130A-309.211. Groundwater assessment and corrective action; drinking water supply well survey and provision of alternate water supply; reporting.

(a) Groundwater Assessment of Coal Combustion Residuals Surface Impoundments. - The owner of a coal combustion residuals surface impoundment shall conduct groundwater monitoring and assessment as provided in this subsection. The requirements for groundwater monitoring and assessment set out in this subsection are in addition to any other groundwater monitoring and assessment requirements applicable to the owners of coal combustion residuals surface impoundments:

(1) No later than December 31, 2014, the owner of a coal combustion residuals surface impoundment shall submit a proposed Groundwater Assessment Plan for the impoundment to the Department for its review and approval. The Groundwater Assessment Plan shall, at a minimum, provide for all of the following:

a. A description of all receptors and significant exposure pathways.

b. An assessment of the horizontal and vertical extent of soil and groundwater contamination for all contaminants confirmed to be present in groundwater in exceedance of groundwater quality standards.

c. A description of all significant factors affecting movement and transport of contaminants.

d. A description of the geological and hydrogeological features influencing the chemical and physical character of the contaminants.

e. A schedule for continued groundwater monitoring.

f. Any other information related to groundwater assessment required by the Department.

(2) The Department shall approve the Groundwater Assessment Plan if it determines that the Plan complies with the requirements of this subsection and will be sufficient to protect public health, safety, and welfare; the environment; and natural resources.

(3) No later than 10 days from approval of the Groundwater Assessment Plan, the owner shall begin implementation of the Plan.

(4) No later than 180 days from approval of the Groundwater Assessment Plan, the owner shall submit a Groundwater Assessment Report to the Department. The Report shall describe all exceedances of groundwater quality standards associated with the impoundment.

(b) Corrective Action for the Restoration of Groundwater Quality. - The owner of a coal combustion residuals surface impoundment shall implement corrective action for the restoration of groundwater quality as provided in this subsection. The requirements for corrective action for the restoration of groundwater quality set out in this subsection are in addition to any other corrective action for the restoration of groundwater quality requirements applicable to the owners of coal combustion residuals surface impoundments:

(1) No later than 90 days from submission of the Groundwater Assessment Report required by subsection (a) of this section, or a time frame otherwise approved by the Department not to exceed 180 days from submission of the Groundwater Assessment Report, the owner of the coal combustion residuals surface impoundment shall submit a proposed Groundwater Corrective Action Plan to the Department for its review and approval. The Groundwater Corrective Action Plan shall provide for the restoration of groundwater in conformance with the requirements of Subchapter L of Chapter 2 of Title 15A of the North Carolina Administrative Code. The Groundwater Corrective Action Plan shall include, at a minimum, all of the following:

a. A description of all exceedances of the groundwater quality standards, including any exceedances that the owner asserts are the result of natural background conditions.

b. A description of the methods for restoring groundwater in conformance with the requirements of Subchapter L of Chapter 2 of Title 15A of the North Carolina Administrative Code and a detailed explanation of the reasons for selecting these methods.

c. Specific plans, including engineering details, for restoring groundwater quality.

d. A schedule for implementation of the Plan.

e. A monitoring plan for evaluating the effectiveness of the proposed corrective action and detecting movement of any contaminant plumes.

f. Any other information related to groundwater assessment required by the Department.

(2) The Department shall approve the Groundwater Corrective Action Plan if it determines that the Plan complies with the requirements of this subsection and will be sufficient to protect public health, safety, and welfare; the environment; and natural resources.

(3) No later than 30 days from the approval of the Groundwater Corrective Action Plan, the owner shall begin implementation of the Plan in accordance with the Plan's schedule.

