GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF NORTH CAROLINA

SESSION 2007

 

 

SENATE BILL 1967

RATIFIED BILL

 

 

AN ACT to PROVIDE FOR IMPROVEMENTS IN THE MANAGEMENT OF STORMWATER IN THE COASTAL COUNTIES IN ORDER TO PROTECT WATER QUALITY.

 

The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:

 

SECTION 1.(a)  Disapprove Rule. - Pursuant to G.S. 150B-21.3(b1), 15A NCAC 02H .1005 (Stormwater Requirements: Coastal Counties), as adopted by the Environmental Management Commission on 10 January 2008 and approved by the Rules Review Commission on 20 March 2008, is disapproved.

SECTION 1.(b)  Supersede Rule. - 15A NCAC 02H .1005 (Stormwater Requirements: Coastal Counties), effective 1 September 1995, is superseded by this act.  References in the North Carolina Administrative Code to 15A NCAC 02H .1005 shall be deemed to refer to the equivalent provisions of this act.

SECTION 2.(a)  Definitions. - The following definitions apply to this act and its implementation:

(1)       The definitions set out in 15A NCAC 02H .1002 (Definitions).

(2)       The definitions set out in G.S. 143-212 and G.S. 143-213.

(3)       "Built upon area" has the same meaning as in Session Law 2006-246 and means that portion of a project that is covered by impervious or partially impervious surface including, but not limited to, buildings; pavement and gravel areas such as roads, parking lots, and paths; and recreation facilities such as tennis courts. "Built upon area" does not include a wooden slatted deck, the water area of a swimming pool, or pervious or partially pervious paving material to the extent that the paving material absorbs water or allows water to infiltrate through the paving material.

(4)       "Permeable pavement" means paving material that absorbs water or allows water to infiltrate through the paving material. Permeable pavement materials include porous concrete, permeable interlocking concrete pavers, concrete grid pavers, porous asphalt, and any other material with similar characteristics. Compacted gravel shall not be considered permeable pavement.

(5)       "Residential development activities" has the same meaning as in 15A NCAC 02B .0202(54).

(6)       "Vegetative buffer" has the same meaning as in 15A NCAC 02H .1002(22) and means an area of natural or established vegetation directly adjacent to surface waters through which stormwater runoff flows in a diffuse manner to protect surface waters from degradation due to development activities.

(7)       "Vegetative conveyance" means a permanent, designed waterway lined with vegetation that is used to convey stormwater runoff at a non-erosive velocity within or away from a developed area.

SECTION 2.(b)  Requirements for Certain Nonresidential and Residential Development in the Coastal Counties. - All nonresidential development activities that occur within the Coastal Counties that will add more than 10,000 square feet of built upon area or that require a Sedimentation and Erosion Control Plan, pursuant to G.S. 113A-57 or a Coastal Area Management Act (CAMA) Major Development Permit, pursuant to G.S. 113A-118 and all residential development activities within the Coastal Counties that require a Sedimentation and Erosion Control Plan, pursuant to G.S. 113A-57 or a Coastal Area Management Act (CAMA) Major Development Permit, pursuant to G.S. 113A-118 shall manage stormwater runoff as provided in this subsection.  A development activity or project requires a Sedimentation and Erosion Control Plan if the activity or project disturbs one acre or more of land, including an activity or project that disturbs less than one acre of land that is part of a larger common plan of development.  Whether an activity or project that disturbs less than one acre of land is part of a larger common plan of development shall be determined in a manner consistent with the memorandum referenced as "Guidance Interpreting Phase 2 Stormwater Requirements" from the Director of the Division of Water Quality of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to Interested Parties dated 24 July 2006.

