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House | March 11, 2015 | Committee Room | Rules, Calendar, and Operations of the House

Full MP3 Audio File

Members of the House Committee on Rules, Calendar, and Operations will come to order. The Chair would like to begin by thanking the members for their attendance this morning. I would also like to recognize the House Sergeant at Arms, Carlton Adams, Joe Austin, and Martha Gas, and for their kind assistance this morning. Members, as was noticed last night, this committee will be considering a proposed committee substitute for House Bill 157. There's a motion from Representative Torbett that the proposed committee substitute for House Bill 157 be before the committee, without objection that is so ordered. Members, in the interest of time, the Chair will take a moment to explain why we are here this morning. The substantive parts of this bill were vetted yesterday in the House Committee on Environment. While the vote to give those provisions a favorable report was not unanimous, it was very strong. It was discovered last, well yesterday afternoon, that there was a largely unrelated finance provision in the bill. Those of you that have the original bill before you, I believe it would be section two. You will find that section two has been removed from this proposed committee substitute. Therefore, all the provisions of this bill, again, were vetted by the House Committee on Environment. The provision that was requiring a vetting by the House Committee on Finance has been removed from the proposed committee substitute that is before the committee at this time. It's the Chair's intent to allow the committee to have as much or as little discussion on the actual content of the bill as you would like to have. However, I would reiterate that this bill was vetted by the House Committee on Environment yesterday. The only reason that it is before the Rules Committee is that it was necessary to adopt a proposed committee substitute to remove the finance provisions of the bill which would have possibly made the bill a five-day bill in both chambers. The bill does contain some time-sensitive material. With that, are there any inquiries from the members? Representative Torbett. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for a motion at the appropriate time. I would also like to add a reminder to those members of the committee, to speak or to address you need to push the red buttons in front of them so that they will be heard. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The Chair will first reiterate what Representative Torbett said. If you wish to speak, if you'll please push the little microphone buttons in front of you there, but the Chair did recognize that Representative Torbett rose to move to give the proposed committee substitute for House Bill 157 a favorable report, unfavorable to the original bill. Is there further discussion or debate on the proposed committee substitute? Representative Carney. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, it's my first, I'm pushing the button. The bill was amended. I'm sorry, I came in late, did you say that it was amended with the, to now move for the NC, they are not mandated any further and to adopt new rules? Was that discussed? We amended in Environment yesterday. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Carney notes that the bill was amended and then given a favorable report and rolled into a new PCS. If the Chair could ask briefly for staff, which section is the lady from Mecklenburg referring. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Chairman, it is section six of the PCS. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Members, the Chair would direct you, the crux of Representative Carney's inquiry begins on the bottom of page 15 and continues on to the bottom

on the page 16, and the Chair believes that the purpose of this amendment was to say that the EMC, well if Representative Carney, may we ask staff to speak to that? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Absolutely, yeah. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Ms. Cameron. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, Mr. Chairman. Under existing law, the sections require the EMC to adopt a rule concerning air toxics with respect to drilling operation. The amendment that is now section 6 of the PCS would provide that the EMC could adopt such a rule if it determines that the state's current regulatory scheme for air toxics and the federal regulatory schemes are insufficient. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. May I just make a comment? [SPEAKER CHANGES] You may. The lady's recognized. [SPEAKER CHANGES] And thank you, Mr. Chair. I just wanted the members to be aware that there was that change made in committee. And this was also, it's a matter of whether you want us in North Carolina. We already have the current law is that they are mandated to adopt these air quality rules, and we haven't done it yet. And we're now saying that they may. And I know that the language says they still can do it. Of course they still can, but there are a lot of questions about whether North Carolina should adopt its own state rules. Other states have done that. They now can, what the amendment did, and staff you can correct me if I'm wrong, the amendment says that we may, the EMC may, based on what the federal standards are, if we think we are not stronger than they are, then we can change them. But the concern is, when we go back to the original bill, we were promised, we were promised in this state, the citizens were, that we would have the strongest state air pollution, or air control laws. And so we had that in the current laws, that they were mandated, the EMC was mandated. I just want to repeat that. And now we're saying they aren't mandated, but they can if they deem so. Well, they haven't done that so far, and in July we're set to move from our purview over these rules going forward to the new commission, the mining commission. It's got a different name. I'm drawing a blank. What is the new name, staff? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Actually, it's Oil and Gas ?? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Oil and Gas. And when that happens in July and we do not have our mandated rules in North Carolina, then we do not have the say over that going forward. Just wanted everybody to know, if that's how you want. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The Chair's going to recognize the sponsor of the bill, Representative McElraft, to speak to that point, and then the Chair will take members in the order. Representative Davis was the next hand, and then Representative Torbett. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman, members of the committee. Thank you so much for being here early. I just wanted to respond to that. The state of North Carolina already has some of the most strict air toxic rules, and it has gone through rule making, the process. The air toxic rules that we have right now abide that ?? is already administering those rules. Our air quality deputy, he actually has contacted other states that have gone through this. It was mentioned yesterday that Ohio was doing a good job, by Representative Harrison in our environment committee. Well, Ohio was contacted. Our air quality rules, they are saying right now, are sufficient. They may have to be tweaked. They have gone through rule making. The public has been involved in them over the years. All this does is just say they can use those rules, and not have to go out and make more rules if they feel those are sufficient. If they feel they're not sufficient, they can go and add to those rules or modify those rules. So it's not that we're not going to have any air toxic rules. We do. Very strict rules in the state of North Carolina. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Davis, for what purpose? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman. What we're arguing is, is that if the committee determines that those rules are not adequate

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