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House | June 23, 2016 | Chamber | House Agriculture

Full MP3 Audio File

Section three about the [INAUDIBLE] I don't have anything against doing this. I was wondering if any consideration had been given to allow hunters to do that through a guide service like they do in Texas or is there any problem with that? >> Senator Jackson? >> Thank you Mr. Chairman. Representative Pittman that had been discussed but being this is a new deal in North Carolina we decided let Wildlife Resource Commission take care of it and start with and we'll see how it goes. Because we didn't wanna turn it into a [INAUDIBLE] in some offices opinion that would actually encourage some folks to try and raise this and turn them loose which they can cause millions and millions of dollars of damage to agricultural crops. >> Thank you follow up? >> Follow up. On section ten I wonder why should we extend the sunset, I don't really think we should because I don't agree with taxpayers paying this subsidies to [INAUDIBLE] businesses so I'm wondering what is the purpose for standing the sunset. >> Mr. Chairman they have actually started construction on this and due to different things happening not only within the company first now the company is financially in great shape as far as that goes but they've had some personnel issues with the owners of the company as well as they had some issues trying to make sure they got interconnections and all that worked out. I think this is a in my opinion, I'm not crazy about this credits as well but I think to be in this project has already being started and it's been in the works which will give you an opportunity to finish it. >> Last follow up, follow up? >> Yes. This new section 18 I'm wondering what justifies making this a priority over other worthy projects in the queue. >> Senator Jackson. >> Thank you Mr.Chairman. Representative Pittman this basically is taking us too long to get swine and poultry I guess processing plants in place to do this and they finally have got it going together, this will give a chance to get this I think there's four or five that's gonna be in line shortly and give them a chance to get started to see how we can further progress and make progress in the manure processing. >> Members of the committee I'll follow that pattern, allowing a question and two follow ups. Representative Whitmire. >> Thank you Mr Chair. First of all, Senator Jackson I appreciate this bill tremendously. Many good things, section 14 particularly, thank you for finally helping to clarify an ambiguity that has caused some incredibly legitimate agricultural productions some problems especially as we had a couple of regulatory arms of our state governments which won for partment to the other, but yet their best management practices remain the same that's a great section. One question I have in section 11, the summary near the top on the first page which says all [UNKNOWN] feed rather than [UNKNOWN] only, I may be missing it back in the actual text but the question this [UNKNOWN] if I go buy a bag of [UNKNOWN] to stick in my dear feeder, am I paying that or not, or is it only applying to commercial operations? >> Senator Jackson. >> Thank you Mr Chairman. Reppresentative Whitmire, originally when this bill, this is part of the PCS change as I learned this morning when I read through it. Yes, to answer your question. You would pay. >> Follow up. >> Representative Collins. >> My question [INAUDIBLE]. >> Representative Willingham. >> Thank you Mr Chair I believe in the PC is section it's section 11 this is the exemption for capacity use on farmers agriculture. >> Yes sir and I apologize you are exactly right I was using my own talking points and when the new section got added I got off. >> That's okay and it said this would exempt water withdrawal from for agricultural purposes on a bonafide farm. Two of the counties that's listed under the capacity use of two areas that I represent and my question is that, why would we exempt, has there been a problem with use of water [INAUDIBLE] by the agricultural industry, has that presented a problem? >> Senator Jackson. >> Mr [UNKNOWN] and Representative Willingham Yes, to answer your question, There was a problem over where I think in the [INAUDIBLE] county area at one time concerning that issue of them being able to use their center pivots to and

