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House | June 28, 2016 | Chamber | House Environment

Full MP3 Audio File

[BLANK_AUDIO] Good morning. Thank you all for being here, especially committee members because this was a last minute call for this committee and I appreciate it and appreciate Representative Leubke being here instead of hearing the budget with the Democrats right now so hopefully somebody's covering for him there. But this is a bill that 593 we'll talk about it in a minute. That's all we're gonna cover today. The sergeants at arms today, I'd like to recognize them. Reggie Seals Reggie Sills, Marvin Lee, Terry McCrawl, and Randy Wall. Thank you all so much for being here and for your service. And we have some pages today if you don't mind just stand up when we call your name. Sally Cummings, she is Speaker Moore's page from Wake County, thank you. Hope Harrington is also from Wake, Representative Stam. And then we have Joseph Lackey also from Wake, Representative Martin. Gosh Wake, is anybody in school today? >> [LAUGH] >> I guess not cuz it's summer. You have year round schools though. Mild Lee from New Hanover and also he represented speaker Moore. Thank you so much. We appreciate your service and hope you have a great week in the legislature. I am going to start this off real quickly. We're gonna have staff discussing 593. And then I will come down there since it is my bill. It started out my bill. It started out, I hink one paragraph and has come back 14 pages. But that's okay, cuz it Cuz it looks like a lot of good things in it. And I haven't heard a lot of controversy so, anybody who has an issue with part of this bill I'd like to hear from you today cuz I probably will be the conferee for this bill and I'd like to hear the public's opinion. on this before i go into conference on it. We will have it on the floor after this for non- concurrence. But right now we are going to listen to the public, listen to each of you. And make sure this had a hearing and didn't get put on the floor without a hearing on our side. Okay and I think there's gonna be a tag team with staff, because different areas of this bill may not have anything to do with environment.Thank you so much. [BLANK_AUDIO] Thank you madam chair. As Rep. McElraft mentioned This bill is back from the Senate for concurrence by the house. It went over as a bill introduced by Rep. McElraft called Amended Environmental Laws and just had a few provisions related to leaking underground storage tanks. Now those provisions are in the bill that's come back from the Senate also as Representative McElraft me and my colleagues will walk you through the bill there are a number of different provisions so we are going to work together to explain it, and be available to answer questions afterwards. So section one this is the fourth edition now of House Bill 593 prohibits certain storm water control measures. This provision would prohibit the director of the division of water quality within the Department of Environmental Quality from acquiring use of on site storm water control measures to protect down stream water quality standards unless required to do so by state or federal law. Section two exempts landscaping. materials from storm water management requirements. This would exempt from the definition of built upon area for purposes of implementing storm water programs. Landscaping materials including but not limited to gravel, mulch, sand and vegetation placed on areas that receive pedestrian or bicycle traffic from portions of drive ways and parking areas that will not receive the full way vehicular traffic. Built upon area on definition is important for storm water management because that's the measure by which you determine how extensive your storm water management measures are going to be. >> Section three of the bill would amend the statutes that govern the fast track permitting for storm order management in order to direct the EMC to revise its rules by July 1st of next year to include the falling license professionals as qualified to prepare a storm water management system permit without a technical review so long as the application complies with the minimum design criteria and those Those professionals include landscape architects, professional geologists,

professional engineers, soil scientists, and any other licensed professionals that the ENC deems appropriate. >> Section Four would direct the state's Environmental Management Commission to amend the threshold for when mitigations requirement for impacts to stream beds under current law that threshold impacts 150 linear fee or above you have to mitigate. This would direct EMC to amend its rules so that that threshold would be 300 linear feet of losses of stream beds before you would have to mitigate and you and you also wouldn't have to mitigate for the first 300 linear fee of stream impacted. Also it directs the department of Environmental Quality to come in the US Amy Engineers requesting that they increase the threshold for mitigation also from the current 150 linear fee to 300 linear fee. >> Section five of the bill would repeal a directive in last years budget that require the Coastal Resources Commission to adapt updated growth for the use of sand bags by December of last year. The updates roles were approved in May 2016 meeting of the CRC. The section would direct the CRC to adopt those rules as temporal rules This section would direct the CRC to adopt those temporary rules. Section six of the bill would direct the CRC to amend the sediment criteria rule to allow sand from the Cape Shoals to be used as ocean beach nourishment without undergoing a compatibility analysis. Section seven of the bill would direct the division of coastal management in consultation with the CRC to study whether long term erosion rates should be modified in and around newly constructed terminal groins. >> Sections 8 through 12 of the PCS Bank a number of changes regarding solid waste provisions to provisions enacted last year to extend the duration of a permanence for sanitary landfills to the life of those landfills' site. And as you may recall in addition our franchises required for all sanitary landfills to be permitted and we also then