106-65.74. Authority to designate elimination zones; authority to prohibit planting of cotton and to require participation in eradication program.

The Commissioner, subject to the provisions of section 13 of this act [Session Laws 1975, chapter 958, section 13] is authorized to designate by regulation one or more areas of this State as "elimination zones" where boll weevil eradication programs will be undertaken. The Commissioner is authorized to promulgate reasonable regulations rearding areas where cotton cannot be planted within an elimination zone when he has reason to believe it will jeopardize the success of the program or present a hazard to public health or safety. The Commissioner is authorized to issue regulations prohibiting the planting of noncommercial cotton in such elimination zones, and requiring that all growers of commercial cotton in the elimination zones participate in a program of boll weevil eradication including cost sharing as prescribed in the regulations. Notice of such prohibition and requirement shall be given by publication for one day each week for three successive weeks in a newspaper having general circulation in the affected area. The Commissioner is authorized to set by regulation a reasonable schedule of penalty fees to be assessed when growers in designated "elimination zones" do not meet the requirements of (G.S. 106-65.73) and participation in cost sharing as prescribed by regulation. Such penalty fees shall not exceed a charge of twenty-five dollars ($25.00) per acre. When a grower fails to meet the requirements of regulations promulgated by the Commissioner, the Commissioner shall have authority in elimination zones to destroy cotton not in compliance with such regulations. (1975, c. 958, s. 8; 1977, c. 507, ss. 2, 3.)