New GenX bill paves the way for public utility to avoid civil liability
The House Select Committee on River Water Quality met today to discuss a bill in response to the GenX crisis. During the public comment portion of the meeting, a lobbyist stood up to speak in support of the bill on behalf of the North Carolina Rural Water Association and Cape Fear Public Utility Authority.
Jon Carr is an attorney and registered lobbyist in Raleigh. He is a member of the Jordan Price Law Offices and lobbies many organizations including the North Carolina Rural Water Association (NCRWA). The NCRWA includes the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority and Lower Cape Fear Water & Sewer Authority. The committee's draft bill Short Term Response to Emerging Contaminants paves the way for water utility services such as the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority to get out of water crises without liability.
The bill only addresses the liability of the water authorities for distributing contaminated drinking water by ordering a study. Section 5 of the bill states that the UNC School of Government "shall study the extent to which public and private water utilities may be held civilly liable for distribution of drinking water contaminated by a pollutant without applicable discharge standards established under State or federal law, and the extent to which public water utilities and private water utilities are treated differently for purposes of civil liability." The School of Government's results are due April 1, 2018.