130A-310.76. Fees; permissible uses of fees.

(a) The following fees, payable to the Risk-Based Remediation Fund established under G.S. 130A-310.76A, are applicable to activities under this Part:

(1) Application fee. - A person who proposes to conduct remediation pursuant to this Part shall pay an application fee due at the time a proposed remedial action plan is submitted to the Department for approval. The application fee shall not exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000) for each acre or portion of an acre of contamination, including any area that will become contaminated as a result of the release; however, no person shall be required to pay more than one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) in fees attributable to this subdivision to the Fund, with the total amount owed calculated by the Department after evaluation of the factors set forth in subsection (a1) of this section and any rules promulgated thereunder.

(2) Oversight fee. - A person who has been approved by the Department to conduct a remedial action plan pursuant to this Part shall pay an oversight fee to the Department within 30 days of such approval or at such other time as the Department may authorize. The total ongoing oversight fees shall not exceed five hundred dollars ($500.00) for each acre or portion of an acre of contamination, including any area that will become contaminated as a result of the release; however, no person shall be required to pay more than twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) in fees attributable to this subdivision to the Fund, with the total amount owed calculated by the Department after evaluation of the factors set forth in subsection (a1) of this section and any rules promulgated thereunder.

(a1) The Department shall take all of the following factors into account prior to imposing a fee on a person pursuant to subsection (a) of this section and provide the person written documentation of the Department's findings with respect to each factor at the time the fee is imposed:

(1) The size of the site subject to a proposed remedial action plan.

(2) Whether groundwater contamination from the site has migrated, or is likely to migrate, to off-site properties.

(3) The complexity of the work to be conducted at a site under a proposed remedial action plan.

(4) The resources that the Department will need to evaluate and oversee the work to be conducted at a site under a proposed remedial action plan and the resources the Department will need to monitor a site after completion of remediation. If such work, or any portion thereof, is to be performed by a registered environmental consultant in accordance with the provisions of G.S. 130A-310.75, the Department shall take this into account accordingly in imposing a reduced fee.

(b) Funds collected pursuant to subsection (a) of this section may be used only for the following purposes:

(1) To pay for administrative and operating expenses necessary to implement this Part, including the full cost of the Department's activities associated with any human health or ecological risk assessments, groundwater modeling, financial assurance matters, or community outreach.

(2) To establish, administer, and maintain a system for the tracking of land-use restrictions recorded at sites that are remediated pursuant to this Part.

(c) The Department shall report to the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Agriculture and Natural and Economic Resources, the Environmental Review Commission, and the Fiscal Research Division on or before October 1 of each year on the amounts and sources of funds collected by year received pursuant to this Part, the amounts and sources of those funds paid into the Risk-Based Remediation Fund established under G.S. 130A-310.76A, the number of acres of contamination for which funds have been received pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, and a detailed annual accounting of how the funds collected pursuant to this Part have been utilized by the Department to advance the purposes of this Part.

(d) The Commission may adopt rules to implement the requirements of subsection (a1) of this section. (2011-186, s. 2; 2015-286, s. 4.7(a); 2017-57, s. 14.1(a).)