Last week at the August Rules Review Commission Meeting, the NC Environmental Management Counsel stated that they plan to take no action on the objected-to Permanent Wetlands Rules. The NC Chamber was pleased that the RRC did not vote to reconsider the rules, but we and other stakeholders are disappointed that the EMC is exploiting a loophole in the Administrative Procedures Act on this matter. Since the Permanent Wetland Rules are technically still “under review”—because the NC EMC has not proposed changes within the deadline in 150B or requested the rules be sent back to the agency—they appear to be poised to argue that the Temporary Wetland Rules could remain in effect in perpetuity on the regulated community.
This unprecedented strategy taken by an agency and active rulemaking commission has never been done before. It is extremely concerning to think that going forward any agency proposing Temporary Rules could theoretically make them permanent as long as their subsequent permanent rules violate the standards in G.S. 150B-21.9 and are objected-to by the Rules Review Commission.
The NC Chamber is pursuing all options to relieve this unlawful regulatory burden and provide regulatory predictability for job creators. If you are experiencing any problems or have any feedback on the permitting process for the still-active Temporary Wetland Rules, please contact us here.