AN ACT TO PROTECT THE CITIZENS OF NORTH CAROLINA FROM DRINKING WATER CONTAMINATED BY GENX AND OTHER PFAS COMPOUNDS.
Enacts GS 130A-315.1, authorizing the Environmental Management Commission (EMC) to adopt a maximum contamination level that is acceptable for human consumption for one or more per- polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) compounds. Makes the level adopted enforceable by the Secretary of the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) (Secretary). Sets parameters for the level adopted by EMC, including that the level by technologically and economically feasible, as those terms are described. Authorizes DEQ to consult with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to recommend a maximum contaminate level goal based on an estimate of the contaminant in drinking water below which there is no known or expected risk to human health, if any. Sets parameters for the maximum level recommended by DEQ, including minimum concentrations specified, and required reference doses and health constants, as described.
Specifies specific standards and procedures adopted by DEQ are exempt from the procedures of the Administrative Procedure Act, and this exemption extends to DEQ's development of minimum contaminant levels and PFAS under new GS 130A-315.1.
Enacts GS 130A-19.1, granting authority for the Secretary to order a responsible party of a concentration of PFAS in public water system that exceeds a permissible concentration level (defined based on individual or combines PFAS compounds), to pay the public water system any actual or necessary costs incurred to remove, correct, or abate any adverse effects upon the water supply, including procurement and operation of technology to reduce the concentrations in finished drinking water. Allows for the Secretary to bring an action to enforce the order against a responsible party who fails to pay, with the action required to be calendared within 60 days of service. Provides for joint and several liability of a responsible party. Requires a public water system to reimburse ratepayers through rate reduction if the system paid for the abatement with funds charged to ratepayers and was subsequently reimbursed by the responsible party. Includes defined terms.
Applies retroactively to discharges from responsible parties occurring on or after January 1, 2017.
Appropriates $2 million from the General Fund to DEQ for 2022-23 to implement the act. Establishes and requires the funds to be deposited into the PFAS Public Water Protection Fund. Authorizes DEQ to establish time-limited positions with the funds.
Appropriates $2 million from the General Fund to the UNC Board of Governors to be allocated to the NC Collaboratory to conduct research and analysis to provide scientific and economic support for maximum contaminant levels of PFAS established by DEQ, upon the Secretary's request. Requires DEQ and the Collaboratory to develop a work plan for the Collaboratory's support.
Directs DEQ and the Collaboratory to jointly annually report to the specified NCGA committee, with content specified.
Effective July 1, 2022.