Bill Summary for H 374 (2017-2018)

Summary date: 

Jun 15 2017

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2017-2018 Session
House Bill 374 (Public) Filed Wednesday, March 15, 2017
AN ACT TO PROVIDE FURTHER REGULATORY RELIEF TO THE CITIZENS OF NORTH CAROLINA.
Intro. by McElraft, Howard, Johnson, Hurley.

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Bill summary

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

Changes the long and short titles.

Part I. Department of Labor Technical Changes

Further amends GS 95-117 to define annual gross volume, owner, and person. Makes further technical changes.

Deletes the proposed changes to GS 95-120(1) to instead maintain the existing language directing rules adopted under the statute to conform with the specified publication.

Amends proposed GS 95-125.3, concerning violations, penalties, and appeals. Deletes subsection (g), which made a first conviction for a violation of Article 15 a Class 2 misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $10,000, and a second conviction a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $20,000. Maintains the content of subsection (h), now subsection (g), making it a Class E felony where a violation causes serious injury or death of any person. GS 95-117 as amended defines person as any individual, association, partnership, firm, corporation, private organization, or the State of North Carolina or any political subdivision thereof or any unit of local government. Makes conforming organizational changes.

Deletes the proposed changes to GS 95-255(c), instructing the Commissioner of Labor to notify an employer when its experience rate modifier falls below 1.5.

Part II. Department of Labor/Carolina Star Program

Enacts new GS 95-127(2a) to define the Carolina Star Program as a voluntary program that recognizes work sites that implement effective safety and health management systems and meet specified standards.

Enacts new GS 95-157 (Carolina Star Program). Authorizes the Commissioner of Labor (Commissioner) to adopt rules for the operation of the Carolina Star Program in a way that will promote safe and healthy workplaces throughout the State, and lists seven matters the rule should address, including assessment of occupational hazards. Directs that applications for participation should be submitted by management. Directs the Department of Labor (Department) to provide on-site evaluations by Carolina Star Program evaluation teams of applicant workplaces. Workplaces that participate in the Carolina Star Program are exempt from inspections under GS 95-136, except for those arising from complaints, referrals, fatalities, catastrophes, nonfatal accidents, or significant toxic chemical releases.

Allows workplaces that participated in the uncodified Carolina Star Program prior to July 1, 2017, to continue as a participant, conditioned upon that workplace's ability to meet the relevant requirements and expectations established by guidelines for participation adopted by the Commissioner.

Effective July 1, 2017.

Part III. Other Changes Related to Laws Governing Businesses

Repeals Section 3.2(a) of SL 2017-10, amending Section 14.20(f) of SL 2015-241, making the landfill modifications made in Section 14.20 of SL 2015-241 apply to franchise agreements executed on or after October 1, 2015, and on or before October 1, only if all parties to a valid and operative agreement consent to modify the agreement for the purpose of extending the agreement's duration of the life-of-site of the landfill for which the agreement was executed, and public notice and hearing is provided for the modification in compliance with the requirements of GS 130A-294(b1)(3). Makes conforming change to Section 3.2(e) of SL 2017-10, making Section 3.2(a), amending Section 14.20(f) of SL 2015-241, apply only to franchise agreements executed on or after October 1, 2015 (deleting expanded application to franchise agreements executed on or before October 1, 2015, as previously specified).

Amends GS 130A-294 (Solid waste management program). Amends subsection (a2), defining life of site to mean the period from the initial receipt of solid waste at the facility until the facility reaches its final permitted elevations, not to exceed 60 years (currently, until the Department approves final closure of the facility). Adds new subsection (a3), establishing that a life-of-site permit issued for a sanitary landfill survives the expiration of a local government approval or franchise. Authorizes the county to extend the franchise under the same terms and conditions for the term of the life-of-site permit. Adds that the extension of a franchise does not trigger the requirements for a new permit, a major permit modification, or a substantial amendment to the permit. Amends subdivision (b1)(3), providing that the hearing and notice requirements of this subdivision do not apply to franchises extended pursuant to new subsection (a3). Makes conforming changes to subsection (a2).

Amends GS 130A-309.216 (Ash beneficiation projects). Deletes subsection (b), which sets out the requirements of impoundment owners for the installation and operation of ash beneficiation projects, including permitting for the projects.

Directs the Environmental Management Commission (Commission) to conduct a study to determine if: (1) there is a projected unmet annual demand in North Carolina and contiguous states of at least 300,000 tons of additional ash beneficiated to specifications appropriate for cementitious products over that to be supplied by the ash beneficiation projects required pursuant to GS 130A-309.216 and (2) if the demand is projected to exist, whether the installation and operation of an additional ash beneficiation project is commercially viable to meet the demand in that the costs associated with the project are less than any revenues derived from the sale of processed ash. Details required considerations and assumptions for conducting the study. Directs the Commission to report its findings and recommendations to the Environmental Review Commission by July 1, 2018.

Applicable only to municipalities with a population of more than 250,000, establishes that if a lot line or public way exists between a single city-owned lot and a single privately owned lot, a parking garage that extends across the lot line or public way between the two lots can be constructed as if the city-owned lot has been combined with the privately owned lot so that there is no lot line or public way between them. Expires June 30, 2020.

Amends GS 44A-24.2(3) to amend the definition of commercial real estate as used in the Commercial Real Estate Broker Lien Act to include any real property or interest therein which at the time the property or interest is made the subject of an agreement for broker services is lawfully used primarily for agriculture or forestry. 

