Bill to Add Onerous Fees & Limit Private Property Rights

ACTION ALERT: Senate Bill 843

It’s hard to believe that in a state which was just voted #3 for business, you’d see a bill adding 10 pages of new permitting regulations to a thriving North Carolina industry.

Senate Bill 843 was filed yesterday by Senator Bill Cook (R-Beaufort) and Senator Andrew Brock (R-Davie), and seeks to bring renewable energy development in North Carolina – and the resulting $4.9 billion+ in investments – to a screeching halt. The bill creates countless new requirements and regulations; however, even if landowners and businesses jump through all of these “hoops,” the NC Department of Environmental Quality might still deny the project.

Photo courtesy of Strata Solar

In an unprecedented move to limit activity on one’s private property… the bill requires private property owners to secure a financial bond if they choose to develop a solar energy facility on their own land! It would also require developers to secure a bond for projects located on leased land.

Just to name a few of the additional proposed regulations, S843 would:

    1. 1. Require “Permit Preapplication Site Evaluation Meeting” with the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ)

2. Require “Permit Preapplication Package” to be submitted to DEQ

3. Require a “scoping meeting” where the permit application is “reviewed”

4. Require a Permit Application with extensive reporting and documentation

5. Require a $3,500 fee to accompany an application for a renewable energy facility

This is only the tip of the iceberg, please read the bill for the full scope of new regulations and red tape.

This bill has just been referred to the Senate Rules Committee. NCSEA’s Government Affairs Team and allied members of the clean energy coalition will continue to work with Senators to keep this bill from advancing. We must remain vigilant as this bill will remain active throughout the 2016 Short Session.

Please contact your Senator and make him or her aware of how this bill, which if enacted, would effectively end new renewable energy projects in North Carolina.

By Emily Becker, NCSEA

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