(1)       Development Near Outstanding Resource Waters (ORW). - Development activities within the Coastal Counties and located within 575 feet of the mean high waterline of areas designated by the Commission as Outstanding Resource Waters (ORW) shall meet the requirements of 15A NCAC 02H .1007 (Stormwater Requirements:  Outstanding Resource Waters) and shall be permitted as follows:

a.         Low-Density Option. - Development shall be permitted pursuant to 15A NCAC 02H .1003(d)(1) if the development meets all of the following requirements:

1.         The development has a built upon area of twelve percent (12%) or less. A development project with an overall density at or below the low-density threshold, but containing areas with a density greater than the overall project density, shall be considered low-density as long as the project meets or exceeds the requirements for low-density development and locates the higher density development in upland areas and away from surface waters and drainageways to the maximum extent practicable.

2.         Stormwater runoff from the development is transported primarily by vegetated conveyances. As used in this sub-sub-subdivision, "conveyance system" shall not include a stormwater collection system. Stormwater runoff from built upon areas that is directed to flow through any wetlands shall flow into and through these wetlands at a non-erosive velocity.

3.         The development contains a 50-foot-wide vegetative buffer for new development activities and a 30-foot-wide vegetative buffer for redevelopment activities. The width of a buffer is measured horizontally from the normal pool elevation of impounded structures, from the bank of each side of streams or rivers, and from the mean high waterline of tidal waters, perpendicular to the shoreline. The vegetative buffer may be cleared or graded, but must be planted with and maintained in grass or any other vegetative or plant material. The Division of Water Quality may, on a case-by-case basis, grant a minor variance from the vegetative buffer requirements of this section pursuant to the procedures set out in 15A NCAC 02B .0233(9)(b). Vegetative buffers and filters required by this section and any other buffers or filters required by State water quality or coastal management rules or local government requirements may be met concurrently and may contain, in whole or in part, coastal, isolated, or 404 jurisdictional wetlands that are located landward of the normal waterline.

b.         High-Density Option. - Development shall be permitted pursuant to 15A NCAC 02H .1003(d)(2) if the development meets all of the following requirements:

1.         The development has a built upon area of greater than twelve percent (12%).

2.         The development has no direct outlet channels or pipes to Class SA waters unless permitted in accordance with 15A NCAC 02H .0126. Stormwater runoff from built upon areas that is directed to flow through any wetlands shall flow into and through these wetlands at a non-erosive velocity.

3.         The development utilizes control systems that are any combination of infiltration systems, bioretention systems, constructed stormwater wetlands, sand filters, rain barrels, cisterns, rain gardens or alternative low impact development stormwater management systems designed in accordance with 15A NCAC 02H .1008 to control and treat the runoff from all surfaces generated by one and one-half inches of rainfall, or the difference in the stormwater runoff from all surfaces from the predevelopment and postdevelopment conditions for a one-year, 24-hour storm, whichever is greater. Wet detention ponds may be used as a stormwater control system to meet the requirements of this sub-sub-subdivision, provided that the stormwater control system fully complies with the requirements of this sub-subdivision. If a wet detention pond is used within one-half mile of Class SA waters, installation of a stormwater best management practice in series with the wet detention pond shall be required to treat the discharge from the wet detention pond. Secondary stormwater best management practices that are used in series with another stormwater best management practice do not require any minimum separation from the seasonal high water table. Alternatives as described in 15A NCAC 02H .1008(h) may also be approved if they meet the requirements of this sub-subdivision.

4.         Stormwater runoff from the development that is in excess of the design volume must flow overland through a vegetative filter designed in accordance with 15A NCAC 02H .1008 with a minimum length of 50 feet measured from mean high water of Class SA waters.

