Bill Summary for S 131 (2017-2018)

Summary date: 

Feb 23 2017

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2017-2018 Session
Senate Bill 131 (Public) Filed Thursday, February 23, 2017
AN ACT TO PROVIDE FURTHER REGULATORY RELIEF TO THE CITIZENS OF NORTH CAROLINA.
Intro. by Wells, Cook, Sanderson.

View: All Summaries for BillTracking:

Bill summary

Section 1.1

Amends GS 132-6.2 concerning the provision of public records required by public agencies under GS 132-9, enacting new subsection (a1), which establishes that public agencies can satisfy public record access requirements by making its public records and computer databases available online in a format that allows a person to download a copy of the records and databases. Provides that if such access is provided, then the public agency does not have to provide copies through any other method or medium. Such copies can be voluntarily provided by another method or medium and a reasonable charge for such a service can be negotiated. Also enacts new subsection (f) to define computer database and media or medium.

Requires the State Chief Information Officer, working with specified entities, to report on the development and use of computer databases by State and local agencies and the need for public access to these public records to the General Assembly by February 1, 2018.

Effective July 1, 2017.

Section 1.2

Amends GS 87-97 (b1) by adding that when a permit is issued under the statute for the construction or repair of a private drinking water well, the local health department is the exclusive authority for the permitting and inspection of the well system (as defined in the new subdivision). Prohibits requiring a permit under GS 143-138 (the State Building Code) for the connection or disconnection of a well system to the plumbing of the structure served by the well by a certified well contractor.

Amends GS 143-138 by adding that a permit is not required under the Code or any local variant approved under subsection (e) of this statute for the electrical and plumbing activities associated with the installation, construction, maintenance, or repair of a private drinking water well when: (1) the work is performed by a certified contractor under the terms of a permit issued by the local health department pursuant to GS 87‑97; (2) the scope of work includes only the well, associated pumps and storage tanks, the electrical wiring from the well pump to the pressure switch, and the plumbing connection from the storage tank to the plumbing of the structure served by the well; and (3) the appropriate building inspector is notified as set forth in GS 87‑97(b1).

Section 2.1

Repeals GS 113A-109, titled “County letter of intent; timetable for preparation of land-use plan,” which required counties in a coastal area to report on their intent to adopt a land use plan under the Coastal Area Management Act in 1974.

Section 2.2

Amends GS 143-214.7 to exclude from the definition for built-upon area for purposes of implementing stormwater programs landscaping material, including, but not limited to, gravel, mulch, sand, and vegetation placed on areas that receive pedestrian or bicycle traffic or on portions of driveways and parking areas that will not receive the full weight of vehicular traffic. Also provides that an owner or developer of a property can opt out of any of the exemptions from built-upon areas.

Section 2.3

Amends the provisions governing fast-track permitting for stormwater management found in GS 143-214.7B, directing the Environmental Management Commission (EMC) to revise its rules by July 1, 2017, to include the specified licensed professionals as qualified to prepare a stormwater management system permit without a technical review, so long as the application complies with the Minimum Design Criteria. These professionals are licensed landscape architects, engineers, geologists, soil scientists, and other licensed professions that the EMC deems appropriate.

Section 2.4

Directs the EMC to amend its rules so that mitigation is not required for losses of 300 linear feet or less of stream bed and providing that for losses of 300 linear feet or more of stream bed, mitigation is not required for 300 linear feet of those losses. Provides that the EMC must adopt temporary rules as soon as practicable to implement these new provisions.

Directs the DEQ to submit written comments to the United States Army Corps of Engineers in support of the Wilmington District of the Army Corps of Engineers adopting Regional Conditions that will increase the threshold for the requirement of mitigation for loss of stream bed of perennial or intermittent streams from 150 to 300 linear feet. Specifies that written comments must include a history of the current NC threshold of 150 linear feet and an outline of thresholds in other jurisdictions.

Section 2.5

Repeals Section 14.6(p) and 14.6(q) of SL 2015-241 (2015 Appropriations Act), which required the Coastal Resources Commission (CRC) to amends its rules to allow the use of temporary erosion control structures as specified. Allows the CRC to adopt emergency rules for the use of temporary erosion control structures consistent with amendments made to the temporary erosion control structure rules adopted by the CRC on May 11, 2016. Directs the CRC to also adopt temporary and permanent rules to implement the above provisions.

