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NCLM News & Political Report

In the past month, the League's Governmental Affairs team has begun a process of major transition. First, we are most excited that the League Board of Directors selected our Director of Governmental Affairs, Paul Meyer, to lead the organization as the next Executive Director. Paul brings over fifteen years of local government lobbying and membership association experience to his new role, and we anticipate his selection will strengthen the effectiveness of the entire organization. His first day as Executive Director is February 3.

At the same time, we have also said a bittersweet farewell to our Director of Research and Policy Analysis, Karl Knapp. Our longtime fiscal and tax guru, Karl has not gone far. He now works as the Town of Cary's Budget Director. In addition to changes in Paul's and Karl's positions, the League Governmental Affairs team will soon welcome a new team member as a Governmental Affairs Associate. All these changes add up to exciting possibilities to enhance the League's advocacy services.

This past month also saw other transitions in the League leadership and leadership of individual League member cities and towns. At our October Annual Conference, the League members voted in many new faces to the Board of Directors. Leading these new Board members is the Executive Committee: Mayor Al King, Goldsboro (President); Mayor Ronnie Wall, Burlington (First Vice-President); Mayor Lestine Hutchens, Elkin (Second Vice-President); and Mayor Art Schools, Emerald Isle (Immediate Past President). In addition, many local city councils saw turnover amid the re-election of numerous incumbents as a result of October and November municipal elections.

Finally, the N.C. Environmental Management Commission (EMC) continued to build after legislators dissolved the previous board and reconstituted it as a smaller commission earlier this year. At their meeting last week, EMC members selected longtime member Kevin Martin as vice-chair of the Commission. Martin, a soil scientist, currently serves on the EMC as a gubernatorial appointee. The League members are glad for the opportunity to continue their good working relationship with Martin.

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EMC Readies "biggest regulatory review in the history of N.C."

Previewing the upcoming workload for the state's main environmental regulatory board, the N.C. Environmental Management Commission (EMC), Chair Benne Hutson last week described the board's tasks in response to a legislative mandate to comb through each of the state's regulations as "the biggest regulatory review in the history of North Carolina." The mandate required all state boards and agencies to review and potentially readopt each rule in the state administrative code every ten years.

Stating that the process would take up a substantial amount of the Commission's time over the next five years, Hutson called the task daunting, though at the same time, he said, "This is a real opportunity for all of us in the state to come up with common-sense environmental regulations."

The EMC promulgated over 1,200 of the state's 23,000+ rules. Included among its 1,200 rules are 236 rules addressing surface water quality and wetlands. As part of the review of rules process laid out by the legislature in its omnibus regulation reform bill last session, legislators specifically directed a review of the surface water quality and wetlands rules first. Those rules included many regulations affecting cities and towns, such as the rules governing wastewater discharges, buffers, reclaimed water, land application of biosolids, and various nutrient management strategies. All of these rules were contained in the "2B" and "2H" subchapters of the state's environmental management rules.

Step 1: Classify Rules

The legislature chose to start the review of rules process with a board or agency determination of each rule's relative importance. To that end, the legislation directed boards and agencies to classify each rule in one of the following three categories:

  • Necessary with substantive public interest, a determination which required the board or agency to readopt the rule
  • Necessary without substantive public interest, a determination which allowed the rule to remain in place as is
  • Unnecessary, a determination which caused the rule to expire

In response to those classifications, stakeholders like cities and towns will likely focus their attention on rules placed in the first or third categories. Already, the League contributed ideas regarding changes to existing rules in response to a request by the N.C. Division of Water Resources (DWR) for suggestions regarding rules developed under its purview. [Note that due to the reorganization mandated by the legislature last session, many rules affecting local stormwater programs are no longer developed by DWR.] The comments submitted by the League and other interest groups on DWR's rules will likely trigger the "substantive public interest" threshold that will lead to a rule's readoption under this new process.

In addition to the classifications listed above, the legislature also directed boards and agencies to determine which rules were written to comply with federal law. According to the legislature's process, if a rule received a "federal law" designation, it would not expire. For cities and towns subject to and protected by many state regulations required by the federal Clean Water Act, having rules classified with a "federal law" designation could become important to ensure the protections offered by those rules -- such as shields from citizen lawsuits -- remained in place.