they were not able to use them. >> Follow up. >> Yes. In my area we have a very I think we haven't had a problem as far as farmers being able to draw water. But the thing to me that during the spring time, summer time this is when you really have that largest water use by farmers even though we're saying it's only about 2% water used for agriculture but it's much more than that because it's self reported and we know that more water's being used than what was being reported. And I know that as a fact in my area that farmers just draw as much water as they want, when they want it and it's not reported. But my thing is that by having this in here now, this would seem to cripple the local folks or whoever from being able to come in do in an assessment and say maybe you're using too much water and we need to have some kind of restriction at that time. This would restrict them from doing that as I see it here, this means that agriculture will have unlimited use of water no matter what. >> Senator Jackson. >> Thank you Mr. Chairman. Representative Whittingham, one, you're right it was a voluntary program to collect that data but it was in agriculture's best interest to report that several years ago, and they've been reporting since then the cost because the perception out there is that folks drive by these farms and they see these sprinklers going or these big guns going and you think in your mind that that's a lot of water. But when you average it out,over the period,it's not. It actually is less that 2%. Now is everybody reporting? I'd probably would have to agree with you, they probably are not.But they're supposed to be reporting. To answer your question, this would exempt agriculture from these having to go through the EMC in this capacity use areas. But also as I understand and have been told, the [UNKNOWN] have replenished themselves and that this restrictions may be lifted. Anyhow as we move forward, but this basically would allow our number one industry in this state and our number one economic driver in the state to be able to water their livestock and water their crops in that 60 to 90 day period that you are referring that you see most of the time. >> Representative Bell. >> Senator Jackson in section ten on the extension of the renewable facilities, is this just dealing with that one project or is it open the door form other projects in the same situation? >> Just this one project. >> Senator Jackson I'm sorry follow up. Representative Mcgrady >> Thank you Mr Chairman I guess question first to staff relates to section 14 and I'm really trying to understand what it is exactly we are doing here. Section one there in 14 as I read it as it currently is, relates primarily to livestock and things related tom livestock. And then of course we got four [INAUDIBLE] mining and a range of other things and a range of this other provisions that are exemptions. Is this would you characterize this as a clarification of the current war or is this an expansion of the exemption. [BLANK_AUDIO] >> Mr. Chairman. >> Samuel Jackson. >> That was to staff if I could get. >> I'll try to pay better attention Representative McGrady. >> Sir if you recognize to answer Representative McGrady's question. >> Ladies and gentlemen Representative McGrady so in subdivision 1a, there's already an exemption for production of forges and solid crops, greens and feed crops to back up cotton and peanuts. So it's anticipated that there would be some exemption for non-livestock production. Sod is one of the things that's in the new language that's already up there in a. So I don't know that I could really say whether it's a clarification or an expansion but what it would do is allow production of mulch ornamental plants and other horticultural products to have that same exemption that forges and solid crops and grains and feed crops and tobacco and

cotton and peanuts would have. >> Follow up. >> Follow up. I understand 1g what that is what I'm trying to get back to is, in any activity that constitutes a bonafide forum, are we picking up other things by adding that language that aren't currently covered in the law? >> Mr. Saunders. >> Thank you Mr. Chairman. No Representative McGrady, there's really nothing that would be in 153 A - 340 B 2 that's not somehow contemplated under one of these exemptions once G is in there. >> Mr. Chairman. >> Senator Jackson. >> I may just add a comment. Representative McGrady that was not the intent of cuz we're pretty we're hoping this actually will finish the definition of a bonafied farm in our cultural operation with what is listed here. >> Mr. Chairman one last question. Switching over to section 12, I understand that capacity use areas Senator are only designated when there is a specific water source that is in danger of running dry. It's not something that's focused on drought but rather indicates a long term problem with how much water is available for all the users. You quoted the 2% figure but I have a suspicion that that 2% figure [BLANK_AUDIO] isn't the same throughout the state meaning there are large agricultural water users that concentrate in other areas of the state. I guess what I'd like just to ask you to do after the meeting is just give me some data on this. >> Okay. >> I wanna be with water. I want agriculture to be a good neighbor and if agriculture is checking all the water out it may not be a good neighbor to some other water users that aren't agricultural and I'm really I don't know what the data is here and you well know the water systems in the mountain are not anything like the water that you have on your farm and that's what I'm concerned about. >> Senator Jackson. >> Okay, thank you Mr Chairman and Representative McGrady I understand your concern and I will get you the data but that 2% is an aggregate. I wanna make sure you understand that that is an aggregate, that's not just any particular individual operation and concerning the west versus the east all I can say is you get it before we ever see it. [LAUGH] >> Representative Yarborough. >> Thank you Chairman I'd like to comment I appreciate you giving us a little bit of time to look into this issues then hear from some of the constituent that might be affected, in section where you savor the exemption from the building permits and you said that is just clarifying the existing law I've got a small but growing issue in my community where we have the use of the Ag buildings for events on reception, some other types of events and they don't fall under the normal building codes for having a crowd around there, now these are all very valuable assets to the community we don't wanna shut this businesses down, on the other hand we would start and have some concerns about something might happen when you get a crowd together in a building that hasn't been inspected do you see any relevance to that issue and what it is. >> Senator Jackson. >> Thank you Mr Chairman Representative Yarborough I do not because I believe most what you are referring to is covered in the Agri tourisms section that we have done over the last several years to allow those facilities to be counted as agricultural operations and so they would in my opinion if it's just a venue for just one specific purpose I mean there is no agricultural associated with an operation. That to me, that's one thing but what we're trying to cover in this particular instance is to clarify the law that was put in place last year. That anything, any minor repairs cuz if it's a load bearing [INAUDIBLE ] that you still got to get a permit, you still suppose to follow the code that, the [INAUDIBLE] codes in that type of thing. This basically will just clarify that minor projects, such as replacing water heaters,that type of thing, you do not have to have a permit. >> I appreciate that and I'm looking forward to hearing from some

