State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_159C > GS_159C-7

§ 159C‑7.  Approval ofindustrial projects and pollution control projects by Secretary of Commerce.

(a)        Approval Required.– No bonds may be issued by an authority to finance an industrial project or apollution control project unless the project for which their issuance isproposed is first approved by the Secretary of Commerce. The authority shallfile an application for approval of its proposed industrial project orpollution control project with the Secretary of Commerce, and shall notify theLocal Government Commission of the filing.

(b)        Findings. – TheSecretary shall not approve any proposed industrial project or pollutioncontrol project unless the Secretary makes all of the following, applicablefindings:

(1)        In the case of aproposed industrial project, that the proposed project will not have amaterially adverse effect on the environment.

(2)        In the case of aproposed pollution control project, that the project will have a materiallyfavorable impact on the environment or will prevent or diminish materially theimpact of pollution which would otherwise occur.

(2a)      In the case of ahazardous waste facility or low‑level radioactive waste facility that isused as a reduction, recovery or recycling facility, that such project willfurther the waste management goals of North Carolina and will not have anadverse effect upon public health or a significant adverse effect on theenvironment.

(3)        In the case of anindustrial project or a pollution control project, except a pollution controlproject for a public utility,

a.         That the jobs to begenerated or saved, directly or indirectly, by the proposed project will belarge enough in number to have a measurable impact on the area immediatelysurrounding the proposed project and will be commensurate with the size andcost of the proposed project,

b.         That the proposedoperator of the proposed project has demonstrated or can demonstrate thecapability to operate the project, and

c.         That the financingof the project by the authority will not cause or result in the abandonment ofan existing industrial or manufacturing facility of the proposed operator or anaffiliate elsewhere within the State unless the facility is to be abandonedbecause of obsolescence, lack of available labor in the area, or sitelimitations.

(b1)      Initial Operator. – Ifthe initial proposed operator of an industrial project or a pollution controlproject is not expected to be the operator for the term of the bonds proposedto be issued, the Secretary may make the findings required pursuant to subdivisions(b)(1)a. and (3)b. of this section only with respect to the initial operator.The initial operator shall be identified in the application for approval of theproposed project.

(c)        Public Hearing. – TheSecretary of Commerce shall not approve any proposed industrial project orpollution control project pursuant to this section unless the governing body ofthe county in which the project is located has first conducted a public hearingand, at or after the public hearing, approved in principle the issuance ofbonds under this Chapter for the purpose of paying all or part of the cost ofthe proposed project. Notice of the public hearing shall be published at leastonce in at least one newspaper of general circulation in the county not lessthan 14 days before the public hearing. The notice shall describe generally thebonds proposed to be issued and the proposed project, including its generallocation, and any other information the governing body considers appropriate orthe Secretary of Commerce prescribes for the purpose of providing the Secretarywith the views of the community. The notice shall also state that following thepublic hearing the authority intends to file an application for approval of theproposed project with the Secretary of Commerce.

(d)        Certificate ofDepartment of Environment and Natural Resources. – The Secretary of Commerceshall not make the findings required by subdivisions (b)(1)b and (2) of thissection unless the Secretary has first received a certification from theDepartment of Environment and Natural Resources that, in the case of a proposedindustrial project, the proposed project will not have a materially adverseeffect on the environment and that, in the case of a proposed pollution controlproject, the proposed project will have a materially favorable impact on theenvironment or will prevent or diminish materially the impact of pollutionwhich would otherwise occur. The Secretary of Commerce shall not make thefindings required by subdivision (2a) unless the Secretary has first received acertification from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources that theproposed project is environmentally sound, will not have an adverse effect onpublic health and will further the waste management goals of North Carolina. TheSecretary of Commerce shall deliver a copy of the application to the Departmentof Environment and Natural Resources. The Department of Environment and NaturalResources shall provide each certification to the Secretary of Commerce withinseven days after the applicant satisfactorily demonstrates to it that allpermits, including environmental permits, necessary for the construction of theproposed project have been obtained, unless the authority consents to a longerperiod of time.

(e)        Waiver of Wage Requirement.– If the Secretary of Commerce has made all of the required findings respectinga proposed industrial project except that prescribed in subdivision (b)(1)a ofthis section, the Secretary may, in the Secretary's discretion, approve theproposed industrial project if the Secretary has received (i) a resolution ofthe governing body of the county requesting that the proposed industrialproject be approved notwithstanding that the operator will not pay an averageweekly manufacturing wage above the average weekly manufacturing wage in thecounty and (ii) a letter from an appropriate State official, selected by theSecretary, to the effect that unemployment in the county is especially severe.

(f)         Rules. – Tofacilitate review of each proposed industrial project or pollution controlproject, the Secretary may require the authority to obtain and submit any dataand information about the project the Secretary may prescribe. The Secretarymay also prescribe forms and rules the Secretary considers reasonably necessaryto implement the provisions of this section.

(g)        Certificate ofApproval. – If the Secretary approves the proposed industrial project orpollution control project, the Secretary shall prepare a certificate ofapproval evidencing the approval and setting forth the findings and shall causethe certificate of approval to be published in a newspaper of generalcirculation within the county. This approval shall be reviewable as provided inArticle 4 of Chapter 150B of the General Statutes only by an action filed,within 30 days after notice of the findings and approval have been sopublished, in the Superior Court of Wake County. The superior court is vestedwith jurisdiction to hear the action, but if no action is filed within the 30days prescribed, the validity of the approval is conclusively presumed, and nocourt has authority to inquire into the approval. Copies of the certificate ofapproval of the proposed industrial project or pollution control project willbe given to the authority, the board of county commissioners, and the Secretaryof the Local Government Commission.

The certificate of approvalbecomes effective immediately following the expiration of the 30‑dayperiod or the expiration of any appeal period after a final determination byany court of any action timely filed pursuant to this section. The certificateexpires one year after its date unless extended by the Secretary who shall notextend the certificate unless the Secretary again approves the proposedindustrial project or pollution control project as provided in this section. Ifbonds are issued within that year pursuant to the authorization of this Chapterto pay all or part of the costs of the industrial project or pollution controlproject, however, the certificate expires three years after the date of thefirst issuance of the bonds. (1975, c. 800, s. 1; 1977, c. 198, s. 23; c. 719, ss.2, 3; c. 771, s. 4; 1979, c. 109, s. 1; 1981, c. 704, s. 22; 1987, c. 827, s.1; 1989, c. 727, ss. 218(161), 219(38); c. 751, s. 8(29); 1991 (Reg. Sess.,1992), c. 959, s. 79; 1995 (Reg. Sess., 1996), c. 575, s. 6; 1997‑443, s.11A.123; 1997‑463, s. 2; 2000‑179, s. 6; 2004‑132, s. 1.)