Proposed Rules and Legislation
The NC General Assembly began their “long” legislative session in late January 2017. The long session typically lasts 5-6 months. Below we’ll list legislative initiatives we are following as they are introduced and post Action Alerts when we need volunteers to take action on a proposed piece of legislation or rule change. Please sign up below to be an Air Advocate and receive up-to-date action alerts. Get more information about current legislative activities on the NC Legislature website.
Policy Developments of Interest
H589: Competitive Energy Solutions for NC
House Bill 589 would amend various laws related to energy policy, including reform of the State implementation of PURPA, the creation of a competitive bidding process for new renewable energy facilities, the enactment of the Distributed Resources Access Act to authorize leasing of third-party owned solar development and requires a moratorium on all wind projects for 18 months.
House Bill 589’s intention was to be a consensus bill for the renewable energy market for both solar companies and utilities in North Carolina. Wind power was intentionally kept to the sidelines of these discussions as the wind resource still a relatively new resource for the state. Unfortunately, the final negotiations between the House and Senate on HB 589 became tarnished with the inclusion of an unnecessary 18-month moratorium on the permitting of wind projects through December 31, 2018, pitting one renewable energy sector against another.
H576: Allow Aerosolization of Leachate
House Bill 576 would: (i) require the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to approve aerosolization as an acceptable method of disposal for leachate wastewater collected from a lined sanitary landfill within the lined area of the landfill; (ii) allow DEQ to approve aerosolization as an acceptable method of disposal for leachate wastewater collected from an unlined sanitary landfill; and (iii) provide that aerosolization of leachate or wastewater that results in a zero liquid discharge and is not a significant air contamination source does not constitute a discharge that requires a permit under the air or water permitting statutes.
On June 30, 2017 Governor Roy Cooper vetoed this bill and now awaits the legislative bodies override or sustain the veto.
Two wrongs don’t make a right, taking toxic landfill wastewater accumulating for years and blasting it through a high-speed fan that turns it into tiny particles in the air to be carried in the wind is a public health concern and the state should have the power to deny permits for this technology and waste water processing.
H467: Agriculture and Forestry Nuisance Remedies
Ask your representative and senator to sustain Governor Cooper’s veto of H467: AGRICULTURE AND FORESTRY NUISANCE REMEDIES
If a business moved into your neighborhood and subsequently emitted odors so noxious that you no longer could spend time in your backyard or on your front porch on hot summer days, you would want to have the right to demand that the business control those emissions, wouldn’t you?
House Bill 467, Agriculture and Forestry Nuisance Remedies, which Governor Cooper has vetoed, removes the rights of people living near massive hog farms, called Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs), to sue those businesses for health damages. These health damages can come from fecal bacteria and excessive odors. These odors and emissions can force people to reduce their activities and impair mental health and cause neuropsychiatric abnormalities. The communities located near CAFOs in North Carolina are predominantly low-income minority communities whose members already are at risk for medical exacerbations due to other health and social disparities.
Clean Air Carolina and Medical Advocates for Healthy Air oppose this bill. We believe that people should have the right to protect their property and their health from hazardous conditions resulting from the activities of neighboring businesses.
The North Carolina House of Representatives voted to override Governor Cooper’s veto, an unfair decision that affects North Carolina’s most vulnerable comunities. Click here to see how your representative voted.
HR 401: A House Resolution Supporting a State Goal of ONe Hundred Percent Clean Energy By 2050 and the Creation of Green Jobs
SB236: Efficient and Affordable Energy Rates
Current Action Item
Clean Air Carolina Joins Lawsuit against Federal Highway Administration Clean Air Carolina, represented by the Southern Environmental Law Center, filed suit along with Natural Resources Defense Council and U.S. Public Interest Research Group against the Federal Highway Administration on July 31st for unlawful suspension of a final greenhouse gas (GHG) regulation that would require states to measure and set reduction targets for GHGs emitted by on-road vehicles on the national highway system (the GHG measure). The suspension was done without notice or opportunity for public comment.
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Join fellow North Carolinians in supporting the state legislative proposals listed above that will further our state’s leadership in addressing climate change – add your name to Clean Air Carolina’s sign-on letters and contact your state legislators.
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Clean Air Carolina joins Southern Environmental Law Center and other organizations and agencies in the region to US Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry. The letter is in response to Secretary Perry’s memo requesting a 60-day inquiry into threats to “baseload” resources, citing coal, natural gas, and nuclear energy. Read the letter here >>
Medical Advocates for Healthy Air submitted comments to the NC Utilities Commission signed by 80 medical and health professionals urging the Commission to require Duke Energy to significantly increase the amount of renewable energy they plan to generate in North Carolina during the next 15 years as stated in their Integrated Resource Plan. Read our comments >>
Clean Air Carolina and Medical Advocates for Healthy Air submitted technical comments with our partners, the Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation and Southern Environmental Law Center, objecting to the state’s air permit for the Allen Steam Station which doesn’t require Duke Energy to use the most effective technology to control mercury and other air toxics from their coal plant in Gaston County. Read our comments >>
Clean Air Carolina and Medical Advocates for Healthy Air submitted comments to the New Hanover Planning Department and New Hanover County Commission urging them to prohibit heavy industrial facilities from locating near residential areas and schools. Read our comments >>
Contact Us about Your Air Quality Issues
Is there an air quality issue in your community or across the state that particularly concerns you? Get in touch with us. For general issues, or issues pertaining specifically to the Metrolina region, contact Clean Air Carolina Program Director Terry Lansdell at email@example.com.