Amends GS 95-69.10(b)(8), exempting from the provisions of Article 7A (Uniform Boiler and Pressure Vessel Act) a pressure vessel that does not exceed the listed limitations and is not equipped with a quick actuating closure, and is five cubic feet in volume when the pressure vessel is constructed and operated on the same real property zoned industrial and where its operation is undertaken using commercially acceptable safety precautions for the application. 

Amends GS 130A-336, establishing that an improvement permit or authorization for wastewater system construction issued by a local health department from January 1, 2000, to January 1, 2015, which has not been acted on and would have otherwise expired, remains valid until January 1, 2020, without penalty. Provides this extension does not apply where there are changes in the hydraulic flows or wastewater characteristics from the original local health department evaluation. Permits are transferable with ownership of the property. Requires permits to retain the site, soil evaluations, and construction conditions of the original permit. 

Amends GS 105-187.16, establishing a flat tax imposed on a tire retailer for the sale of each new and used tire (currently, imposes a tax at a percentage rate of the sale price and only applies the tax to the sale of new tires). Amend GS 105-187.15, defining used tire as the term is used in Article 5B (Scrap Tire Disposal Act) to mean a tire other than a new tire, including retreaded or recapped tires. Sets the tax to be $1 for tires with a bead diameter of less than 20 inches, and $2 for tires with a bead diameter of at least 20 inches. Makes conforming changes to GS 105-187.17 to reflect the expansion of the tax to include the sale of used tires in the administration of the Article. Amends GS 105-187.18(a) to remove the tax exemption for recapped tires. Makes conforming changes to GS 130A-309.54. Effective October 1, 2017, and applies to sales or purchases of new and used tires on or after that date. 

Directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Medical Care Commission to repeal the Hospital Facilities Rules within 120 days after this act becomes law. Defines Medical Care Commission (Commission) as the Medical Care Commission created by Part 10 of Article 3 of GS Chapter 143B. Defines Hospital Facilities Rules as 29 specified administrative rules related to physical plants and construction requirements. Requires the Commission to adopt temporary rules to replace the Hospital Facilities Rules and incorporate by reference all applicable rules, standards, and requirements of the most current edition of the Guidelines prior to the effective date of the repeal of the rules pursuant to this act's directive. Defines Guidelines to mean the American Society for Healthcare Engineering's Facility Guidelines Institute "Guidelines for Design and Construction of Hospitals and Outpatient Facilities." Provides that, if temporary rules are not adopted before the effective date of the repeal, the Commission must use the 2014 Edition of the Guidelines until temporary rules are adopted. Directs the Commission to adopt permanent rules pursuant to the act. Directs the Commission to adopt rules to replace the Hospital Facilities Rules conforming to the provisions of this act. Provides that rules adopted pursuant to this act are not subject to Part 3 of Article 2A of GS Chapter 150B and become effective as provided in GS 150B-21.3(b1) as though 10 or more written objections have been received as provided in GS 150B-21.3(b2). Further, exempts rules adopted pursuant to this act from the provisions of GS Chapter 150B that require the preparation of fiscal notes for any rule proposed to incorporate the Guidelines by reference. Exempts the Hospital Facilities Rules from the periodic review process required by GS 150B-21.3A until they are repealed pursuant to this act. Applies to any licensee or prospective applicant who seeks to make specified types of alterations or additions to its hospital facilities or to construct new hospital facilities and who submits plans and specifications to the Department of Health and Human Services pursuant to Article 5 of GS Chapter 113E on or after January 1, 2016.

Makes GS 143-214.7 (Stormwater runoff rules and programs) also applicable to local governance. Prohibits local governments from requiring the use of stormwater retention ponds, stormwater detention ponds, or any other stormwater control measures that promote standing water in order to comply with any local ordinance adopted under GS 143-214.5 at public airports that support commercial air carriers or general aviation services. Adds that development projects within five statute miles from the farthest edge of an airport air operations area are not required to use the same stormwater control measures that promote standing water in order to comply with any local ordinance. Further permits existing stormwater control measures that promote standing water in order to comply with any local ordinance and located at a public airport or that are within five statute miles from the farthest edge of an airport operations area to be replaced with alternative measures included in the Division of Water Resources' Best Management Practice Manual as specified. Provides that a variance to allow any replacement of existing stormwater control measures that promote standing water are considered minor variances under any local government ordinance adopted under GS 143-214.5. Requires local government to deem areas that provide overland stormwater flow that promote infiltration and treatment of stormwater into grassed buffers, shoulders, and grass swales to be permitted pursuant to State requirements and in compliance with any local government water supply watershed management protection ordinance adopted under GS 143-214.5.

Enacts GS 150B-31.2, applicable only to contested cases filed at the Office of Administrative Hearings that involve the issuance of a permit, license, authorization, certificate, certification, or other approval or action by the Department of Environmental Quality (Department) or the Environmental Management Commission (Commission) where the Department or Commission is required to or chooses to accept public comment. Establishes that this statute governs any conflicting provisions. Details filing procedures and proper standing to bring a contested case or seek judicial review regarding a decision governed by the statute. Sets out the limitations for administrative review of a decision under the statute. Effective January 1, 2019, and applies to any contested case that involved issuance of a permit, license, authorization, certificate, certification, or other approval or action by the Department or Commission for which the application was received by the Department or Commission on or after that date. 

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