of my other constituents- >>Members I have three members in the queue Cleveland,Graham,and Bradford after that,then we're gonna hear from the public comment people and then we'll come back to members if we have time. Representative Cleveland? >> Thank you, Mr. Chairman. In section 11, the fees being assessed on [UNKNOWN] feed, I honestly don't think that we should be assessing people that are not in the industry to support the industry. I see where they can write a demand letter to get their funds back but you and I both know that 98% of those folks aren't gonna take the time to do it. Would you be have objections to have another part removed so that the cost is put on the association and only the association. >> Senator Jackson. >> Mr.Chairman and Representative Cleveland I would object to that because that was part of the PCS that I had nothing to do with. So you might want to talk to some of your house members on that. But as far as your statement, you're actually right.You know if it's $0.50 versus $50. Folks the $0.50 would probably not going to do it. But I'm sure if it's $50 they'll request a refund.And there is,we're not setting press just, I'm not trying to take after this position that we're not setting [UNKNOWN] because this is done with other association when it comes to feed in different things. So it's not a precedence. >> Follow up? >> Follow up. Are you telling me that the house put this division in there? >> They changed to it. Yes sir. >> Representative Graham >> [COUGH] Thank you Mr. Chair and Senator Jackson, in section eight can you tell me what a responsible bidder is in that section. Related to the local produce. >> A responsible bidder? >> Yes. >> That to me, and I'm just gonna give you Bret's opinion but to me would be someone that has had the qualifications or is gap certified in the produce industry, for instance they've met all the certifications that are required to participate in this program cuz this program originally originated many years ago through the DOD and so there's procedures been set in and I actually am proud of this program that the Department of Ag is done with DOD because we were the pilot program for the nation and it has worked so well by buying local produce to go into the school systems that most all states have adopted some form of our pilot program. >> Follow up? >> Just a follow up. I think you've answered my question. You said they must be certified to become a bidder. >> They're supposed to be as I understand it. But I'd be glad t get you more information on that. I have not had that question asked but I'll be glad to follow it up. >> Representative Bradford. >> Yes sir. >> Thank you Mr. Chairman, Senator Jackson thanks for being here today. Regarding section 13 residential hot water heaters so when I'm outside of this building I have a business and we often have to replace hot water heaters so we use plumbers etc. When I'm reading the bill summary, it says replacement of water heaters in one or two family dwellings and it says if the energy used or thermal input does not exceed that of the current water heater being replaced and then it goes on to list a few things including capacity. Last year in April 16 the federal government sort of reworked all water heaters just because of energy efficiency standards. So a lot of water heaters that are now going bad, if you will, are smaller and the ones that are bigger often by just two are three gallons have better energy. My question is it says that this is sort of fenced in based on the energy does not exceed the existing model and you're gonna find that in most cases because they've become more efficient. But then it says there that it can't exceed capacity and I just wanna bring to your attention there are lots of water heaters that are say, 38 gallons and the new ones are 40, would you be open to opening that just a little bit because a 40 gallon old one is gonna be bigger capacity wise but have better energy and it would be wise to not to have to pull a permit because it's 2 gallons bigger. >> Senator Jackson. >> I would certainly not be objective is to try and clarify that. You are so welcome. >> Members of the public have our first public comment will come from Representative Rick Catlin and I'm gonna give you half of our remaining time which will give the three of you two minutes each, Sergeant-at-Arms time for two minutes. >> Thank you, I'm practicing for being here next session when I'm not elected anymore. >> [LAUGH] [BLANK_AUDIO] >> I have some real concerns for section

