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House Bill 56 - Amend Environmental Laws


House Bill 56 - Amend Environmental Laws

The legislative analysis for this bill is provided by
Southern Environmental Law Center
At a glance
Repeals the plastic bag ban on the coast, extends mining leases without regulation, keeps property owners in the dark about adjacent developments
Legislative analysis provider
Last update
August 15, 2017
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The bottom line: This bill would increase trash on beaches by repealing the plastic bag ban on the coast, extends mining leases without regulation, keeps property owners in the dark about adjacent developments, could harm water quality and makes responding to declining fish stocks more difficult.

  • Section 6(b): Eliminates Coastal Area Management Act (CAMA) requirement for notice of permit application for a minor development project. This means that neighbors of development projects would have no warning of these projects. Minor developments can be fairly large.
  • Section 10: This section repeals the popular plastic bag ban on the coast of North Carolina. Because of its effects on wildlife and how trashy it looks on beaches, the ban has been a feature of the North Carolina coast since 2010 and reduces the amount of trash found on beaches and in the stomachs of sea turtles and marine mammals. According to Southern Environmental Law Center, the Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce recently surveyed its 1,100 members, and all but 2 of the nearly 500 responses opposed lifting the ban. The ban applies to Ocracoke, Hatteras and Bodie islands, and Corolla and Carova in Currituck County.
  • Section 12(a): Exempts some subdivisions from compliance with coastal stormwater rules, which could decrease coastal water quality.
  • Section 17: Extends mining permits on private land - currently 10 years in duration - to life of site. This could lock in regulations at the time the facility is first permitted, even if stricter regulations are implemented in future years. It limits financial assurance bonds to $1M, which may not be enough to cover cleanup costs or other issues at larger mines.
  • Section 20: Could make it more difficult for the Marine Fisheries Commission to respond to declining fish stocks by reducing the number of the commission from 9 to 7 and requiring a supermajority of 5 commissioners to take action.
Current Committee
Other chamber activity
Committee Conference Appointed by House and Senate
Senate sponsors
No sponsors for this bill
Conference Committee appointed
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