required newly executed franchise agreements between local governments and landfill operators to also be executed for [INAUDIBLE]. Section nine would give parties to currently operative franchise agreement the ability to essentially modify that franchise agreement to [UNKNOWN] and then section nine also specifies that the franchise agreement can only be executed for period not to exceed 60 years there were some concerns that just generally authorizing them for the [UNKNOWN] might run into some constitutional issues as far as granting monopoly it is limited at 60 years. Section 11 of the PCS would require the division of waste management and the department modify the statute that governs the authority of the department Department over Senate or solid waste permit to require the department to approve aerosolization as an acceptable disposal method for [UNKNOWN] and waste water for landfills. In addition the provide that aerosolization of waste water that results in a fluent free production or zero liquid discharge would not constitute a discharge that requires an air quality permit, or a water quality permit. Also section 10 is a study the department would be directed to look at landfill capacity in the state and cost issues associated with transport waste across jurisdictions and that report would be due to the Environmental Review Commission December 31st 2016. >> Section 13 would codify the failure or person engaged in shooing hooved animals it doesn't require a veterinary license from the North Carolina veterinary medical board. Section 14 would provide that customer email address received and customer identification numbers issued by The Wildlife Resources Commission and Marine Fisheries Commission are considered identifying information that may not be made available

to the public. The section would also provide that any customer's name, physical address, email address, telephone number or public utility account numbers received by the public staff or Utilities Commission is not a public record. It may be disclosed only for the purpose of investigating a complaint against the Public Utility by the customer and is to become effective by October 1st 2016. Section 15A would provide The Museum of Natural Sciences of the North Carolina Zoological Park, finds that an illegally entered reptile that seized as a venomous reptile large constricting snake or a regulated crocodilian, the museum or the zoo can determine the interim disposition of the seized reptile until a court issues a final disposition. If they determine that that appropriate interim disposition of euthanasia they're not liable to the owner of the reptile or if the reptile dies of natural or unintended causes. Upon conviction of any violation of the The criminal section on regulation of venomous reptiles, the court can issue a final disposition on the confiscated reptiles. This may include transfer of titles to the state reimbursement for the cost to seize, storage, delivery and storage of the reptiles. The section also authorizes law enforcement officers to kill a venomous reptile if there's immediate threat to public safety. Section 15B would direct the Department on Natural and Cultural Resources NWC to develop a list of potential designated representatives to store and safe keep venomous reptiles, large constricting snakes or crocodalieans and section 15 C will direct the department on Natural and Cultural Resources NWRC to study and make recommendations to the ERC by December 1st on potential procedural policy changes to improve regulation on endangered reptiles. >> Section 16 of the bill. I want to amend the administrative code to exempt a public water supply from the daily flow requirements provided those flow rates that have that are worse than those required by rule 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 professional engineer license under chapter 89C of the general statute and also provide for a flow that is sufficient to sustain the water usage required in the engineering design. >> Section 18 would provide that a public agency that makes it's public records and computer database available online satisfies the requirement to allow access to public records and is not required to provide copies through any other method or medium. The public agency may provide copies by another method and may negotiate a charge for that service if they opt to do so. Section 19 would prohibit a city from imposing a fee on gas, telecommunications, electricity or video programming utilities for activities conducted in a right of way, unless the cost for those activities exceeds the amount the city has collected for sales and use tax. And the final section section 20 provides that acceptance required by federal law no state agency or local government may prohibit a unit of the federal government from pumping standing storm water from federal land in to the ocean. And unless we've indicated otherwise in describing this provisions the provisions become effective when this act becomes law. We will be happy to try and answer any questions. [BLANK_AUDIO]>> Okay what we will do here is I will ask my co-chair representative Catlin to come forward and chair I'll come down there in case you have questions for me which I probably can't answer. So I will also then representative Catlin will ask for members of the committee who have questions or concerns about parts of the bill to speak those concerns. And then we will ask the public anyone who has Concern. If you have a burning desire to get up and tell me why you like a section, that's fine. But if you don't mind, we won't take the time to do that today. If you can send me an email that'd be great. But, we just wanna know about the parts of the bill you don't like. So, when I go into conference, I will have that information. Thank you representative Catlin [BLANK_AUDIO] [CROSSTALK] >> Good morning, all right [BLANK_AUDIO] Do we have any questions? Representative McGrady. >> Thank you Mr. Chairman. This is a question I think to the staff. We have over the last several years gone through a series of different provisions that related to To gravel. And I'm looking at section 2 here exempting landscaping material from storm water management requirements.