Finally, the legislature offered an escape valve for any rule passed less than ten years ago. Those rules were not made subject to the initial review process.

Timing of Review

As with any new process, many questions regarding the review remain unanswered, particularly with regard to its timing. However, some timing details took shape over the past few weeks.

First, the process will begin in earnest next year, according to staff members of the state's main regulatory oversight board, the Rules Review Commission (RRC). Assuming the more prominent oversight role granted to it in the review of rules law, the RRC will lead the process for the entire state. To begin, the RRC will undergo a rulemaking of its own next month to establish the deadlines for each board and agency's reports on their review. Under the legislation, the RRC must receive these reports, which will contain each of the categories into which a board or agency has placed its rules. Only after the RRC reviews and approves a report -- and then a legislative oversight panel has an opportunity to weigh in -- would a specific rule begin the readoption process, remain in place, or expire. The League developed a simple flowchart to explain this process; the RRC developed another.

In response to the legislative mandate to review surface water quality and wetlands rules first, DWR already began an internal review of its rules earlier this fall. DWR has oversight for most of the state's surface water quality and wetlands rules.

In explaining how that internal review by DWR would inform the EMC's responsibility to review its rules, Hutson laid out the following timeline for EMC consideration of the Division's recommendations related to surface water quality and wetlands rule category determinations:

  • January: EMC receives Division's recommendations for report's contents
  • March: EMC votes to send report on this first set of rules to a 60-day public comment period
  • May: deadline for public comment on whether a rule was placed into the correct category; DWR compiles and responds to comments, relays that response to EMC for its consideration; possible EMC approval of report
  • Summer: likely deadline for report to RRC; RRC reviews and approves report, possibly with changes; legislative oversight panel decides whether to weigh in on categorizations
  • Late 2014-on: EMC initiates readoption of any surface water quality or wetlands rules categorized as "necessary with substantive public interest."

Hutson predicted that in the 2014 Short Session that begins May 14, the legislature would establish a timeframe in which boards and agencies must readopt their "necessary with substantive public comment" rules. He also predicted that the legislature would vote to eliminate the requirement for a fiscal note for any rules being readopted pursuant to this new process. Otherwise, if it was allowed to stay in place, the fiscal note requirement could slow readoption of these rules by years.

Process Absorbs Other Rulemaking Mandates

State regulators anticipated that several mandatory rulemakings of interest to cities and towns would instead take place in the context of the readoption process prompted by this review of rules.

Most prominently, according to DWR Director Tom Reeder, the triennial review of surface water quality standards would now proceed as part of the review of rules (read more specifics in "Triennial Review Becomes Part of Review of Rules," below). In addition, regulators planned to incorporate other surface water quality rulemakings mandated by the legislature, such as one directing adoption of relaxed setback requirements for use of reclaimed water, into the review of rules process as well. Legislators included the reclaimed water measures in HB 74 Regulatory Reform Act of 2013.

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Legislative Studies, Part I: Utilities & Environment

Adding to the studies of local government utility operations and other environment programs now underway by the Environmental Review Commission (ERC), legislative leaders last month announced additional studies for the interim period between legislative sessions. The studies, part of the Legislative Research Commission (LRC), would address other local government utility and environment topics of interest to legislators last session. The LRC may recommend legislation for the 2014 or 2015 sessions of the General Assembly based on the work of any its study committees.

Because the measures these committees propose will be the starting point for bills introduced next session, it is important that local government officials contact their Senators and Representatives now to express concerns about the direction a particular study may take.

LRC Studies

The authorized LRC studies addressing utility operations and environment topics affecting cities and towns include:

  • Public enterprise use of funds: On this topic, legislative leaders authorized study of the allowable uses of local government public enterprise system funds. The study may include examination of proper accounting controls; ways to ensure proper funding of infrastructure maintenance and improvements; ways to ensure local governments monitor and repair aging infrastructure; and ways to improve public enterprise management. This study was modeled on 2013 legislation sponsored by Rep. Tim Moffitt, which went beyond the study's listed tasks by including language emphasizing that excess revenues accumulated by public enterprise systems should be used to lower rates, pay off debt service in advance, and make investments in the system. Rep. Moffitt, the primary driver behind the law that forcibly transferred Asheville's water system to a regional wastewater system, co-chairs this House committee with Rep. Brian Brown.
  • Jordan Lake Rules. This study has a broad scope and could potentially affect nutrient management strategies outside of the Jordan Lake watershed as well. Local governments serve a primary role in implementing these water quality regulations. Among other items, this committee may analyze the costs associated with compliance with the Jordan Lake Rules; review the current nutrient management strategy for the lake as well as for other nutrient-impaired water bodies in the state; and make recommendations that would include a timeline for implementation of any newly-recommended clean-up strategy for the lake. This study grew out of legislation passed last session delaying further implementation of the Rules pending this study. Most of the legislators on this committee represent areas affected by the Jordan Lake Rules, including co-chairs Sen. Rick Gunn and Rep. John Faircloth. When the committee meets, it will meet on the third Wednesday morning of the month.
  • Infrastructure maintenance for foreclosed or abandoned properties. Generally, this study examines the responsibility for maintenance of infrastructure on foreclosed or abandoned properties, including the need to provide for contingencies resulting from abandonment or foreclosure of the property. In certain instances, local governments could assume some financial liability for maintenance of infrastructure on these properties. This study topic came from a proposal introduced last session by Rep. John Torbett, who co-chairs this committee with Rep. Mark Brody.
  • Wetlands and stream mitigation. This study continues an examination of the state's wetland and stream mitigation programs that began last fall, and it contains some topics included in the omnibus farm bill passed last session. Local governments must pay mitigation fees for their own projects that disturb sensitive environments. In addition, to encourage growth, they have an interest in lowered mitigation costs for developers. In this study, legislative leaders directed an examination of the overall policies and roles of government agencies and the private sector to plan, construct, and monitor wetland and stream mitigation. Special focus areas could include whether mitigation should be allowed in any hydrologic area located in the same river basin as the site being mitigated; whether the current mitigation fee system represents the most efficient and effective way to provide compensatory mitigation; and whether the N.C. Department of Transportation should purchase its stream and wetland mitigation credits from an approved private-sector bank. Rep. David Lewis and Rep. Chris Millis will co-chair this committee.

ERC Study

In addition to these LRC studies, one ERC study in this interim also focused on public water and wastewater utilities. Like the study examining the use of funds by public enterprises, this study was included at the behest of Rep. Moffitt, who sponsored similar legislation last session. This study kicked off last week when legislators began their examination of the types of water and wastewater providers in the state. Their discussion focused on the fiscal condition of the state's water and wastewater systems and how a system's finances could lead to a decision to consolidate with other systems. Read more about that discussion in "Water & Wastewater Service Tops Legislative Committee's Agenda." As with the LRC studies, legislators on the ERC may recommend legislation for the 2014 session of the General Assembly.

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Legislative Studies, Part II: Local Government (Environment) Regulations

In addition to their interest in local government utility operations and environment programs, legislators have scheduled numerous interim studies regarding local government regulation, particularly environmental regulations. To complete the various studies, two legislative panels -- the Environmental Review Commission (ERC) and Legislative Review Commission (LRC) -- will meet in between sessions. Both groups may recommend legislation for the 2014 or 2015 sessions of the General Assembly based on their studies.

Interest in the ways local governments regulate, particularly with respect to their environment programs, ran high in the last legislative session. Since then, legislators have publicly discussed their interest in further examining the limits of local government regulation. For example, at a meeting of the Joint Legislative Administrative Procedure Oversight Committee two weeks ago, committee chair Rep. Tim Moffitt stated his interest in examining statutory changes that would limit local government regulatory powers. He said that he hoped that oversight committee would look into the issue at future meetings. Unlike at the state level, where unelected agencies and appointed boards pass regulations, elected officials make decisions on local regulatory ordinances.

LRC Study

The primary study Rep. Moffitt will conduct into how local governments regulate was one of the suite of studies authorized last month for the LRC. In this study, Moffitt and Rep. Chris Malone will lead an examination of whether to establish a "property owner protection act" that could potentially recommend the awarding of attorneys' fees incurred by a property owner in a successful action challenging local government land use regulations. For local governments, the potentially large penalty of paying attorneys' fees could chill their exercise of these regulatory powers. Cities and towns often use their land use powers to acquire easements for water and wastewater system lines. Rep. Moffitt, the primary driver behind the law that forcibly transferred Asheville's water system to a regional wastewater system, sponsored legislation similar to this "property owner protection" study in a stand-alone bill last session.

