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NC Senate passes bill that would gut local environmental regulations

NC Senate passes bill that would gut local environmental regulations

Proposed legislation to fast-track environmental permitting and roll back local rules that mitigate flooding and stream erosion won approval from the N.C. Senate on May 2, 2013. Passage of this bill will have invalidate many local rules designed to deal with local water quality problems, including parts of Charlotte's post-construction stormwater ordinance and sedimentation rules.

NC Senate passes bill that would gut local environmental regulations

N.C. Senate Chamber

Excerpts from article in the Charlotte Business Journal

To read a complete version of the article, click here 

To see how your Senator voted, go to the bottom of this page


NC State senators passed Senate Bill 612 in a 36-11 vote. It will now go to N.C. House of Representative members for consideration.

The bill — titled the Regulatory Reform Act of 2013 — mandates that local ordinances cannot be more restrictive than state or federal regulations. Charlotte officials say the bill would unravel the city’s local laws dictating erosion control, post-construction controls, stream-buffer protections, nutrient controls,and stormwater detention.

City of Charlotte Water Quality Program Manager Daryl Hammock says the bill defaults stormwater and erosion rules to a one-size-fits-all regulation that doesn’t address the environmental challenges found locally.

Most at risk is the city’s post-construction stormwater ordinance, which was revamped in 2008 and then revised again in 2011. The city worked with stakeholders since 2004 to overhaul the stormwater rules, a contentious process that frustrated both developers and environmental advocates.

To read a complete version of the article, click here 

Note:  Although not discussed above, S 612 also eliminates the requirement that groundwater contamination moving more than 500 feet from the source triggers a cleanup requirement.  This change has the effect of allowing large polluters to avoid cleaning up groundwater contamination including coal ash contamination at Progress Energy's Asheville plant.



Legislative Session Day 55 (05-02-2013)

256      SB 612 REGULATORY REFORM ACT OF 2013. 
Sponsor: BROWN
Third Reading
Outcome: PASS
Time: May 2 2013 12:53PM
Total Votes: 47   Ayes: 36   Noes: 11   Not: 0   Exc. Absent: 3   Exc. Vote: 0


Ayes:    Senator(s): Clark; Davis, D.; Ford; McLaurin; Walters

Senator(s): Allran; Barefoot; Barringer; Berger (CHAIR); Bingham; Brock; Brown; Brunstetter; Cook; Curtis; Daniel; Davis, J.; Goolsby; Gunn; Harrington; Hartsell; Hise; Hunt; Jackson; Meredith; Pate; Rabin; Rabon; Randleman; Rucho; Sanderson; Soucek; Tarte; Tillman; Tucker; Wade

Noes:    Senator(s): Blue; Bryant; Clodfelter; Graham; Kinnaird; McKissick; Nesbitt; Parmon; Robinson; Stein; Woodard

Senator(s): None
Exc. Absence:    Senator(s): Jenkins Senator(s): Apodaca; Newton
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