The North Carolina General Assembly has been busy working throughout August, focusing on wrapping up some bills that were mid-negotiation upon the July adjournment, overriding some of the Governor's vetos, and most visibly, redrawing legislative maps as required by the courts and offering numerous public comment sessions across the state.

The new maps that will be in place soon, will be in effect for 2018 elections. Citizens will want to check districts again before voting because you may find you have a new representative, senator, or both. WRAL did a good job of outlining changes, which you can see by reading the article, but the highlights are shared below.

Environmental, Water/Wastewater

Of interest to some engineers is the progress on H576: Allow Aerosolization of Leachate, also known as the "garbage juice bill". It would require DEQ "to approve aerosolization of leachate and wastewater from a lined sanitary landfill for the disposal of municipal solid waste landfill...(2) allow the Department to approve aerosolization of leachate from unlined landfills; and (3) provide that aerosolization of leachate or wastewater that results in a zero-liquid discharge and is not a significant air contamination source does not constitute a source that requires certain permits."

The bill passed the legislature in June and was vetoed by Governor Cooper ten days later. It is expected to come up for a veto override vote this week, although it may continue to be pushed back.

Lawmakers also continue working on environmental regulatory reform issues that were not resolved during the regular session but whether more reforms are expected during a special session or not until the 2018 short session are still to be determined.

Regulatory Reform

During the August special sessions, S16: Business Regulatory Reform Act of 2017 passed which includes some of the following:

  • Require agencies and the Office of Administrative Hearings to provide additional notice of petitions for rule making
  • Provide for heightened Environmental Management Commission oversight of certain reports
  • Eliminate duplicative and unnecessary electrical equipment and appliance certification requirements
  • Authorize private condemnation of land for pipelines and mains originating outside of NC
  • Clarify stormwater laws
  • Amend the threshold for coastal stormwater requirements for residential projects
  • Study erosion and sedimentation control programs
  • Wastewater system permit extension

The August special session continues so stay tuned for more updates.

Redistricting Additional Information

Incumbents Double-Bunked

(meaning there are now two sitting lawmakers who used to represent different districts but whose home addresses are now in the same district, thus being "double-bunked")

  •  Representatives John Faircloth (R) and Jon Hardister (R) in Greensboro
  •  Representatives Carl Ford (R) and Larry Pittman (R) in Cabarrus & Rowan counties
  •  Representative Susan Martin (R) and Representative Jean Farmer-Butterfield (D) in Wilson County
  •  Representative John Sauls (R) and Representative Robert Reives (D) in Lee County
  •  Senators John Alexander (R) and Chad Barefoot (R) in northern Wake County and Franklin County. Barefoot announced that he will not seek re-election.
  •  Deanna Ballard (R) and Shirley Randleman (R) in a district that covers Wilkes, Watauga, Ashe, and Alleghany counties, part of Surry County
  •  Joyce Krawiec (R) and Dan Barrett (R) in Forsyth and Davie counties
  •  Bill Cook (R) and Erica Smith-Ingram (D) in a district that covers Vance, Warren, Northampton, Bertie, Martin, and Beaufort counties.

Open Seats

No sitting lawmaker in the district

  • House District 59 in Greensboro
  • House District 8 in Pitt County
  • House District 54 in Chatham County
  • House District 79 in Beaufort and northern Craven counties
  • Senate District 16 in western Wake County
  • Senate District 33 in Rowan and Stanly counties
  • Senate District 34 in Yadkin and Iredell counties
  • Senate District 1 that covers Dare, Hyde, Tyrell, Washington, Currituck, Camden, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Chowan, Gates, and Hertford counties
    • Representative Bob Steinburg (R) has announced he is considering running for this seat, which would then leave an open seat in his current House district
  • You can read more about the redistricting process in this WRAL article.