ERC Studies

In addition to the LRC study described above, the ERC plans to study three topics concerning the ways local governments regulate within their environmental programs (legislative leaders for those topics in parentheses):

Read more detail of these three ERC studies in "Legislators Announce Plans to Study Aspects of Cities' Environment Programs" from last month's EcoLINC.

Because the measures these committees propose will be the starting point for bills introduced next session, it is important that local government officials contact their Senators and Representatives now to express concerns about the direction a particular study may take.

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Triennial Review Becomes Part of "Review of Rules"

State regulators announced plans last week to incorporate a rulemaking to update the state's surface water quality standards, known as the "triennial review," into the legislatively-mandated "review of rules" process rather than ushering the standards through a separate rulemaking. This announcement represented a major shift, and further delay, in the process for the repeatedly-sidelined rulemaking, which began in 2009. As with this most recent delay, previous hold-ups came due to additional rulemaking requirements enacted by the N.C. General Assembly -- most notably, a requirement to complete a fiscal note.

The triennial review is a process mandated by the federal Clean Water Act (CWA) that directs states to review their surface water quality standards every three years. A highly technical scientific process, the review accounts for updated toxicological studies and other research regarding aquatic health in surface waters. In this most recent review, North Carolina proposed changes to certain metals standards such as cadmium, chromium, nickel, silver, and zinc, as well as other measured parameters such as chlorophyll-a.

New Timetable for Standards

Speaking to members of the N.C. Environmental Management Commission (EMC) last week, N.C. Division of Water Resources (DWR) Director Tom Reeder explained that the Division would place the EMC's previous proposal on hold as it conducted the review of rules process. Meanwhile, he said, the Division would assist the EMC by soliciting feedback on the state's current standards during a public comment period ending January 3. The League will submit comments during this comment period. And because the close of that comment period would coincide with the first set of rules undergoing the review of rules process early next year, EMC members could expect to see a DWR recommendation that the water quality standards be readopted through the review of rules procedure.

Crucially, EMC Chair Benne Hutson predicted that the legislature would vote to remove a requirement for a fiscal note on any rule readopted through the review of rules process. If the legislature decided to eliminate fiscal notes for this process, then the main hurdle for the current triennial review proposal would be removed.

Importantly for stakeholders such as cities and towns, Reeder promised EMC members that DWR would involve interest groups in a six-month stakeholder process before proposing any different water quality standards to the EMC. He said this process would begin after the EMC received confirmation that the surface water quality standards were subject to readoption in accordance with the review of rules process. He predicted that confirmation would come next summer. Therefore, taking into account the promised six-month stakeholder process, the earliest the EMC would see a revised proposal for the surface water quality standards would be January 2015.

Triennial Review's Importance to Cities and Towns

The League membership selected the triennial review as one of its top regulatory goals because of the impacts the standards have on wastewater treatment costs. Municipalities holding National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) wastewater discharge permits must adhere to surface water quality standards. A complex mathematical exercise translates the standards into permit limits, taking into account the metals and other substances a wastewater system receives from homes and industries that discharge into its collection system. The assumptions made in those calculations determine whether or not a wastewater system (1) must make upgrades, or (2) can accept more wastewater connections from industries and other customers such as residences and businesses.

Under the CWA, if a state failed to uphold its triennial review responsibilities, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) could impose water quality standards for that particular state. Reeder indicated that EPA supported its efforts to update its standards through the public comment period ending January 3 and the state's subsequent review of rules process.

The League has been deeply involved in this state effort since it began in 2009 and will continue to advocate for changed implementation policies throughout the triennial review rulemaking process. Read more about past League member efforts in "Triennial Review Action to Pick Up in New Year" (November 2012 EcoLINC).

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Regulators to Settle Gravel Issue with Temporary Rulemaking

In an attempt to address concerns about stormwater run-off, regulators last week announced their intention to add a definition of "gravel" to state rules. Explaining that the N.C. Environmental Management Commission (EMC) would likely consider a temporary rule proposal next month, EMC Chair Benne Hutson stated that the lack of a clear definition increased the risk of excess stormwater pollution from gravel surfaces.

