AN ACT TO AMEND VARIOUS ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS.
Senate committee substitute makes the following changes to the 4th edition.
Amends Section 13, regarding the rule for protection of existing buffers in the Jordan Lake watershed, and requiring exemptions to that rule for publicly owned spaces where the buffers pose a risk to public safety. Further requires identical exemptions under, and amendments to, nine additional specified rules regarding the Neuse River Basin, Tar-Pamlico River Basin, Randleman Lake Water Supply Watershed, Goose Creek Watershed Quality Management Plan, Mitigation Program Requirements for Protection and Maintenance of Riparian Buffers, and Catawba River Basin.
Amends Section 15, which amended GS 105-275 by designating certain classes of property, subject to seven listed riparian buffer rules and being used as riparian buffers, as excluded from tax. Replaces all current text with a direction to the fiscal Research Division to estimate the value of property subject to those same rules, and the value of property being used as a riparian buffer under those same rules. Directs the Fiscal Research Division to report its findings to the Environmental Review Commission and the Revenue Laws Study Committee by May 1, 2018.
Further amends GS 74-51 (Permits--application, granting, conditions). Provides that a public hearing is not required for a modification of a mining permit to extend the duration of the permit to a life-of-site or life-of-lease under GS 74-50(d) or (d1).
Deletes Section 19, which required cities or counties that accept state funds for specified activities to prohibit certain alteration, excavation, or removal of sand dunes.
Amends GS 143-214.12 (Division of Mitigation Services: Ecosystem Restoration Fund). Further authorizes the use of the Ecosystem Restoration Fund to acquire, maintain, enhance, restore, or create streams in accordance with a basinwide plan. Deletes the provision requiring a recipient of funds under subsection (a1) to grant a conservation easement to the Department of Environmental Quality. Authorizes a recipient of funds under subsection (a1) that acquires a conservation easement or interest in real property appurtenant to a restoration project delivered to the Division of Mitigation Services to transfer the easement or interest to a federal or state agency, a local government, or a private nonprofit conservation organization approved by the Division of Mitigation Services. Requires any nonprofit conservation organization that the Department conveys real property or an interest therein acquired under the Division of Mitigation Services to be approved by the Division. Requires any grant of real property or an interest therein to a federal or State agency, a local government, or a private nonprofit conservation organization approved by the Division of Mitigation Services under subsection (a1) to be in a form that is acceptable to the Department of Environmental Quality.
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