Has there been any look at this provision to see whether it is in conflict with, while call it the gravel rules that we have put in place in recent years? >> Representative McGrady you are correct that this particular provision has been amended a number of times over the last several years. At one point, gravel was completely exempted from built upon area. I think that was two sessions ago and then last session that was removed, but then an additional gravel provision was put in which is the language that begins right before this new language. And then the new language includes gravel. I think that the rule the EMC adopted when the General Assembly first enacted the gravel Gravel provision essentially attempted to define gravel as a certain type of rock. As far as I know, that's still in place and would be limiting on gravel as it's used in this particular provision. >> [BLANK_AUDIO] Thank you. Representative Harrison. >> Thank you Mr Chair. A question and then a couple of comments. So my question relates to section one. Onsite management of the storm water. Has there been a situation where DEQ required onsite management when it wasn't already required by state or federal law, and if not, can you give me an example of what this house applies or what it means? >> So I'm not aware of a specific example, however, DEQ has told us that at times their staff has interpreted this rule to require storm water management measures when not required to do so by state or federal law so so this would attempt to limit them and their interpretation that rule or clarify that rule. that the division of water resources can't require such measures except as required by state or federal law. >> Follow up. >> Thank you follow up some of the comments are as follows Representative McElraft, as you are aware, the ERC studied the string mitigation issue fairly extensively during the interim and declined to advance legislation on it, so my comment to you would be I'm not sure why we're doing it at all and certainly not in this fashion it hasn't had a third debate in the House. The chair, are Representative McGrady's concerns about the built upon areas that's an issue that's been studied extensively over several [INAUDIBLE] and Senator Jackson spent a lot of time and effort on that so I'm hesitant to undo any of those changes. The beach engineering material standard. I used to sit on the Coastal Resources Commission and we have a terrific science panel, volunteer Has spent years studying this issue.So I'm reluctant for the legislature doesn't have the technical expertise to weight into this area because there's some very specific environmental impacts that relate to what kind of sand you use and where you place it. So I'm concerned about the possibility of us messing with that and land fills I'm hesitant to undo any of these protections we have in place. I think a study is not a bad idea if there's some folks who have concerns about the comprehensive legislation passed several years ago. But I'm not sure we're giving DEQ enough time cuz I think the date is December of this year. So that that doesn't seem like enough time particularly as understaffed as they are. And finally I can't understand the federal storm order of pumping, it seems like you're talking about pumping some potentially harmful water into the ocean. I know that's an issue that the CRC has considered quality on the ocean sides of our beaches. So I appreciate your leadership on this. I hope you'll undo all the bad stuff, thanks. >> Mr. Chairman I'll just make a couple of comments. >> Sure. >> I think on the federal storm water pumping and I'll get more clarification on this but that's when a road is covered and it's dangerous and there is no place else to put it and that was my understanding that when a road needed to be undone so that they can get emergency traffic through and stuff like that they needed to be able to pump the water to the beach. Some water is never clean but its mostly rain water and they just need to get it it of there somewhere. I'll clarify that but I think that was why that was put in. And on the beach engineering standards maybe staff could explain this but I thought this was just an exemption for one beach area to get [INAUDIBLE] that is [INAUDIBLE] there but are Is that also talking about changing the standards for the criteria for the sand? >> I'm not sure if we can answer the specific question about Bald

