On June 28, 2012, North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue signed legislation to reform the states air toxics program into law. The house bill previously passed the senate nearly unanimously by of a vote of 38-1 on June 21, 2012.

The bill, HB 952, exempts any source that is covered under a National Emissions Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutants (MACT and GACT), as well as any source covered under a 112(j) permit. The only exception to this exemption would be in circumstances when the Division of Air Quality’s (DAQ) Director makes a written finding that emissions from such a source present an unacceptable risk to public health. All of such decisions must be reported to the Environmental Review Commission (ERC).

In addition to exempting sources from the state’s air toxics program that are already subject to federal regulation, there is a provision of the bill that directs DAQ to review toxic air pollutant rules and their implementation to determine whether changes could be made to reduce “unnecessary regulatory burden and increase the efficient use of Division resources while maintaining protection of public health.” The results of this review, including recommendations, will be reported to the ERC no later than December 1, 2012.

The full text of House Bill 952 is available online at:
http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/Sessions/2011/Bills/House/PDF/H952v4.pdf