12, as one of the original hydro geologists in North Carolina, we're one of the few states that don't require wall permits for all Aquifer usage. I think there's only two states in the whole nation that don't do that and this is actually moving us backward, away from the first step that we've taken in the 15 states to protect our Aquifer. This section would exempt would water withdrawals made by the agriculture and forest industries from the water withdrawal permitting requirements of the central coastal plain capacity use area and right now they only have to get a permit if they're gonna use more than a 100 gallons per day so that's a lot of water. And the agriculture and forestry industry are heavy users of water. I'm for them but what we need the data to make sure that they are not causing a problem, the average water use for egg is seven million gallons a day back in 2014 so it's a big deal and excluding egg and forestry from the permitting process we put a burden on potential other water well users, cities, counties, utility authorities and is also causing, if we're not careful of how we're analyzing this, we're gonna destroy one of the major resources we've got in North Carolina and that's protecting our aquifer. We need to have the data on all the wells to make sure we don't harm an aquifer. We need to have data to make sure that we're not gonna reduce the surface water in New Hanover County we're drying up ponds and lakes. We wanna move, we gonna make sure that we're not moving contamination. And we also wanna make sure that we're not causing salt water intrusion so, most of these agricultural areas won't have a problem but we need to go through the permit process to make sure that we've got the data that we don't cause a disaster in North Carolina. >> Thank you Representative Caitlyn for those excellent remarks. Brookes Rynae please, two minutes. [BLANK_AUDIO] >> Good morning I am Brookes Rynae Pearson. I'm a staff attorney with The Southern Environmental Law Center and I'm also here to talk about section 12, capacity use area are only designated when a specific water source is in danger of running dry because of multiple water users, unlike drought which may be severe but is usually of a limited duration, the kind of waters shortage that leads to the designation of a CUA indicates a long term problem with the system of water management. The purpose of the CUA is to balance the competing needs of agriculture, local government, power companies, developers, manufacturing, and all other regulated entity. Taking agriculture use out of that equation through permanent exemption will make it much more difficult to achieve the goal of preserving the water supply without severely limiting water availability for all users and puts a greater burden on all of the other users, local governments, power companies, developers, manufacturing, and all other regulated entities, since the exemption also protects future agricultural use it would allow new agricultural operation to come into a CUA and create a completely unregulated water withdrawal, disrupting the entire CUA management plan, exempting any user from having a permanent is a bad idea it will be much more difficult the future when faced with water shortages to get agriculture back into this program than to just not let it out in the first place. At the very least if no permit is to be required we should track the amount of water being withdrawn otherwise we are never going to be able to figure out recharge rates or ensure citizens that their wells are not going to go dry or ensure that there are fish in the water to catch, or to know when salt water intrusion is taking place, thank you so much please consider changing this or eliminating this section. >> Thank you Ms [INAUDIBLE] Mathew Starr. [BLANK_AUDIO] >> Good morning I'm Mathew Starr I'm your upper news [INAUDIBLE] keeper, section 14 of this bill is re-written to exclude bonified farms which will create a giant loop hole and a sedimentation includes a control act, to be clear a control act already exempt raw crops, dairy, poultry, cattle, sheep, swine, horses and other agriculture and we don't object to these extensions. The new language in section 14 does something different, the reference to the bonifide farm use and creates unnecessary loop hole allowing any land development business who happen to acquire a farm ID in the past to exploit protections and intended for hardworking farmers. To see how this would work, let's say that a family once had 100 acres but no longer wants to farm that land. They instead want to open a commercial enterprise hosting weddings. So they build a bed and breakfast,

they build a reception area and a perking lot. Under this new language all of those non farming activities would be exempt from the sedimentation pushing control act, or let's say there's a land developer who has packed land, has a passion and put cattle or horses on that land and while they wait for the market to [UNKNOWN] for their project. Under this new provision when it comes time to start land clearing all of that land disturbance, what the Sedimentation Act is supposed to cover, may fall out of coverage through this loop hole, recommend dropping the bonafide reference. The second activity this section has in exemption from all [UNKNOWN] and other horticultural activities, first of all size are already excluded, so that's not needed, and what I think this is trying to hit is at the mulch and just real quickly a little bit about mulch. [UNKNOWN] or the water the drains the real [UNKNOWN] it's either sitting there or has been dyed [UNKNOWN] that we consumers just [UNKNOWN] >> Thank you Mr. [UNKNOWN] for your comments Representative John Bell is recognized for a motion. >> Thank you [BLANK_AUDIO] Representative Dickson a motion of favor report to the PCS and unfavorable to the original. >> Members you've heard the motion, any further discussion? >> Mr. Chairman? >> Representative Cleveland. >> I was under the impression Mr. Chairman, that we are gonna come back next Tuesday to vote on the bill. >> As the Chair indicated to begin with, we would move at a pace that the Chair felt comfortable with, that the committee had had sufficient time to discuss the situation and it's my belief that the committee is prepared to take a vote. Representative McGrady. >> Mr. Chairman with all respect, I have indicated the two sections I have concerns with. My questions are not totally answered and therefore I'll be voting no and I don't like to do committee work on the floor but that's probably what we're gonna have to do if we proceed at this pace. >> The Chair would like to see a show of hands of those who would prefer to come back next Tuesday for further discussion of this bill. [BLANK_AUDIO] Those who were prepared to vote today? [BLANK_AUDIO] This meeting is adjourned and will convene again next Tuesday. Thank you members for great work. >> Thank you Mr. Chairman, thank you members we look forward to seeing you next Tuesday.