an owner's duty to inspect dams).

    Makes clarifying change to the act's provisions directing the Environmental Management Commission to implement the Sediment Criteria Rule, measuring the height of a dam for purposes of dam size classification from the lowest point on the crest of the dam to the lowest point on the downstream toe, for implementing professionally supervised dam removals. 

    Deletes the proposed new subdivision in GS 143B-135.234(c), which allowed funds to be appropriated from the Clean Water Management Trust Fund for the purposes of removing obsolete and unwanted dams where removal would enhance or restore ecological functions or improve water quality. 

    Modifies the study of the dam removal process in the state to be conducted by DEQ to require the Department of Public Safety to jointly conduct the study with DEQ. Postpones the date the joint report must be submitted to the Environmental Commission to March 1, 2020 (was, March 1, 2018).


  • Summary date: Feb 16 2017 - More information

    Section 1

    Amends GS 143-215.27(a), which requires written approval by the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) prior to commencing the repair, alteration, or removal of a dam, to establish that the provisions of subsection (a) do not apply to a professionally supervised dam removal. Amends GS 143-215.25 to define professionally supervised dam removal as the removal of a dam that is not operated primarily for flood control or hydroelectric power generation purposes and is designed and supervised by a qualified engineer. Defines a qualified engineer as an engineer licensed as a professional engineer under GS Chapter 89C. Adds a new subsection to GS 143-215.27 to provide that a professionally supervised dam removal is not subject to the procedures set out in the statute if the person proposing to remove the dam complies with three conditions: (1) a qualified engineer makes specified determinations about the safe removal based on good engineering practices; (2) the person gives 30 days' notice of the proposed removal and certification, as specified, to the director of DEQ's Division of Energy, Mineral, and Land Removal; and (3) the person notifies the North Carolina Floodplain Mapping Program of the Department of Public Safety and all impacted local governments of the removal, as specified.

    Amends GS 143-215.28A to allow the North Carolina Environmental Management Commission (Commission) to establish a fee for processing notifications of professionally supervised dam removals under GS 143-215.27(c). Prohibits this fee for notification from exceeding the lesser of 0.5% of the actual cost of removal or $500. Makes conforming changes.

    Amends GS 143-215.30 to establish that the notice of completion and supplementary drawing requirements do not apply to a professionally supervised dam removal under GS 143-215.27(c) if the person removing the dam provided confirmation of completion of dam removal to DEQ within 10 days of completion of removal. Makes conforming changes.

    Amends GS 143-215.56 to establish that a professionally supervised dam removal that complies with the requirements of GS 143-215.27(c) is not required to submit a Letter of Map Revision to DEQ to the extent permitted by National Flood Insurance Program requirements.

    Section 2

    Recodifies GS 143-215.32(a) and GS 143-215.32(a1) as GS 143- 215.32(a1) and GS 143-215.32(a2).

    Amends GS 143-215.32 as recodified, concerning the inspection of dams, to establish that the owner of any dam regulated under Part 3 of Article 21 of GS Chapter 143, and the owners' heirs, successors, or assigns are responsible for regularly inspecting the dam to insure its safety and proper operation and maintenance. Requires this regular inspection to be performed by an engineer licensed as a professional engineer under GS Chapter 89C. Further requires a report to be submitted to DEQ within 30 days of an inspection. Directs DEQ to specify by rule the inspection frequency, protocol, and reporting format. Deletes the provision requiring DEQ to endeavor to inspect all dams in five-year intervals. Makes conforming and clarifying changes to subsection (a1) and (b).

    Section 3

    Amends GS 143-214.7C to prohibit DEQ from requiring mitigation for impacts associated with the removal of a dam when removal complies with the requirements of Part 3 of Article 21 of GS Chapter 143, except as required by federal law. 

    Directs DEQ's Division of Water Resources to develop a water quality general certification under section 401 of the Clean Water Act for short term sediment releases associated with the construction phase of a dam removal when (1) the removal meets the definition and requirements of a professionally supervised dam removal under GS 143-215.27, as amended, and (2) the applicant for the water quality general certification demonstrates that the sediment to be released has similar or lower level of contamination than sediment sampled from downstream of the dam.

    Section 4

    Directs the Commission and DEQ to implement the Sediment Criteria Rule as provided below until the effective date of the revised permanent rule that the Commission is required to adopt pursuant to this act. Provides that the Sediment Criteria Rule requires the Commission to measure the height of a dam for purposes of dam size classification from the lowest point on the crest of the dam to the lowest point on the downstream toe. Directs the Commission to adopt a rule to amend the Dam Height Rule to be consistent with and substantively identical to the provisions of the Sediment Criteria Rule provided in this act. Defines the Dam Height Rule to mean 15A NCAC 2K .0223 (Dam Height and Storage Determination). Establishes that rules adopted pursuant to this act are not subject to Part 3 of Article 2A of GS Chapter 150B. Establishes that rules adopted pursuant to this act become effective as provided in GS 150B-21.3(b1) as though 10 or more written objections had been received as provided in GS 150B-21.3(b2). Sets these provisions to expire when permanent rules adopted as required by this act become effective.

    Section 5

    Amends GS 143B-135.234(c) to allow funds to be appropriated from the Clean Water Management Trust Fund for the purposes of removing obsolete and unwanted dams where removal will enhance or restore ecological functions or improve water quality. 

    Section 6

    Directs DEQ to study the dam removal process in the state and recommend further statutory and rule changes to reduce regulatory barriers to the removal of obsolete and unwanted dams, and consolidate duplicative permit processes. Specifically directs DEQ to study the dam removal permitting process in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania. Requires DEQ to submit a final report to the North Carolina Environmental Review Commission by March 1, 2018. Effective when the act becomes law.

    Section 7 sets the effective date of the act as July 1, 2017, unless otherwise indicated.


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