Author Archive

REMINDER: US DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY TO SET NEW HOT WATER HEATER STANDARDS

The Department of Energy has made amendments to energy conservation standards on residential water heaters to go into effect on April 16, 2015.   Energy output of water heaters are measured by an Energy Factor (EF) rating calculated by the DOE.  The higher the EF, the more efficient the heater. The standards for EF ratings have

BRUNSWICK COUNTY AMENDS UNIFIED DEVELOPMENT ORDINANCE

After months of discussion, the Brunswick County Board of Commissioners approved a number of changes to the Unified Development Ordinance. Adopted in 2007, the County’s UDO was amended to make a number of changes that will facilitate investment in the County. The changes are specifically aimed to encourage economic development, allow flexibility of design and

BUILDING CODE CHANGES IMPACT SOUTHERN YELLOW PINE

The North Carolina Code making process is an ongoing process regardless of the adoption dates of the current NC Codes. The NC Building Code Council continually adopts changes to the Codes between code cycles that are not in the printed volumes of the various codes. As part of the Rulemaking process, the Council assigns effective

NATIONAL FLOOD INSURANCE PROGRAM UPDATE

Prior to the holidays, FEMA announced the launch of the Interim Office of the Flood Insurance Advocate, which was required by the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act. The Interim Office will begin work on specialized assistance to citizens and policyholders on NFIP issues; as well as regional mapping outreach and education support. You can read

BASE PANEL UPDATES NORTH CAROLINA BEACH, INLET & WATERWAY ASSOCIATION ON WATERS OF THE UNITED STATES

Thank you to BASE members Matt Hanchey (Hunton & Williams) and Jim Spangler (Spangler Environmental) for serving on a panel with BASE staff at the North Carolina Beach Inlet and Waterway (NCBIWA) Annual Meeting at Wrightsville Beach. The panel gave an update on Waters of the United States to crowd of 200 from around coastal

MCCRORY ATTENDS COASTAL RESOURCES MEETING IN WILMINGTON

In October, Governor McCrory became the first sitting Governor in recent memory to attend the Coastal Resources Commission meeting. He heard from a range of experts on a number of coastal issues including insurance, nourishment, dredging and the economic impact of the coast. The Commission has committed to giving the Governor a top issues list

SKVARLA NAMED COMMERCE SECRETARY, VAN DER VAART TO LEAD DENR

Governor McCrory named Don van der Vaart the new Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. van der Vaart served as the deputy secretary of DENR. Previous DENR Sec. John Skvarla is now the Commerce Secretary replacing Sharon Decker who resigned back in December. For more information: http://www.wral.com/mccrory-names-new-head-for-environmental-agency/14304229/

GENERAL ASSEMBLY KICKS OFF IN JANUARY

The 2015-2016 legislative session will begin January 14, 2015. When lawmakers return they will be electing a new Speaker of the House. President Pro Tempore Phil Berger (R) will remain the leader of the Senate with Sen. Louis Pate (R) as Deputy Pro Tempore and Sen. Harry Brown (R) as Majority Leader. Republicans will maintain

CONGRESS PASSES ONE YEAR EXTENSION ON MORTGAGE DEBT CANCELLATION

Before adjourning sine die in December, Congress finally took action on tax extensions. The “Mortgage Forgiveness Tax Relief Act” was included in the package approved by the U.S. House and Senate and was sent to the President’s desk for signature into law. As the session drew to a close, a last-gasp effort to extend the

GOODWIN DENIES INSURERS REQUEST FOR HOMEOWNERS INCREASE

In December, Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin has ordered a zero percent statewide overall average change in homeowners insurance rates, effective June 1, 2015. The ordered rates vary by geographic territory and type of insurance. On average, homeowners insurance rates are to decrease by 0.3 percent, renter’s insurance rates are to increase by 11.2 percent, and