The clarification became necessary after the passage of HB 74 Regulatory Reform Act of 2013 in July. That bill excluded gravel from the definition of "built-upon area." This legislative redefinition ignored scientific reality of how gravel surfaces easily become compacted with foot and vehicle travel. Once compacted, the surfaces do not allow infiltration of water, thereby increasing runoff into the state's waters. Practically, then, most gravel surfaces function the same as "built-upon areas" with buildings and other impervious structures on them. League members, who are held accountable for water quality impacts of runoff coming from impervious surfaces, did not support this redefinition.

In announcing the temporary rulemaking, Hutson echoed the League members' concerns, noting that they were shared by Governor Pat McCrory and the professional staff in the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources. The rulemaking would distinguish between the types of gravel that become impervious with use -- such as those materials used in gravel parking lots and roads -- and the types of gravel that do not become impervious over time, such as those materials used for landscaping or solar farms.

Hutson said he expected the EMC to meet in a special session next month to consider the proposal, which would likely contain the aggregate materials industry's definition of gravel as "rounded river rock." He said the EMC would then vote to send the temporary rules to a public hearing at the Commission's January meeting.

Passage of the temporary rules would also eliminate a negative consequence of the exclusion of gravel from built-upon area calculations. As a result of the redefinition, regulators now cannot include impervious gravel surfaces as built-upon areas for redevelopment sites. Therefore, the costs of redevelopment increase because regulators may no longer grandfather gravel-covered surfaces. Developers thus lose the benefit of counting these surfaces as built-upon area, which would otherwise allow them to reduce the amount of stormwater controls needed on the redeveloped parcel. The temporary rulemaking would reinstate the ability of regulators to count gravel surfaces toward built-upon area for redevelopment sites.

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Water & Wastewater Service Tops Legislative Committee's Agenda

The legislative Environmental Review Commission (ERC) dove into how water and wastewater service was provided in the state at a meeting Wednesday. Specifically, legislators' interest in the topic focused on systems' financial solvency and how that fiscal condition influenced decisions to consolidate certain systems. 

Members received a presentation from Richard Whisnant and Shadi Eskaf of the UNC School of Government's Environmental Finance Center. The two presented information to assist the ERC in studying the statutory models for establishing, operating, and financing certain organizations that provide water and sewer services in the state, as directed by HB 74 Regulatory Reform Act of 2013. Significantly, they reported that their most recent annual survey of the state's 400 municipal water and wastewater systems revealed that 28 percent of public systems collected insufficient revenues to cover the system's operations, maintenance, and debt service costs.

Legislators Question Efficiencies of Public Systems

In the discussion following the presentation, legislators questioned whether public investment in these services was worthwhile. For example, Sen. Ronald Rabin initiated a line of discussion about whether public systems were the most efficient way to provide water and wastewater services. Eskaf responded that combining systems could result in cost efficiencies, but that regionalization was not suitable for every circumstance. 

Outside of voluntary regionalization of systems, other legislators asked Eskaf and Whisnant questions regarding the ways systems addressed financial woes. In response, the presenters pointed out that some systems chose to interconnect with other systems to facilitate the sale of water or collection of wastewater. They also told legislators that their survey data revealed that most N.C. utilities sought to aggressively raise rates in the past five years.

Finally, Sen. Fletcher Hartsell suggested that a better way to approach efficiencies in the provision of water and wastewater services would be to consider how systems provided those services by focusing on needs within a river basin. This suggestion was consistent with Hartsell's past interest in forcing systems to utilize available nearby capacity prior to initiating expansion of their own system. For the past dozen years, Hartsell sought to implement this policy through legislative proposals such as SB 413 Interconnection of Public Water Systems.

Next Steps for Study

Because the ERC has authority to draft bills for introduction in the next legislative session, the topics discussed in meeting presentations often lead to legislative proposals. ERC leaders had previously announced that the Commission would receive recommendations from this study in December and begin debating ideas for legislation; however, ERC leaders cancelled the December Commission meeting. The ERC next meets on January 15. In the meantime, legislators expected to continue their study of this issue through a workgroup format.