5.         The development contains a 50-foot-wide vegetative buffer for new development activities and a 30-foot-wide vegetative buffer for redevelopment activities. The width of a buffer is measured horizontally from the normal pool elevation of impounded structures, from the bank of each side of streams or rivers, and from the mean high waterline of tidal waters, perpendicular to the shoreline. The vegetative buffer may be cleared or graded, but must be planted with, and maintained in, grass or any other vegetative or plant material. Furthermore, stormwater control best management practices (BMPs), or stormwater control structures, with the exception of wet detention ponds, may be located within this vegetative buffer. The Division of Water Quality may, on a case by case basis, grant a minor variance from the vegetative buffer requirements of this section pursuant to the procedures set out in 15A NCAC 02B .0233(9)(b). Vegetative buffers and filters required by this section and any other buffers or filters required by State water quality or coastal management rules or local government requirements may be met concurrently and may contain, in whole or in part, coastal, isolated, or 404 jurisdictional wetlands that are located landward of the normal waterline.

c.         Stormwater Discharges Prohibited. - All development activities, including both low- and high-density projects, shall prohibit new points of stormwater discharge to Class SA waters or an increase in the volume of stormwater flow through conveyances or increase in capacity of conveyances of existing stormwater conveyance systems that drain to Class SA waters. Any modification or redesign of a stormwater conveyance system within the contributing drainage basin must not increase the net amount or rate of stormwater discharge through existing outfalls to Class SA waters. The following shall not be considered a direct point of stormwater discharge:

1.         Infiltration of the stormwater runoff from the design storm as described in sub-sub-subdivision 3. of sub-subdivision b. of subdivision (1) of this subsection.

2.         Diffuse flow of stormwater at a non-erosive velocity to a vegetated buffer or other natural area, that is capable of providing effective infiltration of the runoff from the design storm as described in sub-sub-subdivision 3. of sub-subdivision b. of subdivision (1) of this subsection. Notwithstanding the other requirements of this section, the infiltration mandated in this sub-sub-subdivision does not require a minimum separation from the seasonal high-water table.

3.         The discharge from a wet detention pond that is treated by a secondary stormwater best management practice, provided that both the wet detention pond and the secondary stormwater best management practice meet the requirements of this sub-subdivision.

d.         Limitation on the Density of Development. - Development shall be limited to a built upon area of twenty-five percent (25%) or less.

(2)       Development Near Class SA Waters. - Development activities within one-half mile of and draining to those waters classified by the Commission as Class SA waters or within one-half mile of waters classified by the Commission as Class SA waters and draining to unnamed freshwater tributaries to Class SA waters shall meet the requirements of sub-subdivisions a., b., and c. of subdivision (1) of this subsection. The extent of Class SA waters is limited to those waters that are determined to be at least an intermittent stream based on a site stream determination made in accordance with the procedures that are delineated in the Division of Water Quality's "Identification Methods for the Origin of Intermittent and Perennial Streams" prepared pursuant to Session Law 2001-404.

(3)       Other Coastal Development. - Development activities within the Coastal Counties except those areas described in subdivisions (1) and (2) of this subsection shall meet all of the following requirements:

a.         Low-Density Option:  Development shall be permitted pursuant to 15A NCAC 02H .1003(d)(1) if the development meets all of the following requirements:

1.         The development has a built upon area of twenty-four percent (24%) or less. A development project with an overall density at or below the low-density threshold, but containing areas with a density greater than the overall project density, shall be considered low density as long as the project meets or exceeds the requirements for low-density development and locates the higher density in upland areas and away from surface waters and drainageways to the maximum extent practicable.

2.         Stormwater runoff from the development is transported primarily by vegetated conveyances. As used in this sub-sub-subdivision, "conveyance system" shall not include a stormwater collection system. Stormwater runoff from built upon areas that is directed to flow through any wetlands shall flow into and through these wetlands at a non-erosive velocity.

3.         The development contains a 50-foot-wide vegetative buffer for new development activities and a 30-foot-wide vegetative buffer for redevelopment activities. The width of a buffer is measured horizontally from the normal pool elevation of impounded structures, from the bank of each side of streams or rivers, and from the mean high waterline of tidal waters, perpendicular to the shoreline. The vegetative buffer may be cleared or graded, but must be planted with, and maintained in, grass or any other vegetative or plant material. The Division of Water Quality may, on a case-by-case basis, grant a minor variance from the vegetative buffer requirements of this section pursuant to the procedures set out in 15A NCAC 02B .0233(9)(b). Vegetative buffers and filters required by this section and any other buffers or filters required by State water quality or coastal management rules or local government requirements may be met concurrently and may contain, in whole or in part, coastal, isolated, or 404 jurisdictional wetlands that are located landward of the normal waterline.