Head Island, but Miss Cummings may have some information. >>Yes, Roseann Miguel Rock, I'm not aware of the Bald Island issue but this applies to any sand in the Cape Shoal system. >> Yeah. >> It's my understanding that when the rule was adopted in 2007, it was to address some communities experiencing negative environmental, and aesthetic impacts from sand coming from sites with excessive mud, clay and shells. And our understanding is that sand from the Cape Shoal system, doesn't have the same compatibility issues. >> May I Mr. Chair? >> Oh, absolutely. >> Actually that sand, mud and shells issue was our beach in Carteret County. And if you look at that beach today, I'll just say it, if you look at that beach today, and you know that Representative Harrison, it's an outstanding beach and Amount of shells that were underneath, have protected and built upon the sand. They were a good base for it. So I don't think that's gonna change. I mean that sand criteria for offshore Burrel sites, is gonna stay the same. It's just this one area where the sand has just come out of the port, is meant for those beaches. And it is sitting there, and it is good sand, and it needs to quickly go back onto those beaches, and get out of the way of the ships, and things. I think that's what it's for, but I'll clarify that. Thank you Mr. Chair. >> Okay, thank you. Representative Dickson. >> Thank you Mr. Chair. I have a question on Section 18, on page 11. No request for copies of public records in a particular medium, shall be denied on the grounds Is that, such and such. And then on page 12, I understand the notwithstanding subsection A. And there, beginning on line 4, a public agency that provides access to public records or computer databases under this subsection, is not required to provide copies through any other method or medium. And then it gives permissible language that is there. I still have some concerns about folks in certain areas of the state, that may not have good access or competent abilities. I'm still uneasy about that section, even though it says notwithstanding And what we told you, couldn't happen now. We're giving you permission to deny. I'm still not real comfortable with that, and I see some potential problems. >> Would you like to respond to that? >> Well I think, from the notes that I have here from the senate, the reason they put that in is, kind of like we discussed on the house side was, in Wake County, they actually are having inundated with requests from realtors, and I don't mean anything against realtors. But different groups that wont, they've put the information in their format, their digital format, instead of the format that Wake County usually gives it in, or other counties usually give it in. So I think that was the reason that they added that language. But I'll check and I'll show your concerns. Okay? >> Okay. Representative Luebke. >> Thank you Mr Chairman. And I wanna thank both of you as chairs for bringing this bill to the committee. It's so important that we members can come in on, and also that the public can come in on the Bill. And that is just an important step, and one that we should be doing. As you know I feel all the time, with Bills like this coming over from the Senate. So thank you very much. My question Representative Carl Wright Is, of all these sections, when you decide or you advocate it for non-concurrence, and for a conference committee, which one bothers you the most? >> Well, quite frankly, I haven't studied all of them, since I just got the, I think we just received the Bill on Friday. And so I haven't had a chance to actually delve into all of them. So at this point, I'm hearing your concerns. I'm gonna be your representative. It's not gonna be about me. So I really think that I'll just wait, and here everybody before I comment on that. >> Followup. >> Followup. >> Well, let me Let me just add my name to those who are very concerned about section one I have other concerns about the bill but section one in particular seems problematic.

