Cape Fear River Watch, Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation, Haw River Assembly, Mountain True, Sierra Club

,
Sound Rivers, the Southern Environmental Law Center, and the Yadkin Riverkeeper propose the following
legislative responses to the emerging contaminants crisis affecting drinking water throughout North Carolina:
• Amend 143-215.1(c)(1) (Applications for Permits and Renewals for Facilities Discharging to the
Surface Waters) to require applicants for permits or renewals of permits to monitor for and disclose all
chemicals contained in the discharge by Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry number. Chemicals
that do not yet have a CAS number must also be identified.
• Amend 143-215.1(a) (Activities for Which Permits Required) to prohibit the discharge of any chemical
for which the EPA or State has not promulgated a health or effluent standard. If a chemical does have a
health or effluent standard, or a consent order entered by the EPA under the Toxic Substances Control
Act (TSCA), then the applicant must comply with whichever is most stringent.
• Amend 143-215.1 to require automatic permit suspension if a company is found to be discharging any
pollutant (1) not authorized by its permit; and (2) not disclosed in its permit application.
• Amend 143-215.1 to mandate that a company in violation of its discharge permit must provide and
maintain the necessary filtration/treatment to municipalities downstream of discharges for as long as
contamination persists in the environment and to clarify that a company in violation of its discharge
permit is financially responsible for the removal of their discharged chemicals from drinking water
sources so that this burden does not fall to the taxpayers.
• Restore the $1.8 million cut to the budget for the Department of Environmental Quality for 2017-18 and
appropriate an additional $1 million for the Department of Environmental Quality to enable the agency
to have adequate staff to address protection of water quality, in particular, the backlog of existing water
quality permits and the contamination of drinking water sources from unstudied chemicals. The
Governor has identified the need for an additional $2.5 million to address emerging contaminants.
Inadequate staffing at the Department of Environmental Quality has resulted in a backlog of 40% of
existing permits, allowing dischargers to continue to operate under expired permits which may not
require the necessary pollution controls.
• Repeal 150B-19.3, the “Hardison Amendment,” which prohibits agencies authorized to implement and
enforce state and federal environmental laws from adopting regulations for the protection of water
quality, the environment, or natural resources that impose a more restrictive standard, limitation, or
requirement than those imposed by federal law. North Carolina environmental agencies should have the
flexibility and authority to enact protections for water quality and drinking water based on the State’s
needs and circumstances. They should not be limited by federal standards, which, in many cases, are
enacted to provide a minimal level of protection that is not tailored to the particular threats to a state’s
water quality. Federal standards also cannot address uncommon pollutants such as GenX, which are
produced by a single entity.

In addition to actions put forth by this committee, the House should not take up the conference report for H162,
which has passed the Senate. If enacted, this bill would prohibit the adoption of regulations that cost polluters
more than $100 million over five years, require legislative approval of regulations that cost polluters over $10
million over five years, and prohibit consideration of benefits when determining the costs of the regulations.
The passage of this bill would hinder and, in some cases, prohibit enactment of necessary water quality and
drinking water protections by state agencies.