b.         High-Density Option:  Higher density developments shall be permitted pursuant to 15A NCAC 02H .1003(d)(2) if the development meets all of the following requirements:

1.         The development has a built upon area of greater than twenty-four percent (24%).

2.         The development uses control systems that are any combination of infiltration systems, wet detention ponds, bioretention systems, constructed stormwater wetlands, sand filters, rain barrels, cisterns, rain gardens or alternative stormwater management systems designed in accordance with 15A NCAC 02H .1008.

3.         Control systems must be designed to store, control, and treat the stormwater runoff from all surfaces generated by one and one-half inch of rainfall.

4.         Stormwater runoff from built upon areas that is directed to flow through any wetlands shall flow into and through these wetlands at a non-erosive velocity.

5.         A 50-foot-wide vegetative buffer for new development activities and a 30-foot-wide vegetative buffer for redevelopment activities. The width of a buffer is measured horizontally from the normal pool elevation of impounded structures, from the bank of each side of streams or rivers, and from the mean high waterline of tidal waters, perpendicular to the shoreline. The vegetative buffer may be cleared or graded, but must be planted with, and maintained in, grass or any other vegetative or plant material. Furthermore, stormwater control best management practices (BMPs), or stormwater control structures, with the exception of wet detention ponds, may be located within this vegetative buffer. The Division of Water Quality may, on a case by case basis, grant a minor variance from the vegetative buffer requirements of this section pursuant to the procedures set out in 15A NCAC 02B .0233(9)(b). Vegetative buffers and filters required by this section and any other buffers or filters required by State water quality or coastal management rules or local government requirements may be met concurrently and may contain, in whole or in part, coastal, isolated, or 404 jurisdictional wetlands that are located landward of the normal waterline.

(4)       Requirements for Structural Stormwater Controls. - Structural stormwater controls required under this section shall meet all of the following requirements:

a.         Remove an eighty-five percent (85%) average annual amount of Total Suspended Solids.

b.         For detention ponds, draw down the treatment volume no faster than 48 hours, but no slower than 120 hours.

c.         Discharge the storage volume at a rate equal to or less than the predevelopment discharge rate for the one-year, 24-hour storm.

d.         Meet the General Engineering Design Criteria set forth in 15A NCAC 02H .1008(c).

e.         For structural stormwater controls that are required under this section and that require separation from the seasonal high-water table, a minimum separation of two feet is required. Where a separation of two feet from the seasonal highwater table is not practicable, the Division of Water Quality may grant relief from the separation requirement pursuant to the Alternative Design Criteria set out in 15A NCAC 02H .1008(h). No minimum separation from the seasonal highwater table is required for a secondary stormwater best management practice that is used in a series with another stormwater best management practice.

(5)       Certain Wetlands Excluded From Density Calculation. - For the purposes of this section, areas defined as Coastal Wetlands under 15A NCAC 07H .0205, as measured landward from the normal high waterline, shall not be included in the overall project area to calculate impervious surface density. Wetlands that are not regulated as coastal wetlands pursuant to 15A NCAC 07H .0205 and that are located landward of the normal high waterline may be included in the overall project area to calculate impervious surface density.

SECTION 2.(c)  Requirements for Limited Residential Development in Coastal Counties. - For residential development activities within the 20 Coastal Counties that are located within one-half mile and draining to Class SA waters, that have a built upon area greater than twelve percent (12%), that do not require a stormwater management permit under subsection (b) of this section, and that will add more than 10,000 square feet of built upon area, a one-time, nonrenewable stormwater management permit shall be obtained. The permit shall require recorded deed restrictions or protective covenants to ensure that the plans and specifications approved in the permit are maintained.  Under this permit, stormwater runoff shall be managed using any one or combination of the following practices:

(1)       Install rain cisterns or rain barrels designed to collect all rooftop runoff from the first one and one-half inches of rain. Rain barrels and cisterns shall be installed in such a manner as to facilitate the reuse of the collected rain water on site and shall be installed in such a manner that any overflow from these devices is directed to a vegetated area in a diffuse flow. Construct all uncovered driveways, uncovered parking areas, uncovered walkways, and uncovered patios out of permeable pavement or other pervious materials.