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Legislative Panel Reiterates Opposition to Deep-Well Injection of Fracking Waste

Legislative members of the Environmental Review Commission (ERC) last week reiterated their opposition to the practice of disposing of hydraulic fracturing wastewater in coastal aquifers using deep-well injection techniques. ERC Co-Chair Rep. Mike Hager, a proponent of the 2012 law that paved the way for the oil and gas industry in North Carolina, said he did not believe legislators considered that disposal option to be viable for North Carolina, a sentiment echoed by N.C. Mining & Energy Commission (MEC) Chair Jim Womack in a follow-up presentation. Previous MEC discussions backed up this intention; at the October MEC meeting, MEC members again requested that their rule on wastewater disposal be written to clearly prohibit deep-well injection into coastal aquifers.

The comments on deep-well injection came as legislators received updates regarding the MEC’s efforts to develop a modern regulatory program for hydraulic fracturing. A part of those updates, Womack and other MEC members presented the conclusions of three study group reports mandated by the 2012 law. The League was an active participant in the groups studying funding levels and local government regulation of the industry. The Funding Levels and Potential Funding Sources Study Group recommended impact fees and a trust fund to recover local costs as well as maintenance agreements to address impacts to municipal roads and other transportation infrastructure. The Local Government Regulation Study Group’s report highlighted its recommendations regarding setbacks; noise, light, and odor (nuisance) enforcements; emergency preparedness; the application of local land use ordinances; chemical disclosures; and excess maintenance agreements for infrastructure impacts.

At the meeting, Womack also provided the ERC other updates on the MEC's activities. He reported that the MEC would finish all remaining study group reports next spring, and he predicted that the MEC would complete its rulemaking next fall. Importantly, he also promised legislators that the MEC would develop a list of requests for statutory changes by mid-January. In the past, Womack had suggested possible changes could include shortening various requirements for rulemaking such as the time for public comment.

In addition, in a report to legislators on the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ (DENR) activities related to hydraulic fracturing, DENR Assistant Secretary Mitch Gillespie stated that DENR intended to conduct exploratory sampling in Camden, Pasquotank, Bertie, and Anson counties. Previously, the state focused its attention on potential natural gas trapped in rock formations around the Sandhills region of the state.

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Regulatory Briefs

The Ecological Flows Scientific Advisory Board approved its final 119-page report and will accept public comments through the middle of next month, according to details in this press release...In response to legislation allowing for a limited plumbing license to install backflow assemblies in drinking water systems, a state licensing board proposed rules to grant such licenses with a combination of accumulated experience and passing a test...To accommodate state agencies worried about the effects of the NPDES electronic reporting rule on their limited budgets, EPA extended the deadline for comment on the proposed rule to December 12...EPA also extended the comment period for its federal water quality standards rulemaking an additional 30 days, with comments now due January 2...The federal Department of Homeland Security selected Charlotte's water system as part of a first-ever study to identify vulnerabilities and risk mitigation opportunities in water systems...Stormwater and wastewater programs across the country may apply for a portion of the $1.6 million now available for Urban Waters Small Grants...Responding to state legislation consolidating the Clean Water Management Trust Fund, DENR has placed the program in a new agency division called the Office of Land and Water Stewardship...EPA Water Chief Nancy Stoner called for states to take action to encourage the use of reclaimed water, which she said was "wasted in most instances"...EPA declined to appeal an unfavorable court ruling that allowed mixing zones at wastewater treatment plant discharge points as well as blending partially- and fully-treated wastewater inside treatment plants...Members of the U.S. House of Representatives tried again last month to exempt pesticide applications from needing an NPDES permit, continuing a long-running debate about whether spraying pesticides near water bodies requires double-permitting through the NPDES program and through the federal insecticide act...A West Virginia federal judge ruled last month that discharges of dust and feathers from a poultry farm were exempt from Clean Water Act stormwater discharge regulations, a ruling that could affect efforts like the one in North Carolina to regulate similar discharges at the Rose Acre Farms facility in Hyde County...EPA updated its federal enforcement and compliance website to improve user searches for information on environmental inspections, violations, and enforcement actions at permitted facilities...Despite a lack of support from state agencies concerned about losing SRF funds, U.S. House and Senate negotiators were expected to include a version of the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Authority (WIFIA) in a compromise version of the federal Water Resources Development Act...A federal judge in Louisiana ruled that in order to reject a petition for Mississippi basin-wide numeric nutrient criteria and TMDL advanced by environmental groups, EPA must make a formal determination.
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NCLM and State Government Environmental Meetings & Events