New regulatory reform bill covers 'fracking,' smoking rules, more
Posted July 17, 2013
Raleigh, N.C. — The Senate Rules Committee is looking over a new version of House Bill 74, the Regulatory Reform Act of 2013, which knits together several different regulatory reform bills lawmakers have seen this session.
Committee members will have a chance to think over the bill Wednesday night, and they will debate and take a vote on the bill Thursday.
The most sweeping section of the bill creates a plan for getting rid of unneeded administrative rules. Agencies would designated their rules as unneeded, needed but not controversial and needed but controversial. They would then be winnowed based on those designations.
Some provisions in the bill are relatively small-bore items. For example, one section of the measure directs the state Department of Health and Human Services to create a statewide rule on what constitutes an "outdoor smoking area" and how covered such areas can be.
There is also a section of the bill that instructs the Mining and Energy Commission to adopt rules for the disclosure of the chemicals used in the hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," method of natural gas drilling by the end of this year. It also says that the commission and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources shall not take possession of the formulas used in fracking. Rather, that disclosure must happen through an "online chemical registry."