Section 2.6

Directs the CRC to amend the Sediment Criteria Rule to exempt sediment from the cape shoals system used as a borrow site and portions of oceanfront beach that receive such sediment from the permitting requirements of the Sediment Criteria Rule. Further directs the CRC to adopt permanent rules substantively similar to these provisions.

Section 2.7

Directs the Division of Coastal Management (Division) in the DEQ, in consultation with the CRC, to study any change in erosion rates directly adjacent to existing and new terminal groins, with the ends of determining if long-term erosion rates should be adjusted to reflect any mitigation of shoreline erosion. Requires the Division to report the results of the study to the Environmental Review Commission (ERC) on or before March 1, 2018.

Section 2.8

Amends GS 143-254.5 (Wildlife Resources Commission) and GS 143B-289.52 (Marine Fisheries Commission) to require the respective Commissions to treat email addresses and Commission-issued customer identification numbers as “identifying information” and to be treated as provided in GS 132-1.10, which specifies regulations for the keeping of personal identifying information.

Enacts new GS 132-1.14 concerning personally identifiable information of public utility customers obtained by the Utilities Commission from customers seeking assistance from the Public Staff for rate or service disputes, providing that such information is not considered public record under GS 132-1. Sets out permissible disclosure of such information. Further provides that personally identifiable information means a customer's name, physical address, email address, telephone number, and public utility account number. Effective October 1, 2017.

Section 2.9

Amends GS 14-419 concerning the investigation of possession of reptiles by the NC Museum of Natural Sciences (Museum) or the NC Zoological Park (Zoo), providing that if either entity finds that a seized illegally owned reptile is a venomous reptile, large constricting snake, or a regulated crocodilian, the Museum or the Zoo must determine the interim disposition of the seized reptile until a final disposition is determined by a court (previously, an interim disposition was not provided for). Provides that the Museum or Zoo are not liable to the owner of the reptile if it is determined that euthanasia is the appropriate interim disposition, or if the seized reptile dies of natural or unintended causes. Adds new subsection (b1) providing that if convicted of any violation of GS Chapter 14, Article 55 (Regulation of Venomous Reptiles), the court must issue a final disposition of the confiscated reptiles, which could include transfer of title to the State of North Carolina and reimbursement for the cost of seizure, delivery, and storage of the reptiles. Further provides that a law enforcement officer or animal control officer can kill a dangerous reptile if the officer determines there is an immediate threat to public safety. Allows a large constricting snake or crocodilian to be given to the Zoo or to a Zoo representative.

Further directs the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR) and the WRC to jointly study and develop a list of potential designated representatives for the storage and safekeeping of venomous reptiles, large constricting snakes, or crocodilians. Also directs them to study and develop potential procedural and policy changes to improve the regulation of dangerous reptiles, with a report to be submitted to the ERC no later than December 31, 2017.

Section 2.10

Exempts public water supply systems from the Daily Flow Requirements if flow rates and yields less than those required by the rule (1) are achieved through an engineering design that utilizes low-flow fixtures and low-flow reduction technologies and the design is prepared, sealed, and signed by a professional engineer licensed pursuant to GS Chapter 89C and (2) provide for a flow that is sufficient to sustain the water usage required in the engineering design. Directs the Commission for Public Health to adopt rules substantively identical to the above provisions and requires them to become effective as though 10 or more written objections had been received.

Section 2.11

Repeals Section 4(c) of SL 2001-355, concerning a pasture point system by the Soil and Water Conservation Commission.

Section 3.1

Repeals GS 74-54.1(c), which required the Department of Environmental Quality to report annually to the Environmental Review Commission, the Fiscal Research Division, and the North Carolina Mining Commission on the cost of implementing the Mining Act of 1971 (Article 7 of GS Chapter 74).

Section 3.2

Repeals GS 143-135.39(f) and (g), which required the Department of Administration to annually report on the implementation of the Sustainable Energy Efficient Buildings Program to the General Government Appropriations Subcommittees of both the Senate and the House of Representatives, the Environmental Review Commission, and the Joint Legislative Commission on Governmental Operations.

Repeals GS 143-135.40(b), which required the Department of Administration to report the results of its monitoring of construction standards and sustainable building standards under the statute.

Section 3.3

Amends GS 143-215.9B to eliminate the requirement of the Environmental Management Commission to report on its progress in developing and implementing the collection system permit program required by the statute as part of its quarterly report to the Environmental Review Commission pursuant to GS 143B-282(b).

Section 3.4

Repeals GS  143-215.107C(d) and (e), which both required annual reports from the Department of Transportation (DOT) detailing plans to reduce miles driven by public and private sector employees.

