July 10 2019 WQC Agenda

                                                                                   

Revised July 9, 2019

ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT COMMISSION
WATER QUALITY COMMITTEE MEETING AGENDA

July 10, 2019
Archdale Building-Ground Floor Hearing Room
1:15 PM – 2:45 PM

General Statute § 163A-159(e) 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.

                                        Marion Deerhake, WQC Vice Chair, Presiding

I. Preliminary Matters

1. Approval of May 8, 2019 Water Quality Committee Meeting Minutes 

II. Agenda Items

1.  Annual Report on Water Supply Watershed Ordinance Approvals, Universal Stormwater Management Program Approvals, and Phase II Program – (Consensus Item – No Presentation) (Annette Lucas, Stormwater Permitting Branch, Division of Energy, Mineral and Land Resources)

2. 2019 Annual Report on Minor Modifications to Approved Major Variances – (Consensus Item – No Presentation) (Karen Higgins, 401 & Buffer Permitting Branch, Division of Water Resources)

At its March 13, 2013 meeting, the Water Quality Committee (WQC) delegated approval of minor modifications to approved major variances of the Riparian Buffer Protection Rules to the Director of the Division of Water Quality (now Division of Water Resources - DWR).  The WQC instructed DWR to provide an annual report to the WQC.   This report provides a summary for June 2017 through May 2019.

3. Request Approval of Technical Revisions to Water Supply Watershed Protection Program Rules 15A NCAC 02B .0621 and .0624 – (Action Item) (Paul Clark, Water Supply Watershed Protection Program, Division of Energy, Mineral and Land Resources)

Several terms in the Water Supply Watershed Protection Program Rules 15A NCAC 02B .0621, referenced other rules instead of providing the actual definitions.  These other rules have or will be changed, so these definitions had to be added to this section.  In addition, there was one reference that had to be changed in 15A NCAC 02B .0624 due to organizational changes in the rules.  The WQC will be asked to approve these changes. (Attachments enclosed: 15A NCAC 02B .0621, 15A NCAC 02B .0624, PowerPoint Presentation)

4. Request to Proceed to the Environmental Management Commission (EMC) for Public Notice on Proposed Reclassification of the Sandy Bottom Wetlands in Buncombe County (French Broad River Basin) from Class WL to Class  WL UWL – (Action Item) (Adriene Weaver, Classification, Standards and Rules Review Branch, Division of Water Resources)

North Carolina defines Unique Wetlands (UWL) as “wetlands of exceptional state or national ecological significance, which require special protection to maintain existing rules.  These wetlands may include wetlands that have been documented to the satisfaction of the Commission as habitat essential for the conservation of state or federally listed threatened or endangered species.”   On November 20, 2018, DWR received a Petition for rulemaking from Mountain True, Defenders of Wildlife, and the North Carolina Wildlife Federation.  The petitioners in the Petition request “the reclassification of the Sandy Bottom Wetlands in the French Broad River Basin from Class WL (freshwater wetlands) to Class WL UWL, in recognition of its status as a Unique Wetland (“UWL”).” Wetlands delineated by Mountain to Sea in August and October 2018 at Sandy Bottom qualify for the supplemental UWL classification because it supports natural wetland communities that provide habitat for rare and special concern animal or plant species.  The Sandy Bottom properties where the wetlands are located are owned by the Board of Trustees for the Environmental Fund of the University of North Carolina at Asheville (UNCA), Long Branch Environmental Education Center. Inc (LBEEC), and a private citizen. At their March 14, 2019 meeting, the EMC granted the rulemaking petition and therefore, must initiate the rulemaking process as required by N.C.G.S. 150B-20(c). The WQC will be asked to approve this reclassification request in order for staff to proceed to the full Commission for permission to send the proposed draft rule for the Sandy Bottom Wetlands UWL reclassification out to public notice. (Attachments enclosed: Sandy Bottom Wetlands UWL Reclassification Proposal Memorandum, Map of the Sandy Bottom Wetlands Area, Proposed Draft Rule (15A NCAC 02B .0304) for the Sandy Bottom Wetlands UWL Reclassification, PowerPoint Presentation) 

5.  Request for a Major Variance from the Jordan Lake Riparian Area Protection Rule by Publix Super Markets Inc for the Publix Distribution Center at 311 Birch Creek Rd, McLeansville NC - (Action Item) (Sue Homewood, 401 and Buffer Permitting Branch, Division of Water Resources) 

A request has been received for the WQC to grant a Major Variance from the Jordan Lake Riparian Area Protection Rule to Publix Super Markets Inc. for the construction of the proposed Publix Distribution Center within Zone 1 and Zone 2 of the buffer at the 311 Birch Creek Rd in McLeansville, Guilford County, NC. Guilford County has been designated authority to administer the Jordan Lake Riparian Area Protection Rule. To mitigate the buffer impacts, the applicant proposes to purchase buffer credits from the South Fork Nutrient offset and Buffer Mitigation Bank and the UT to Pine Hill Branch Nutrient Offset and Buffer Mitigation Bank. Based on the information submitted, Guilford County and the DWR staff support this request for a Major Variance from the Jordan Lake Riparian Area Protection Rule because all the requirements in Section 7-1.12 of the Guilford County Development Ordinance have been met (Attachments enclosed: Guildford County Finding of Fact and Variance Application, DWR supplemental Finding of FactPowerPoint Presentation)

6.  Request for a Major Variance from the Neuse River Riparian Area Protection Rule by Mrs. Heather Gates for the construction of a Screened Porch attached to an Existing Single-Family Residence at 1109 Ashford Lane, Cary NC - (Action Item) (Paul Wojoski, 401 and Buffer Permitting Branch, Division of Water Resources) 

A request has been received for the WQC to grant a Major Variance from the Neuse Riparian Area Protection Rules to Mrs. Heather Gates for the construction of a screened porch attached to an existing single-family residence within Zone 1 of the buffer at 1109 Ashford Lane, Cary, NC. To mitigate the buffer impact, the applicant proposes to purchase buffer credit from Resource Environmental Solutions, a private mitigation bank. The applicant also proposes to construct a rain garden to provide treatment for the stormwater runoff associated with the additional impervious area. Based on the information submitted, DWR staff support this request for a Major Variance from the Neuse Riparian Area Protection Rule because all the requirements in 15A NCAC 02B .0233 have been met. (Attachments enclosed: Variance Application, DWR Findings of Fact, PowerPoint Presentation

7.  Update on 319 Non-Point Source Program Annual Report – (Information Item) (Rishi Bastakoti, Nonpoint Source Branch, Division of Water Resources)

The Clean Water Act Section 319(h) funds state nonpoint source (NPS) management activities, specifically pass-through grants to government and non-profit entities to conduct watershed restoration initiatives and agency NPS management staff and programmatic activities.  DWR staff periodically updates the WQC on these activities.  This presentation will provide a brief orientation and highlight accomplishments in 2018.  (Attachments enclosed: 2018 319 Grant Annual Accomplishments, PowerPoint Presentation)

III. Closing Comments – WQC Vice Chair, Marion Deerhake