September 7, 2016

Archdale Building-Ground Floor Hearing Room

1:00 PM – 3:30 PM


General Statute § 138A-15 mandates that the Chair inquire as to whether any member knows of any known conflict of interest or appearance of conflict with respect to matters before the Environmental Management Commission’s Water Quality Committee. If any member knows of a conflict of interest or appearance of conflict, please so state at this time.

John D. Solomon, WQC Vice Chair, Presiding

I. Preliminary Matters

1. Approval of July 13, 2016 Water Quality Committee meeting summary

II. Agenda Items

1. Request Approval to Proceed to the Environmental Management Commission with the Initial Determinations for the Dam Safety Rules (15A NCAC 02K) in accordance with HB74 and GS 150B – (Action Item) (Boyd Devane, Division of Energy, Mineral, and Land Resources)

The Division of Energy, Mineral, and Land Resources (DEMLR) will request the Water Quality Committee’s (WQC’s) approval to proceed to the Environmental Management Commission (EMC) with the review of the 33 rules in NC's Dam Safety program.  The rule review process is mandated in HB74. The first requirement in the review process is for the EMC to make an initial determination for the categorization of the rules as either: 1) necessary with substantive interest; 2) necessary without substantive interest; or 3) unnecessary.  DEMLR staff will recommend that two rules be categorized as “unnecessary” but the remainder be categorized as “necessary without substantive public interest.”  Although this recommendation differs from most of the previous recommendations to the Commission, we believe that this is the proper categorization for these rules.  The Dam Safety rules have been in existence for over 30 years and they have been subject to almost no controversy.  The experience of DEMLR has been that most of the public, even the regulated public, see the necessity of having a strong Dam Safety program and feel that the existing rules appropriately address environmental protection and public safety issues.  In addition, these rules are based on a comprehensive NC Dam Safety Law that is consistent with nationally-recognized engineering and public safety standards. DEMLR staff will request the WQC's approval to send the “Report for 15A NCAC 02K” spreadsheet to the EMC as the “initial determination” for the categorization of the Dam Safety Rules. (Attachments enclosed: Initial Determination spreadsheet for 15A NCAC 02K, Copy of Dam Safety 02K rules, and a PowerPoint Presentation)  

2. Request Approval to Send the Basinwide Water Quality Management Plans Environmental Management Commission and Department of Environmental Quality Annual Report Environmental Review Commission Report on the per GS 143-215.8B (d) to Environmental Management Commission – (Action Item) (Nora Deamer, DWR)

General Statute 143-215.8B (d) requires the EMC and the Department of Environmental Quality (Department) to report on or before 1 October of each year to the Environmental Review Commission (ERC) on the progress in developing and implementing water quality management plans.  The report includes information on the completion and approval of the Tar-Pamlico River basin management plan by the EMC in July 2015.  The report also includes a list of water resource plans currently under development by the state’s Basin Planning Branch with the assistance of many other resource agency staff. As a requirement of the statute to include an overall pollutant summary for surface waters of the state, a summary graph of the draft 2016 Integrated Report is included. Staff will request the WQC’s approval to send the annual report to the August 2016 EMC meeting for their approval to submit the report to the ERC. (Attachments enclosed: Final Water Quality 2016 Basin Planning Status to ERC_ Report and § 143-215.8B (d) Basinwide Water Quality Management Plans)

3. Request for an After-the-Fact Major Variance from the Neuse Riparian Area Protection Rule by Capital City Property Solutions, Inc. for a home constructed at 611 N. Elizabeth Street in Durham, NC – (Action Item) (Jennifer Burdette, DWR)

A request has been received for the WQC to grant an after-the-fact Major Variance from the Neuse Riparian Area Protection Rule to Capital City Property Solutions, Inc. for a home constructed at 611 N. Elizabeth Street in Durham, NC that was built in Zone One and Zone Two of the buffer.  The applicant is proposing mitigation to offset the buffer impacts and treatment of stormwater runoff from the house.  Based on the information submitted, DWR supports this request for a Major Variance from the Neuse Riparian Area Protection Rule because all of the requirements in 15A NCAC 02B. 0233 have been met. (Attachments enclosed: Variance Application, DWR Findings of Fact, and a PowerPoint Presentation)

4. Overview of § 143-214.23A.  Limitations on local government riparian buffer requirements - (Information Item) (Karen Higgins, DWR) 

DWR staff will provide an overview of § 143-214.23A (S.L. 2015-246), which places limits on local government riparian buffer requirements.  Also included are studies from four local governments that will be brought before the WQC and EMC for action in November. (Attachments enclosed: Summary Table, No Action Letters, Town of Carrboro, Town of Cary, Orange County, Wake County, and a PowerPoint Presentation)

5. Overview of Nutrient Management Regulatory Framework S.L. 2016-94 – (Information Item) (John Huisman, DWR)

DWR staff will provide a summary of recently passed Session Law 2016-94 which calls for an evaluation of the Falls and Jordan nutrient management strategies and separates these rules from the rest of the periodic rules readoption process and establishes their own rulemaking timelines. This new legislation also calls on the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to oversee a study of the Jordan and Falls strategies that includes an assessment of the costs and benefits of nutrient strategies in other states. The Department of Environmental Quality is tasked with developing individual reports on lake treatment technologies, the nutrient offset program, and the need for state-specific values for stormwater best management practices. The EMC is charged with considering the findings of these studies, convening a stakeholder working group, and initiating the rule readoption process no later than March 15, 2019. A plan for the stakeholder working group will be presented to the EMC for approval in November. (Attachments enclosed: Nutrient Management Regulatory Framework Legislation and a PowerPoint Presentation)

III. Closing Comments - WQC Vice Chair, John D. Solomon