143-214.21.  Riparian Buffer Protection Program: Riparian Buffer Restoration Fund.

The Riparian Buffer Restoration Fund is established as a nonreverting fund within the Department. The Fund shall be treated as a special trust fund and shall be credited with interest by the State Treasurer pursuant to G.S. 147-69.2 and G.S. 147-69.3. The Riparian Buffer Restoration Fund shall provide a repository for monetary contributions to promote projects for the restoration, enhancement, or creation of riparian buffers or to construct approved alternative measures that reduce nutrient loading as well or better than a riparian buffer that is lost and for compensatory mitigation fees paid to the Department. The Fund shall be administered by the Department. Moneys shall be expended from the Fund only for those purposes directly related to the restoration, acquisition, creation, enhancement, and maintenance of riparian buffers or to construct approved alternative measures that reduce nutrient loading as well or better than a riparian buffer. Compensatory mitigation fees paid into the Fund in connection with the loss of riparian buffers in a river basin and the interest earned on those fees may be used only for projects in that river basin. (1998-221, s. 1.5(b); 1999-448, s. 2; 2005-443, s. 1.)