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PENC will be a leader in advocating for thoughtful environmental regulatory reform. Instead of seeking reform for reform’s sake, we will endeavor to identify targeted opportunities that will streamline the regulatory process while allowing design professionals to continue to protect the public health, safety and welfare.
Professional Engineers are charged with protecting the public health, safety and welfare through the projects we are commissioned to imagine, design and construct. In accepting this charge, engineers are challenged to balance the economic, cost effective realities of delivering projects on time, on budget and in a sustainable manner with the need to place the public safety above all else. Furthermore, it is the practice of engineering that continues to be the engine that drives an improving and evolving economy in NC.
Increasing regulatory mandates can drive up costs, account for project delays and create impediments to creative sustainable design and delivery. Indeed, these regulations have become the single most important decision driver for many of the projects our profession is engaged in.
As our state leaders continue to seek ways to reduce the cost of doing business by identifying unnecessary rules and regulations, Professional Engineers will be needed to determine the sufficient amount of regulation needed to protect the public. Specifically, PENC will work with the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources and local governments to find better ways for licensed engineers to openly communicate with staff during the planning and design phases of environmental project, provide feedback on how permitting processes can be streamlined and provide technical guidance on ways to reduce regulatory oversight without compromising the public health safety and welfare.
· Working with NCBELS and the legislative Environmental Review Commission, provide recommendations on the appropriate level of regulatory review of engineering work as defined in HB 74 Section 58,
· Identify outdated, redundant and/or ineffective environmental rules and work with the Department to revise and/or eliminate those rules as appropriate,
· Provide technical resources and support (i.e., member volunteers) to serve on the technical advisory group charged with establishing Minimum Design Criteria for stormwater design and developing the fast track permitting process for stormwater applications, (HB 480)
· Partner with DENR to identify and strengthen other fast-track permitting opportunities for sanitary sewer/erosion control projects,
· Coordinate with NCDENR staff on local government preemptions (HB 74)
· Identify opportunities to further strengthen North Carolina’s position on the use of reclaimed water as a resource,
Finally, PENC leadership must be an active participant in the regulatory reform process by continually monitoring the ethical aspects of the organization’s specific recommendations and assist in determining the positive and negative economic impacts of these recommendations.