Section 3.5

Amends GS 143-341(8)(i).2b to eliminate an annual report by the Department of Administration concerning the number of new cars bought plus savings or costs for the purchases of those cars and fuel, concerning its duties concerning the operation of a central motor pool.

Section 3.6

Repeals GS 143B-279.5, which established and required a Biennial State of the Environment Report.

Section 3.7

Repeals GS 143B-279.7(c), which required the Department of Environmental Quality to report annually on fish kill activity.

Section 3.8

Amends Section 11.1 of SL 1999-329, deleting a reporting requirement that the Environmental Management Commission must report on progress concerning the development of engineering standards for municipal and domestic wastewater collection systems to allow interconnection.

Section 3.9

Amends Section 13.9(d) of SL 2000-67, deleting a requirement that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources revise the beach management and restoration plan every two years.

Section 3.10

Repeals Section 29(j) and 29(k) of SL 2014-120 concerning annual reporting requirements by regulatory authorities concerning the informal review process for reviewing engineering work as specified. 

Section 3.11

Amends GS 143B-279.8(e) to require a report from the commissions specified regarding the progress of the Coastal Habitat Protection Plans only when significant revisions have been made to those plans (previously required each Commission to report annually regarding the plan). Also repeals GS 143B-279.8(f), which required an additional report from the Secretary of Environmental Quality concerning the Coastal Habitat Protection Plan upon making substantial revisions.

Section 3.12

Amends GS 143-215.3A(c) concerning required reporting from the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to the Environmental Review Commission (ERC) and the Fiscal Research Division about environmental permitting programs, reducing the reporting to only on or before January 1 of each odd-numbered year (was, November of each year). Also adds language that requires this report to be submitted with the report required in GS 143B-279.17, concerning permit processing times. 

Amends GS 143B-279.17, concerning reporting on permit processing times for the One-Stop for Certain Environmental Permits Program and the Express Permit and Certification Reviews, reducing the reporting requirement to only on or before January 1 of each odd-numbered year (was, by March of each year). Adds conforming language reflecting the above requirement that this report be submitted with that required in GS 143-215.3A(c). 

Provides that the first joint report is to be submitted no later than January 1, 2018.

Section 3.13

Amends GS 143B-282(b) and GS 143-215.1(h), both concerning reporting requirements of the Environmental Management Commission (EMC) (specifically concerning the operation and activities of the EMC as well as information on the modification of existing permits as specified), now providing that the specified reports shall be submitted on an annual basis, by January 1 of each year (was, on a quarterly basis). Further provides that the required reports are to be submitted jointly, with the first combined report to be submitted to the ERC no later than January 1, 2018.

Section 3.14

Amends the following statutes concerning reporting requirements: GS 130A-309.140(a) (concerning recycling of discarded computers and televisions), GS 130A-310.40 (concerning evaluation of the Brownfields Property Reuse Act), GS 130A-310.10(a) (concerning the Inactive Hazardous Waste Response Act), GS 143-215.104U(a) (concerning the Dry-Cleaning Solvent Cleanup Act); and GS 130A-294(i) (concerning the implementation and cost of the hazardous waste management program),  deleting the reporting requirements and replacing them with language that requires the same information and reports to be included and submitted with the annual solid waste management report required to be submitted by the DEQ on or before January 15 of each year, pursuant to GS 130A-309.06(c). Amends GS 130A-309.06(c) to add and include all of the above reports and information into the annual report on the status of solid waste management submitted by the DEQ to the ERC and the Fiscal Research Division. Provides that the first combined report as provided above will be submitted to the ERC and the Fiscal Research Division no later than January 15, 2018. Makes clarifying and technical changes.

Section 3.15

Amends both GS 113A-67 (concerning reporting of the implementation of the Sedimentation Pollution Control Act of 1973) and GS 143-214.7(e) (concerning  reporting on stormwater control programs) to require the specified reports to be submitted together to the ERC. Also provides that the report in GS 143-214.7(e) is to be submitted by the DEQ (previously, the NC Environmental Management Commission). Requires the first combined report to be submitted to the ERC no later than October 1, 2017.

Section 3.16

Repeals GS 143-355(n) and GS 143-355(o)(9), which respectively included requirements to report on the development of a State water supply plan and a basinwide hydrologic model.  These requirements are now found in newly enacted GS 143-355(p), which directs the DEQ to report to the ERC, no later than November 1 of each year, concerning the development of a state water supply plan and a basinwide hydrologic model. Further directs the DEQ to submit this report with the report on basinwide water quality management plans required pursuant to GS 143-215.8B(d) as a single report. Amends GS 143-215.8B(d), making conforming changes reflecting  the joint reporting requirements above.  Requires the first combined report to be submitted to the ERC no later than November 1, 2017.