>> Thank you. >> And I actually have one question for staff the law flow design alternatives is a little frightful can you explain why that is in here. >> Mr. Chairman it's my understanding that this is a provision that would comport with changes that were made for low flow design for waste water treatment a couple years ago in one of our rival/g form bills. So my understanding is that sensibly if you have low flow going to the waste water system you probably have low flow coming in unused that will be going out into the waste water systems so that's my understanding. >> Okay. Thank you. Follow up on that low flow for public drinking water Drinking water is a disinfection concern so I think it's good that we'll discuss this too thank you. >>Any more comments from our representatives? All right, Representative [UNKNOWN]. >> In looking at section 1B about the control measures except as required by law would this give someone the ability if a local storm water inspector had put higher standards or was requiring higher standards. Does this give someone the ability to go to DEQ and have it actually conform to the state law? >> I don't think so these particular rules are very specific rules about 401 certification if there is a federal 4 permit required this is the state 401 certification so in the context this is like a very very specific kind of permitting thing that DEQ does and it's just limiting DEQ so I don't think it has any larger applicability outside of these very specific rules [BLANK_AUDIO]. >> Representative [UNKNOWN]. >> Thank you. May I just add a second area that concerns me and that section 11 where the bill requires the department to approve arrow civilization and just to question very much why we're giving a specific directive to a department to engage in a particular kind of activity and not make it based on the scientific evidence at the department might be bringing so that section 11 thank you [BLANK_AUDIO]>> Representative Davies. >> Thank you Mr. Chairman, looking back at section 1B I'm just thinking about situation for instance where a city engineer sees a unique situation that may require special provisions to protect the local strong water down stream quality and this will prevent that city engineer from taking any action I'm I reading this correctly? >> So if you look at this section 1B there's not withstanding the specific rule citations and those rule citations are for very specific processes in the department of environmental quality when they have to give a certification when there's a federal permit required but if you read all this just applies to the director of the division of water resources and presumably his staff or her staff if they delegate this responsibility. So its just limiting the division of water resources. So again I don't think it has any applicability to the locals. >> Representative Dickson. >> Thank you Mr. chair. Could I make a comment in reference to Representative Luebke concerns, on section 11? >> Yes. >> Representative Luebke this is a process that is currently approved by DEQ it is a patented process that is actually in use and some of the industry because of various reasons with approval would like this type of language in there to make official that position of DEQ to avoid problems that may exists in temporary rules or interpretation of rules and stuff but it currently Approved for use by DEQ and it is a patented process and it works very well [BLANK_AUDIO] >> All right are we ready for any public

comments? [BLANK_AUDIO] Thank you Mr. Chairman representative Micheal Rap, members of the committee I'd like to focus my comments my name is Tom Bean and I represent environmental defense fund in the North Carolina Wildlife Federation and I'd like to focus my comments on the section four amend stream mitigation requirements. This section would make a really significant changes to current policy as the stuff has told you it increases the threshold Threshold for how much stream can be destroyed, go from 150 to 300 linear feet, so thats an increase and I think one key thing to keep in mind is under current policy even if you when you get to 150 feet you still have to mitigate for the loss of that 150 fee under this proposed provision it will allow you to go up to 350 feet but you wouldn't have to mitigate. You would even have to replace the loss of that first 300 feet. So that's a significant impact the reason that the current policy is in place that says 150 feet you got to mitigate is because even relatively small stretches of stream if they are impacted or destroyed have a real impact on ecological function and on the streams function is hydro-logically so we think it's bad policy to allow 350 feet of stream at a time to be destroyed to mitigate that and buy that same logic we think its a very bad idea to direct the Division of Environmental Quality to essentially petition army core of engineers to adopt a bad policy. So we would urge you to remove it. >> Thank you. >> Any other? Your name and two minutes please. >> Hello Molly Young, Director of Legislative Affairs for DEQ. I just have a really quick technical request. Following up on a question Rep. Harrison brought up about Section 10. About a study that the Division of Waste Management would conduct. The timeline, we do believe, is a little bit too constrained to perform an adequate study. If the intention is to take up this issue in long session. we would recommend a deadline of May 1st, 2017. The study will require some input from the solid waste regulatory community and may also benefit from input from NC state's engineering department that works on solid waste so we would recommend that it's worth referencing a stake holder process that would share the information to get a better picture of costs and the direction of expansion opportunities. So May 1st 2017 would be our recommendation. Thank you. >> Thank you. You can comment. >> I just wanna comment to everyone, I'm taking what I call copious notes. If you all don't mind sending me an email on any positives or negatives that would be great. Thank you. >> All right. Our next speaker. >> Good morning my name is Peter Rob, I represent American Rivers. I'll be quick, I'm gonna talk Talk about sections one through four. Section one, it would be great if this section would be removed from the overall Bill. I know they talked about it in ERC but having onsite water management is one of the best ways to reduce pollution before it gets into the water body and so saying we can't do it absolutely at the state level. This will create some issues I think as we're managing. If you wanna keep it in I would recommend a minor change in section 1b after it says, except as required by state or federal law in between or required say to implement state or federal law as opposed to just being required because I think there are times when implementing the cheapest, most effective way to manage could be onsite. I also think that this is not something that would ever come into play in this state and so it's sort of a solution looking for a problem. In section 2, the landscaping materials, philosophically we should acknowledge that there are structures that cause storm water. I know we had a We have a history of making exemptions and things like that. And I appreciate the last sentence that was added. That he wants to not have the exemptions. But I think at some point we're gonna have to actually admit that built upon area does create storm water pollution. So removing Section 2 would be great.

