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Public hearings to be held on proposed changes to state groundwater rules


RALEIGH – State officials will hold public hearings July 20 and Sept. 10 in Raleigh to gather comments on proposed changes to the state’s groundwater rules.

The proposed changes include more clearly defined requirements for addressing groundwater pollution and clearer notification requirements when contamination is discovered.

The Environmental Management Commission, which adopts rules that protect the state’s air and water resources, will hold both hearings at 6:30 p.m. in the Ground Floor Hearing Room of the Archdale Building, 512 North Salisbury St., Raleigh.

The N.C. Environmental Management Commission initiated the process to clarify and make more consistent language addressing compliance boundaries and corrective action. The results of the EMC’s review were reported to the legislative Environmental Review Commission in November.

The rules under consideration establish requirements for corrective action for activities that result in groundwater contamination at levels that exceed the state standards. The proposed changes would:

· Establish three categories for classification of facilities that have caused groundwater impacts: Non-permitted, permitted prior to Dec. 30, 1983, and permitted on or after Dec. 30, 1983. Corrective action requirements are proposed for each category.

· Define “immediate notification” to DENR as within 24 hours of the discovery of groundwater contamination.

· Define specific requirements for removal, treatment or control of a primary pollutant source.

· Clarify that people conducting permitted activities must restore groundwater quality at or beyond the compliance boundary established for the permitted activity.

· Make other minor technical changes to reflect the current organizational structure of the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

The complete text of the proposed changes can be found on the Division of Water Resources’ website at: .

People may submit written comments, data or other relevant information by Sept. 12. Comments should be mailed to: Groundwater Planning and Environmental Review Branch, N.C. Division of Water Resources, 1611 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, N.C. 27699-161, or by email to . All comments submitted should reference “Corrective Action Rule.”

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