(2)       Direct rooftop runoff from the first one and one-half inches of rain to an appropriately sized and designed rain garden. Construct all uncovered driveways, uncovered parking areas, uncovered walkways, and uncovered patios out of permeable pavement or other pervious materials.

(3)       Install any other stormwater best management practice that meets the requirements of 15A NCAC 02H .1008 to control and treat the stormwater runoff from all built upon areas of the site from the first one and one-half inches of rain.

SECTION 2.(d)  Exclusions. - The requirements of this section shall not apply to any of the following:

(1)       Activities of the North Carolina Department of Transportation that are regulated in accordance with the provisions of the Department's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Stormwater Permit.

(2)       Development activities that are conducted pursuant to and consistent with one of the following authorizations, or any timely renewal thereof, shall be regulated by those provisions and requirements of 15A NCAC 02H .1005 that were effective at the time of the original issuance of the following authorizations:

a.         State Stormwater Permit issued under the provisions of 15A NCAC 02H .1005.

b.         Stormwater Certification issued pursuant to 15A NCAC 02H .1000 prior to 1 December 1995.

c.         A Coastal Area Management Act Major Permit.

d.         401 Certification that contains an approved Stormwater Management Plan.

e.         A building permit pursuant to G.S. 153A-357 or G.S. 160A-417.

f.          A site-specific development plan as defined by G.S. 153A-344.1(b)(5) and G.S. 160A-385.1(b)(5).

g.         A phased development plan approved pursuant to G.S. 153A-344.1 or G.S. 160A-385.1 that shows:

1.         For the initial or first phase of development, the type and intensity of use for a specific parcel or parcels, including at a minimum, the boundaries of the project and a subdivision plan that has been approved pursuant to G.S. 153A-330 through G.S. 153A-335 or G.S. 160A-371 through G.S. 160A-376.

2.         For any subsequent phase of development, sufficient detail so that implementation of the requirements of this section to that phase of development would require a material change in that phase of the plan.

h.         A vested right to the development pursuant to common law.

(3)       Redevelopment activities that result in no net increase in built upon area and provide stormwater control equal to the previous development.

(4)       Development activities for which a complete Stormwater Permit Application has been accepted by the Division of Water Quality prior to the effective date of this act, shall be regulated by the provisions and requirements of 15A NCAC 02H .1005 that were effective at the time that this application was accepted as complete by the Division of Water Quality. For purposes of this subsection, a Stormwater Permit Application is deemed accepted as complete by the Division of Water Quality when the application is assigned a permit number in the Division's Basinwide Information Management System.

(5)       Development activities for which only a minor modification of a State Stormwater Permit is required shall be regulated by the provisions and requirements of 15A NCAC 02H .1005 that were effective at the time of the original issuance of the State Stormwater Permit. For purposes of this subsection, a minor modification of a State Stormwater Permit is defined as a modification that does not increase the net area of built upon area within the project site or does not increase the overall size of the stormwater controls that have been previously approved for that development activity.

(6)       Municipalities designated as a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Phase 2 municipality located within the 20 Coastal Counties until such time as the NPDES Phase 2 Stormwater Permit expires and is subject to renewal. Upon renewal of the NPDES Phase 2 Stormwater Permits for municipalities located within the 20 Coastal Counties, the Department shall review the permits to determine whether the permits should be amended to include the provisions of this section.

