§ 143‑213.  Definitions.

Unless the context otherwise requires, the following terms as used in this Article and Articles 21A and 21B of this Chapter are defined as follows:

(1) The term "air cleaning device" means any method, process or equipment which removes, reduces, or renders less noxious air contaminants discharged into the atmosphere.

(2) The term "air contaminant" means particulate matter, dust, fumes, gas, mist, smoke, or vapor or any combination thereof.

(3) The term "air contamination" means the presence in the outdoor atmosphere of one or more air contaminants which contribute to a condition of air pollution.

(4) The term "air contamination source" means any source at, from, or by reason of which there is emitted into the atmosphere any air contaminant.

(5) The term "air pollution" shall mean the presence in the outdoor atmosphere of one or more air contaminants in such quantities and duration as is or tends to be injurious to human health or welfare, to animal or plant life or to property or that interferes with the enjoyment of life or property.

(5a) The terms "animal waste" and "animal waste management system" have the same meaning as in G.S. 143‑215.10B.

(6) to (8) Repealed by Session Laws 1987, c. 827, s. 153.

(9) Whenever reference is made in this Article to "discharge" or the "discharge of waste," it shall be interpreted to include discharge, spillage, leakage, pumping, placement, emptying, or dumping into waters of the State, or into any unified sewer system or arrangement for sewage disposal, which system or arrangement in turn discharges the waste into the waters of the State. A reference to "discharge" or the "discharge of waste" shall not be interpreted to include "emission" as defined in subdivision (12) of this section.

(10) The term "disposal system" means a system for disposing of waste, and including sewer systems and treatment works.

(11) Repealed by Session Laws 1987, c. 827, s. 153.

(12) The term "emission" means a release into the outdoor atmosphere of air contaminants.

(12a) The term "farm digester system" means a system, including all animal waste management equipment and lagoon covers, by which gases are collected and processed from an animal waste management system for the digestion of animal biomass for use as a renewable energy resource. The collected gases shall be used as a renewable energy resource as quickly as feasible, but within six months of the collection of the gases, and during that period the gas shall be flared rather than vented. A farm digester system shall be considered an agricultural feedlot activity within the meaning of "animal operation" and shall also be considered a part of an "animal waste management system" as those terms are defined in G.S. 143‑215.10B.

(12b) The term "lagoon cover" means a structure or material that covers a lagoon receiving animal waste as part of an animal waste management system. For purposes of this subdivision, the term "lagoon" includes a lagoon as defined in G.S. 106‑802(1) or a storage pond.

(13) The term "outlet" means the terminus of a sewer system, or the point of emergence of any waste or the effluent therefrom, into the waters of the State.

(14) Repealed by Session Laws 1987, c. 827, s. 153.

(14a) The term "renewable animal biomass energy resource" means any renewable energy resource, as defined in G.S. 62‑133.8(a)(8), that utilizes animal waste as a biomass resource, including a farm digester system.

(15) The term "sewer system" means pipelines or conduits, pumping stations, and force mains, and all other construction, devices, and appliances appurtenant thereto, used for conducting wastes to a point of ultimate disposal.

(16) The term "standard" or "standards" means such measure or measures of the quality of water and air as are established by the Commission pursuant to G.S. 143‑214.1 and G.S. 143‑215.

(16a) "Stormwater" means the flow of water which results from precipitation and which occurs immediately following rainfall or a snowmelt.

(17) The term "treatment works" means any plant, septic tank disposal field, lagoon, pumping station, constructed drainage ditch or surface water intercepting ditch, incinerator, area devoted to sanitary landfill, or other works not specifically mentioned herein, installed for the purpose of treating, equalizing, neutralizing, stabilizing or disposing of waste.

(18) "Waste" shall mean and include the following:

a. "Sewage," which shall mean water‑carried human waste discharged, transmitted, and collected from residences, buildings, industrial establishments, or other places into a unified sewerage system or an arrangement for sewage disposal or a group of such sewerage arrangements or systems, together with such ground, surface, storm, or other water as may be present.

b. "Industrial waste" shall mean any liquid, solid, gaseous, or other waste substance or a combination thereof resulting from any process of industry, manufacture, trade or business, or from the development of any natural resource.

c. "Other waste" means sawdust, shavings, lime, refuse, offal, oil, tar chemicals, dissolved and suspended solids, sediment, and all other substances, except industrial waste, sewage, and toxic chemicals which may be discharged into or placed in such proximity to the water that drainage therefrom may reach the water.

d. "Toxic waste" means that waste, or combinations of wastes, including disease‑causing agents, which after discharge and upon exposure, ingestion, inhalation, or assimilation into any organism, either directly from the environment or indirectly by ingestion through food chains, will cause death, disease, behavioral abnormalities, cancer, genetic mutations, physiological malfunctions (including malfunctions in reproduction) or physical deformities, in such organisms or their offspring.