Section 3.17

Amends GS 159G-26(a) (reporting requirements  concerning the Water Infrastructure Fund) and GS 159G-72 (reporting of State Water Infrastructure Authority findings ) to combine the required reports into one report to be submitted by November 1 of each year. The report is to be submitted to the ERC, the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Agricultural and Natural and Economic Resources, and the Fiscal Research Division. Previously required the State Water Infrastructure Authority to submit the report to the Senate Appropriations Committee on Natural and Economic Resources and the House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee on Natural and Economic Resources; these requirements have now been deleted. Requires the first combined report to be submitted no later than November 1, 2017. Makes clarifying and technical changes.

Section 3.18

Amends GS 106-850(e) and GS 106-860(e) (both concerning reporting requirements of the Soil and Water Conservation Commission, either for the Agriculture Cost Share Program or the Community Conservation Assistance Program) to require that the reports be submitted together as one report, no later than January 31 of each year. Also amends GS 139-60(d) (concerning the Agricultural Water Resources Assistance Program) to conform all of its reporting requirements to those of GS 106-850(e) (previously, was not required to submit report to the Fiscal Research Division).  Further requires that the first combined report to the ERC and the Fiscal Research Division is to be made no later than January 31, 2018. Makes technical changes.

Section 3.19

Amends GS 113A-115.1(i) concerning  required reports of the Coastal Resources Commission in regards to the terminal groins pilot project, providing that a report on the implementation of the project must be submitted to the ERC by January 1, 2019, and then every five years after that (previously required submittal of the report every year).

Section 3.20

Amends GS 143B-135.48(d) concerning required reports of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources regarding the Parks System Plan, providing that the report must be submitted to the ERC, the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Agricultural and Natural and Economic Resources, and the Fiscal Research Division no later than October 1, 2018, and then every five years after that (previously required submission of the report every year).  Also deletes requirement that the report also be submitted to the Senate and House of Representatives appropriations committees that have jurisdiction over natural and cultural resources.  Makes conforming changes.

Sections 3.21 to 3.23

Amends reporting requirements found in Section 15.6 of SL 1999-237 (concerning funds used from the Superfund),  GS 87-98(e) (concerning expenditures from the Bernard Allen Emergency Drinking Water Fund), and GS 143B-135.56(f) (concerning  allocations from the Recreation Trust Fund), deleting various reporting requirements and now providing that the required reports in Section 15.6 of SL 1999-237 be submitted only to the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Agricultural and Natural and Economic Resources; those in GS 87-98(e) be submitted to the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Agricultural and Natural and Economic Resources and the Fiscal Research Division; and those in GS 143B-135.56(f) to the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Agricultural and Natural and Economic Resources, the Fiscal Research Division, and the ERC.

Section 3.24

Establishes the North Carolina Sentinel Landscape Committee (Committee). Sets out the General Assembly's findings and sets out the purpose of the Committee. Requires the Committee to develop and implement programs and strategies that (1) protect working lands in the vicinity of and where testing and training occurs on major military installations, (2) address restrictions that inhibit military testing and training, and (3) forestall incompatible development in the vicinity of and where testing and training occurs on military installations. Sets out the Committee's powers and duties. Provides that the Committee consists of at least the following individuals or the individuals' designee: (1) Commissioner of Agriculture, (2) Secretary of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, (3) Secretary of Natural and Cultural Resources, (4) Executive Director of the Wildlife Resources Commission or the Executive Director's designee, and (5) Dean of the College of Natural Resources at N.C. State University. Requires the Committee to meet at lease quarterly. Requires the Commission to report to the North Carolina Military Affairs Commission and the Agriculture and Forestry Awareness Study Commission annually, beginning September 1, 2017.

Sections 4.1 and 4.2

Includes a severability clause. Unless otherwise indicated, effective when the act becomes law.

© 2021 School of Government The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

This work is copyrighted and subject to "fair use" as permitted by federal copyright law. No portion of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without the express written permission of the publisher. Distribution by third parties is prohibited. Prohibited distribution includes, but is not limited to, posting, e-mailing, faxing, archiving in a public database, installing on intranets or servers, and redistributing via a computer network or in printed form. Unauthorized use or reproduction may result in legal action against the unauthorized user.

Printer-friendly: Click to view