legislators signal their intention to adjourn later this month, the
weeks promise to be a whirlwind of activity with tax reform, the
many controversial pieces of legislation yet to be resolved.
an update on a few of the bills we’re actively engaged in lobbying or
857 – Public Contracts/Construction
- Sponsored by Representative Dean Arp, PE – This bill, promoted by the
Architects and Engineers in cooperation with the Carolinas AGC, would
government entities to use Design Build, Design Build Bridging and
Private Partnerships as approved contracting methods, eliminating the
the many local bills that are filed each year requesting such
selection process is
based on qualifications and experience and Quality Based Selection is
integrated into all three of these delivery and financing options. Additionally, the bill
eliminates the local
government option to exempt themselves from the Quality Based Selection
requirements for design services if the project exceeds $50,000.
bill has passed the House and received a favorable report in Senate
yesterday. It is
scheduled to be heard
in Senate Finance next week before going to the Senate floor for a
in that Chamber.
739 – Certificate of Merit for Architects
– Sponsored by Representative Rob Bryan, an attorney from Charlotte,
would require that before a negligence claim against a licensed
filed, a professional licensed in the same practice area as the
review the facts and certify that the claim is meritorious and should
the differences with
Carolinas AGC were worked out in the compromise bill that was
legislators in the House see this as
our industry wanting immunity from liability – which is a total
misunderstanding of our intent. However,
they are steadfast in their position and difficult to convince
bill had its first hearing in House Judiciary A, hurriedly, right
crossover deadline. Because
objections from the attorneys on the committee, the bill was withdrawn
consideration and, therefore, did not make the crossover deadline. The only path forward for
this bill at this
time is for a fee to be added so that it can be reconsidered in another
Judiciary committee OR if one of the bill co-sponsors can include it in
bill that has already passed the House and amend it in the Senate.
301 – Clarifying Changes, Engineer and
– Sponsored by Representatives Arp, Catlin, Millis and Hager, this
would make clarifying changes necessary to allow the NC Board of
Engineers and Land Surveyors to administer computer based examinations
would waive the examination for GIS practitioners with certain
July 1, 2014. PENC supports the bill.
bill has been ratified and is awaiting the Governor’s signature.
628 - Protect/Promote
– Sponsored by Representative Presnell this legislation began with the
intent of protecting North Carolina timber producers by requiring that
sustainable building standards not disadvantage or forbid the use of
materials produced in this State.
language of the bill went on to broaden the scope of the stated intent
effect, disallowing the entire use of the LEED Green Building rating
state construction projects. Many
stakeholders, including ASHRAE, USGBC, Concrete, Steel, Architects and
Engineers disagreed with the effect of the elimination of LEED in state
buildings and requested amendments to preserve the LEED rating system. The legislation was
rewritten Tuesday in the
Senate Agriculture and Environment committee to permit such projects if
cut long-term energy costs and permit North Carolina building materials
construction. LEED does not consider most North Carolina lumber to be
sustainably farmed, and that, according to the timber industries, puts
state's timber companies at a disadvantage. Under an amendment offered
Tommy Tucker, R-Union, the bill would allow state and local government
to pursue LEED certification if buildings could use such ratings
do not "put North Carolina materials at a disadvantage.
PENC continues to have some concerns
amendment as it relates to the energy efficiency “payback” period.
bill will be heard on the Senate floor today and, if passed will be
to the House for concurrence.
76 - Domestic Energy Jobs Act –
“Fracking Bill”). When
this Senate bill
was first introduced early in the session, it raised some considerable
within the environmental community and with legislators on the House
the initial bill allowing shale gas exploration was only narrowly
approved a year
bill passed by the Senate
would not only have accelerated the issuing of permits for hydraulic
drilling as early as March 2015 it would also have lifted the ban on
well injections for industrial waste disposal.
House version of the bill passed earlier this week
agreed with the set date of March 2015
North Carolina to begin issuing permits for shale gas mining, or
"fracking." The House's version of Senate Bill 76, however, is
significantly more cautious than the Senate's. The Senate's original
"fast-track" version would have allowed fracking to begin on March 1,
2015, without legislative approval. The House version allows the
Environment and Natural Resources to issue permits on that date but
must approve the state's regulatory framework before those permits
considered valid. "It was very important for us to put that in there,
because in 2011, we promised this House floor it would come back before
body," said Rep. Mike Stone, R-Lee. The House version also would not
the injection of fracking waste fluid into the ground in North Carolina
would allow DENR to regulate and fine land agents who use misleading or
unethical practices to convince property owners to sign leases. PENC supports the House
version of this
76 now goes back to the Senate for concurrence.
If the Senate does not concur, a
conference committee will be appointed
to work out the differences.
480 - Environmental Permitting Reform
by Representative Millis, PE – This bill would allow for fast track
of stormwater management systems for applications submitted by a
professional in compliance with minimum design criteria. The minimum design
criteria will be developed
by a technical working group to include NCDENR, industry experts,
environmental consultants, the University system and others. The bill is supported by
bill has been ratified and is awaiting the Governor’s signature.
328 - Solid Waste Management Reform Act of
– Sponsored by Senators Wade, Brown and Jackson.
significant piece of legislation was a “surprise” as the bill that was
public prior to the committee meeting looked nothing like the committee
substitute that was the subject of the discussion.
The most significant items in the bill
extend the duration of
permits for sanitary landfills and transfer stations to thirty years
(from 5 to
10 now) 2) modify DENR’s authority to issue and transfer permits for
waste management facilities; 3) modify certain requirements governing
landfills including conduct of environmental impacts studies,
buffers, cleaning and inspection of leachate collection lines,
daily cover, and require landfill operators to study certain issues 4)
requirements for financial responsibility applicable to applicants 5)
that cleanup of onsite leachate is not required when conducting
remediation of landfills 6) limit the frequency with which DENR may
groundwater standards; 7) require that collection and transfer of solid
require containers be leak resistant 8) amend rules governing control
current bill was given a favorable report in the Senate
and Natural Resources committee with the caveat that NCDENR and other
stakeholders would continue to work with the bill sponsor over issues
concerns before being heard in Senate Finance.
At this time, PENC has not taken a
on the bill pending forthcoming information from the solid waste
division in NCDENR and the outcome of the stakeholders review.
817 - Strategic Transportation Investments
by Representatives Brawley, Iler, Torbett and Sheperd.
The Governor’s signature transportation
continues to make its way through the Senate and was given a favorable
this morning in Senate Appropriations.
One of the concerns over funding for
bicycle/pedestrian projects was
fixed in this version of the bill by grandfathering stand alone projects if they are in
the STIP by Oct 2013
for FY 13, 14 or 15.
are still differences between the House and Senate versions of this
will have to be worked out in a conference committee.
2 – Legislative Update will appear on Friday and will include updates
612 - Regulatory Reform Act of 2013
by Senators Brown, Brock and Jackson
120 - Building Codes/Local Consistency
by Representatives Hager, Brawley, Arp, Cotham
201 – Reinstate 2009 Energy Conservation
– Sponsored by Representative Torbett
9 - Utilities/Design/Survey Locator
– Sponsored by Senator Meredith
Damage Prevention Act
and Commission Appointments