MEDIA ADVISORY: Public hearing scheduled for comment on coastal recreational water quality rules

MOREHEAD CITY

The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission is accepting public comment on proposed amendments and re-adoption of seven rules under a state-mandated periodic review schedule. The rules pertain to coastal recreational water quality monitoring to protect the public health of swimmers.

A public hearing will be held by web conference on Aug. 26 at 6 p.m. The public may join the meeting online; however, those who wish to speak during the hearing must register by noon Aug. 26.

Members of the public also may submit written comments through an online form or through the mail to N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Recreational Water Quality Rules Comments, P.O Box 769, Morehead City, N.C. 28557. Comments must be posted online or be received by the Division of Marine Fisheries by 5 p.m. Oct. 2, 2020.

Links to the public hearing registration form and online comment form, as well as text of the proposed rules and links to join the meeting, can be found on the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission’s Proposed Rules Page.

Up for re-adoption are marine fisheries rules in 15A NCAC 18A .3400. Rules .3401, .3402, .3403, and .3405 contain the primary proposed changes that will:

  • Update biological standards so they align with new federal performance criteria.
  • Ensure equal protection for swimmers by requiring the same bacteriological threshold triggers public health advisories for all swimming locations, regardless of usage frequency.
  • Modify the public notification process to reduce delays and confusion, without generating an increased frequency of swimming advisories for the public.

Other proposed changes are technical in nature; two rules are proposed for repeal because they duplicate requirements.

The proposed rule changes will be presented to the Marine Fisheries Commission for final approval in November 2020 and have an intended effective date of April 1, 2021.

For questions about the Marine Fisheries Commission rulemaking process, email Catherine Blum, rules coordinator for the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries. For questions about the proposed changes to the N.C. Recreational Water Quality Program rules, email Erin Bryan-Millush, with the division’s Recreational Water Quality Program, or call her at 252-808-8153.

Event Title: Marine Fisheries Commission Public Hearing for Proposed Rules
Date and Time: Aug. 26, at 6 p.m.
WebEx Link: https://ncdenrits.webex.com/ncdenrits/onstage/g.phpMTID=ea8608d0638d06136715b7a10b3dce68a
Password: 1234
Event Number: 161 720 5186


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