But on section 3, it's more of a technical to comment here where this provision is up for review right now in the storm water rules and these changes are being made at the regulatory level. This section is unnecessary because this is going to happen in regulation already. And lastly on this free mitigation I'll just associate myself with what Mr. Tom Bean said I think that we're getting to the point where how much destruction of our rivers and streams are we going to allow? And not allowing litigation just creates some problems downstream that then downstream-regulated entities are then held to higher standard because they have to deal with the pollution that's coming from upstream. So I would encourage us to removed those four sections or at least tweak them a little bit. Thank you very much for your time. >> Thank you. And our next speaker. [BLANK_AUDIO] >> Hi I'm Brooke Cerrone Pearson. I'm with the Southern Environmental Law Center. Here we have Polluter Protection Act 2.0. Following the she shoes of last year's, or in the footsteps of last year's H765. It is page after page, after page of giveaways to developers and industry at the expense of the water drinkers and the air breathers of the state. Others have spoken about most of the sections i intended to speak on, so I'll just be quick. In Section 1. If onsite storm water management is the most cost effective way to manage downstream water quality, why would it make any sense to bar the state from using that? If the intent is to claim that onsite management is never the most cost effective or fairest approach, it would be great to see some evidence showing that. For Section 2, we have seen in 2013,2014 and 2015 legislative attempts to micromanage the calculation of impervious surfaces for new development. Every time this is done it creates months of confusion and it places North Carolina crosswise with the federal Clean Water Act. Which requires us to protect downstream water quality If there's a reason to credit landscaping differently, the EMC already has the authority to do that there's no need to take this up at the legislative level. I'll leave it at that but I urge you all to please vote no. >> Thank you. Our next speaker? >> Matthew Star upper new server keeper just gonna quickly touch base on section 11 which is disposal of land filled leach aid through aerosolation, have some pretty big concerns about when this is redeposited, there's not a lot of science out there that supports this there's one study that I found from Idaho. It was pretty comprehensive. They brought up a lot of good questions in that being, if it's redeposited on food crops what effect will that have on downstream communities and how does it affect those with respiratory problems. So just wanna throw those questions out there for your consideration. Thank you >> Thank you. [BLANK_AUDIO] And here comes Representative Harrison to speak. >> [LAUGH]. Okay, do we have any more? We're good? I did have one more question for staff quickly and that's just on the fast track permiting for storm water to change the licensing requirements and that's one of the issues that the professional licensing boards need to be discussed with because they do have ethics and professional requirements and they're the ones who do the licensing so has that happened yet? Mr. Chairman I can't say one way or the other, I don't know. >> Okay, thank you. All right Representative McGrady. >> In an appropriate time I'd like to make a motion but I would make one observation and I haven't gauged a lot in this committee meeting but any number of the provisions in this bill are provisions that came before the ERC and then were not put forward in the bills this year. And so the senate has sort of recycled I'm usually for recycling but I'm not sure I'm recycling here have recycled a lot of things that we actually talked about and put aside and decided we weren't gonna take up either in the form of ab ERC bill because we substancely didn't like it or that the subject matter was so tough that it's a more appropriate long Long session item and so I would urge our conferees to stand firm it terms of the issues that we've already sort of considered and not announced to put them through. Anyway at the appropriate time I do have a motion.

>> Well it looks like it's the appropriate time, Representative McGrady? >> My motion is to recommend to the house that we do not concur in the senate committee substitute for House Bill 593. >> Is there a second for that motion? Representative Steinburg. All right. All in favor please say aye? >> Aye. >> All opposed? The ayes have it. >> May I just have one more comment? >> Yes. >> I wanna thank you all for your time. I think it's important that we all got together and we could have just said not concur Cause that's what we had planned to do anyway but I think it's good to hear from the public, as I think it's good to hear from you all and there are other sides of each of these issues because I asked for only the negatives today so I'm hoping that we'll all stay balanced and listen to both sides of this before we vote on the floor after the conference committee comes back and I will promise you I will stay as balanced as I can to make sure that I listen to your concerns, thank you. >> Thank you Representative McElraft for bringing this up it was very good and we are adjourned.