113A-61. Local approval of erosion and sedimentation control plans.

(a) For those land-disturbing activities for which prior approval of an erosion and sedimentation control plan is required, the Commission may require that a local government that administers an erosion and sedimentation control program approved under G.S. 113A-60 require the applicant to submit a copy of the erosion and sedimentation control plan to the appropriate soil and water conservation district or districts at the same time the applicant submits the erosion and sedimentation control plan to the local government for approval. The soil and water conservation district or districts shall review the plan and submit any comments and recommendations to the local government within 20 days after the soil and water conservation district received the erosion and sedimentation control plan or within any shorter period of time as may be agreed upon by the soil and water conservation district and the local government. Failure of a soil and water conservation district to submit comments and recommendations within 20 days or within agreed upon shorter period of time shall not delay final action on the proposed plan by the local government.

(b) Local governments shall review each erosion and sedimentation control plan submitted to them and within 30 days of receipt thereof shall notify the person submitting the plan that it has been approved, approved with modifications, or disapproved. A local government shall only approve a plan upon determining that it complies with all applicable State and local regulations for erosion and sedimentation control.

(b1) A local government shall condition approval of a draft erosion and sedimentation control plan upon the applicant's compliance with federal and State water quality laws, regulations, and rules. A local government shall disapprove an erosion and sedimentation control plan if implementation of the plan would result in a violation of rules adopted by the Environmental Management Commission to protect riparian buffers along surface waters. A local government may disapprove an erosion and sedimentation control plan or disapprove a transfer of a plan under subsection (b3) of this section upon finding that an applicant or a parent, subsidiary, or other affiliate of the applicant:

(1) Is conducting or has conducted land-disturbing activity without an approved plan, or has received notice of violation of a plan previously approved by the Commission or a local government pursuant to this Article and has not complied with the notice within the time specified in the notice.

(2) Has failed to pay a civil penalty assessed pursuant to this Article or a local ordinance adopted pursuant to this Article by the time the payment is due.

(3) Has been convicted of a misdemeanor pursuant to G.S. 113A-64(b) or any criminal provision of a local ordinance adopted pursuant to this Article.

(4) Has failed to substantially comply with State rules or local ordinances and regulations adopted pursuant to this Article.

(b2) In the event that an erosion and sedimentation control plan or a transfer of a plan is disapproved by a local government pursuant to subsection (b1) of this section, the local government shall so notify the Director of the Division of Energy, Mineral, and Land Resources within 10 days of the disapproval. The local government shall advise the applicant or the proposed transferee and the Director in writing as to the specific reasons that the plan was disapproved. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (c) of this section, the applicant may appeal the local government's disapproval of the plan directly to the Commission. For purposes of this subsection and subsection (b1) of this section, an applicant's record or the proposed transferee's record may be considered for only the two years prior to the application date.

(b3) A local government administering an erosion and sedimentation control program may transfer an erosion and sedimentation control plan approved pursuant to this section without the consent of the plan holder to a successor-owner of the property on which the permitted activity is occurring or will occur as provided in this subsection:

(1) The local government may transfer a plan if all of the following conditions are met:

a. The successor-owner of the property submits to the local government a written request for the transfer of the plan and an authorized statement of financial responsibility and ownership.

b. The local government finds all of the following:

1. The plan holder is one of the following:

I. A natural person who is deceased.

II. A partnership, limited liability corporation, corporation, or any other business association that has been dissolved.

III. A person who has been lawfully and finally divested of title to the property on which the permitted activity is occurring or will occur.

IV. A person who has sold the property on which the permitted activity is occurring or will occur.

2. The successor-owner holds title to the property on which the permitted activity is occurring or will occur.

3. The successor-owner is the sole claimant of the right to engage in the permitted activity.

4. There will be no substantial change in the permitted activity.

(2) The plan holder shall comply with all terms and conditions of the plan until such time as the plan is transferred.

(3) The successor-owner shall comply with all terms and conditions of the plan once the plan has been transferred.

(4) Notwithstanding changes to law made after the original issuance of the plan, the local government may not impose new or different terms and conditions in the plan without the prior express consent of the successor-owner. Nothing in this subsection shall prevent the local government from requiring a revised plan pursuant to G.S. 113A-54.1(b).

(c) The disapproval or modification of any proposed erosion and sedimentation control plan by a local government shall entitle the person submitting the plan to a public hearing if the person submits written demand for a hearing within 15 days after receipt of written notice of the disapproval or modification. The hearings shall be conducted pursuant to procedures adopted by the local government. If the local government upholds the disapproval or modification of a proposed erosion and sedimentation control plan following the public hearing, the person submitting the erosion and sedimentation control plan is entitled to appeal the local government's action disapproving or modifying the plan to the Commission. The Commission, by regulation, shall direct the Secretary to appoint such employees of the Department as may be necessary to hear appeals from the disapproval or modification of erosion and sedimentation control plans by local governments. In addition to providing for the appeal of local government decisions disapproving or modifying erosion and sedimentation control plans to designated employees of the Department, the Commission shall designate an erosion and sedimentation control plan review committee consisting of three members of the Commission. The person submitting the erosion and sedimentation control plan may appeal the decision of an employee of the Department who has heard an appeal of a local government action disapproving or modifying an erosion and sedimentation control plan to the erosion and sedimentation control plan review committee of the Commission. Judicial review of the final action of the erosion and sedimentation control plan review committee of the Commission may be had in the superior court of the county in which the local government is situated.

(d) Repealed by Session Laws 1989, c. 676, s. 4. (1973, c. 392, s. 12; 1979, c. 922, s. 1; 1989, c. 676, s. 4; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 776, ss. 8, 9; 1998-221, s. 1.11(b); 1999-379, s. 3; 2002-165, s. 2.9; 2012-143, s. 1(f); 2013-121, s. 4.)