(c) Drinking Water Supply Well Survey and Provision of Alternate Water Supply. - No later than October 1, 2014, the owner of a coal combustion residuals surface impoundment shall conduct a Drinking Water Supply Well Survey that identifies all drinking water supply wells within one-half mile down-gradient from the established compliance boundary of the impoundment and submit the Survey to the Department. The Survey shall include well locations, the nature of water uses, available well construction details, and information regarding ownership of the wells. No later than December 1, 2014, the Department shall determine, based on the Survey, which drinking water supply wells the owner is required to sample and how frequently and for what period sampling is required. The Department shall require sampling for drinking water supply wells where data regarding groundwater quality and flow and depth in the area of any surveyed well provide a reasonable basis to predict that the quality of water from the surveyed well may be adversely impacted by constituents associated with the presence of the impoundment. No later than January 1, 2015, the owner shall initiate sampling and water quality analysis of the drinking water supply wells. A property owner may elect to have an independent third party selected from a laboratory certified by the Department's Wastewater/Groundwater Laboratory Certification program sample wells located on their property in lieu of sampling conducted by the owner of the coal combustion residuals surface impoundment. The owner of the coal combustion residuals surface impoundment shall pay for the reasonable costs of such sampling. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to preclude or impair the right of any property owner to refuse such sampling of wells on their property. If the sampling and water quality analysis indicates that water from a drinking water supply well exceeds groundwater quality standards for constituents associated with the presence of the impoundment, the owner shall replace the contaminated drinking water supply well with an alternate supply of potable drinking water and an alternate supply of water that is safe for other household uses. The alternate supply of potable drinking water shall be supplied within 24 hours of the Department's determination that there is an exceedance of groundwater quality standards attributable to constituents associated with the presence of the impoundment. The alternate supply of water that is safe for other household uses shall be supplied within 30 days of the Department's determination that there is an exceedance of groundwater quality standards attributable to constituents associated with the presence of the impoundment. The requirement to replace a contaminated drinking water supply well with an alternate supply of potable drinking water and an alternate supply of water that is safe for other household uses set out in this subsection is in addition to any other requirements to replace a contaminated drinking water supply well with an alternate supply of potable drinking water or an alternate supply of water that is safe for other household uses applicable to the owners of coal combustion residuals surface impoundments.

(c1) (See editor's note for applicability) Provision of Permanent Water Supply. - As soon as practicable, but no later than October 15, 2018, the owner of a coal combustion residuals surface impoundment shall establish permanent replacement water supplies for (i) each household that has a drinking water supply well located within a one-half mile radius from the established compliance boundary of a coal combustion residuals impoundment, and is not separated from the impoundment by the mainstem of a river, as that term is defined under G.S. 143-215.22G, or other body of water that would prevent the migration of contaminants through groundwater from the impoundment to a well and (ii) each household that has a drinking water supply well that is located in an area in which contamination resulting from constituents associated with the presence of a coal combustion residuals impoundment is expected to migrate, as demonstrated by groundwater modeling and hydrogeologic, geologic, and geotechnical investigations of the site, conducted in accordance with the requirements of G.S. 130A-309.214(a)(4), and the results of other modeling or investigations that may have been submitted pursuant to G.S. 130A-309.213(b)(4). Preference shall be given to permanent replacement water supplies by connection to public water supplies; provided that (i) a household may elect to receive a filtration system in lieu of a connection to public water supplies and (ii) if the Department determines that connection to a public water supply to a particular household would be cost-prohibitive, the Department shall authorize provision of a permanent replacement water supply to that household through installation of a filtration system. For households for which filtration systems are installed, the impoundment owner shall be responsible for periodic required maintenance of the filtration system. No later than December 15, 2016, an impoundment owner shall submit information on permanent replacement water supplies proposed to be provided to each household to the Department, including, at a minimum, the type of permanent water supply proposed; the location of the household and its proximity to the nearest connection point to a public water supply; projected cost of the permanent water supply option proposed for the household; and any proposal to connect to a public water supply. The Department shall evaluate information submitted by the impoundment owner and render a final decision to approve or disapprove the plan, including written findings of fact, no later than January 15, 2017. If disapproved, an impoundment owner shall resubmit a plan for the Department's approval within 30 days. No later than April 15, 2017, an impoundment owner shall notify all residents identified in the approved plan of their eligibility for establishment of a permanent water supply. Until such time as an impoundment owner has established a permanent water supply for each household required by this subsection, the impoundment owner shall supply the household with an alternate supply of potable drinking water and an alternate supply of water that is safe for other household uses. Nothing in this section shall be construed to (i) require an eligible household to connect to a public water supply or receive a filtration system or (ii) obviate the need for other federal, State, and local permits and approvals. All State entities and local governments shall expedite any permits and approvals required for such projects. The Department may grant an impoundment owner an extension of time, not to exceed one year, to establish permanent water supplies as required by this section, if the Department determines that it is infeasible for the impoundment owner to establish a permanent water supply for a household by October 15, 2018, based on limitations arising from local government resources, including limitations on water supply capacity and staffing limitations for permitting and construction activities.

(d) Reporting. - In addition to any other reporting required by the Department, the owner of a coal combustion residuals surface impoundment shall submit an annual Groundwater Protection and Restoration Report to the Department no later than January 31 of each year. The Report shall include a summary of all groundwater monitoring, protection, and restoration activities related to the impoundment for the preceding year, including the status of the Groundwater Assessment Plan, the Groundwater Assessment Report, the Groundwater Corrective Action Plan, the Drinking Water Supply Well Survey, and the replacement of any contaminated drinking water supply wells. (2014-122, s. 3(a); 2016-95, s. 1.)