SECTION 2.(e)  Exemptions From Vegetative Buffer Requirements. - The following activities are exempt from the vegetative buffer requirements of this section:

(1)       Development in urban waterfronts that meets the requirements of 15A NCAC 07H .0209(g),

(2)       Development in a new urban waterfront area that meets the requirements of Session Law 2004-117,

(3)       Those activities listed in 15A NCAC 07H .0209(d)(10)(A) through 15A NCAC 07H .0209(d)(10)(H),

(4)       Development of upland marinas that have received or are required to secure a Coastal Area Management Act Major Permit.

SECTION 2.(f)  Compliance with Other Rules. - In addition to the requirements specified in this section, activities regulated under this section must also comply with any requirements of any other applicable law or rule.

SECTION 3.  Rescission of Phase 2 Designations. - All designations of local governments within the 20 Coastal Counties as Phase 2 municipalities by the Environmental Management Commission under Section 5 of Session Law 2006-246 that occurred after 16 August 2006 are rescinded. The provisions of this section do not preclude any future designations of these areas as Phase 2 municipalities by the Environmental Management Commission under Section 5 of Session Law 2006-246.

SECTION 4.  Additional Rule Making. - The Commission may adopt rules to replace the rules that are disapproved or superseded as provided in Section 1 of this act.  If the Commission adopts rules pursuant to this section, notwithstanding G.S. 150B-19(4), the rules shall be substantively identical to the provisions of Section 2 of this act.  The Commission may reorganize or renumber any of the rules to which this section applies at its discretion.  Rules adopted pursuant to this section are not subject to G.S. 150B-21.9 through G.S. 150B-21.14.  Rules adopted pursuant to this section shall become effective as provided in G.S. 150B-21.3(b1) as though 10 or more written objections had been received as provided by G.S. 150B-21.3(b2).

SECTION 5.  Construction of Act. -

(1)       Except as specifically provided in Section 4 of this act, nothing in this act shall be construed to limit, expand, or otherwise alter the authority of the Environmental Management Commission or any unit of local government.

(2)       This act shall not be construed to affect any delegation of any power or duty by the Commission to the Department or subunit of the Department.

(3)       As used in subsection (b) of Section 2 of this act, the phrase "common plan of development" shall be interpreted and implemented in a manner consistent with the memorandum referenced as "Guidance Interpreting Phase 2 Stormwater Requirements" from the Director of the Division of Water Quality of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to Interested Parties dated 24 July 2006, and for these purposes the memorandum shall be considered a part of this act and as such shall be printed as a part of the Session Laws.

SECTION 6.  Application of Memorandum to Prior Session Law. - Subdivision (5) of Section 18 of S.L. 2006-246 reads as rewritten:

"(5)      As used in Section 9 of this act, the phrase 'common plan of development or sale' shall be interpreted and implemented in a manner consistent with the memorandum referenced as 'Guidance Interpreting Phase II Stormwater Requirements' from the Director of the Division of Water Quality of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to Interested Parties dated 24 July 2006, and for these purposes the memorandum shall be considered a part of this act and as such shall be printed as a part of the Session Laws."

SECTION 7.  Provisions of Act Not Codified; Set Out As Note. - Notwithstanding G.S. 164-10, the Revisor of Statutes shall not codify any of the provisions of this act.  The Revisor of Statutes shall set out the text of this act as a note to G.S. 143-214.7 and may make notes concerning this act to other sections of the General Statutes as the Revisor of Statutes deems appropriate.

SECTION 8.  Effective Date. - Subsection (b) of Section 1 of this act and Sections 2 and 3 of this act become effective 1 October 2008.    All other sections of this act are effective when this act becomes law.

In the General Assembly read three times and ratified this the 15th day of July, 2008.

 

 

 

 

                                                                        _____________________________________

                                                                         Beverly E. Perdue

                                                                         President of the Senate

 

 

 

 

                                                                        _____________________________________

                                                                         Joe Hackney

                                                                         Speaker of the House of Representatives

 

 

 

 

                                                                        _____________________________________

                                                                         Michael F. Easley

                                                                         Governor

 

 

Approved __________.m. this ______________ day of ___________________, 2008