Senate Adopts Dredging Bill

The North Carolina Senate yesterday passed the SB 160 (Enhance Safety & Commerce for Ports/Inlets) legislation that will addresses the issue of open and navigable channels at the state’s inlets and ports.

Senator Bill Cook, Senator Harry Brown and Senator Michael V. Lee are the primary sponsors of the legislation. The Senate passed the SB 160 in a bipartisan vote, 43-1, sending it to the House.

This legislation would transfer $6 million from an unappropriated fund in the Department of Commerce to the Shallow Draft Navigational Channel Dredging and Lake Maintenance Fund. It reserves $4 million of that appropriation for Oregon Inlet dredging, which must be matched 1 to 1 by non-state dollars.

Other funds are reserved for provisions related to the Department of Administration (DOA) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. The bill appropriates $750,000 to DOA for the Department can retain counsel and prepare to meet the deadlines required in state statute for the long term solution of Oregon Inlet.