(19) The term "water pollution" means the man‑made or man‑induced alteration of the chemical, physical, biological, or radiological integrity of the waters of the State, including, but specifically not limited to, alterations resulting from the concentration or increase of natural pollutants caused by man‑related activities.

(20) Repealed by Session Laws 1987, c. 827, s. 153.

(21) The term "watershed" means a natural area of drainage, including all tributaries contributing to the supply of at least one major waterway within the State, the specific limits of each separate watershed to be designated by the Commission.

(22) The term "complex sources" means any facility which is or may be an air pollution source or which will induce or tend to induce development or activities which will or may be air pollution sources, and which shall include, but not be limited to, shopping centers; sports complexes; drive‑in theaters; parking lots and garages; residential, commercial, industrial or institutional developments; amusement parks and recreation areas; highways; and any other facilities which will result in increased emissions from motor vehicles or stationary sources.

(23) The term "effluent standards or limitations" means any restrictions established pursuant to this Article on quantities, rates, characteristics and concentrations of chemical, physical, biological and other constituents of wastes which are discharged from any pretreatment facility or from any outlet or point source to the waters of the State.

(24) The term "point source" means any discernible, confined, and discrete conveyance, including, but specifically not limited to, any pipe, ditch, channel, tunnel, conduit, well, discrete fissure, container, rolling stock, or concentrated animal‑feeding operation from which wastes are or may be discharged to the waters of the State.

(25) The term "pretreatment facility" means any treatment works installed for the purpose of treating, equalizing, neutralizing or stabilizing waste from any source prior to discharge to any disposal system subject to effluent standards or limitations.

(26) The term "pretreatment standards" means effluent standards or limitations applicable to waste discharged from a pretreatment facility.

(27) The term "Clean Air Act" refers to the federal Clean Air Act, as amended, codified generally at 42 U.S.C. § 7401 et seq.

(28) The term "nonattainment area" refers to an area which is shown to exceed any national ambient air quality standard for such pollutant.

(29) The term "prevention of significant deterioration" refers to the statutory and regulatory requirements arising from the Clean Air Act designed to prevent the significant deterioration of air quality in areas with air quality better than required by the national ambient air quality standards.

(29a) Reserved.

(29b) "Title II" means Title II of the 1990 amendments to the federal Clean Air Act and the National Emission Standards Act (Pub. L. 101‑549, 104 Stat. 2471, 42 U.S.C. § 7521 et seq.).

(29c) "Title III" means Title III of the 1990 amendments to the federal Clean Air Act (Pub. L. 101‑549, 104 Stat. 2531, 42 U.S.C. § 7412 et seq.).

(29d) "Title IV" means Title IV of the 1990 amendments to the federal Clean Air Act (Pub. L. 101‑549, 104 Stat. 2584, 42 U.S.C. § 7651 et seq.).

(29e) "Title V" means Title V of the 1990 amendments to the federal Clean Air Act (Pub. L. 101‑549, 104 Stat. 2635, 42 U.S.C. § 7661 et seq.).

(29f) through (29o) Reserved.

(29p) "Title V Account" means the Account established in G.S. 143‑215.3A(b).

(30) The term "waste treatment management practice" means any method, measure or practice to control plant site runoff, spillage or leaks, sludge or waste disposal and drainage from raw material storage which are associated with, or ancillary to the industrial manufacturing or treatment process of the class or category of point sources to which the management practice is applied. Waste treatment management practices may only be imposed, supplemental to effluent limitations, for a class or category of point sources, for any specific pollutant which has been designated as toxic or hazardous pursuant to sections 307(a)(1) or 311 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act.

(31) "Wood heater" means a fireplace, wood stove, pellet stove, wood‑fired hydronic heater, wood‑burning forced‑air furnace, or masonry wood heater or other similar appliance designed for heating a residence or business or for heating water for use by a residence through the combustion of wood or products substantially composed of wood. (1951, c. 606; 1957, c. 1275, s. 1; 1959, c. 779, s. 8; 1967, c. 892, s. 1; 1971, c. 1167, s. 4; 1973, c. 821, ss. 1‑3; c. 1262, s. 23; 1977, c. 771, s. 4; 1979, c. 545, ss. 8‑10; c. 633, s. 1; 1987, c. 827, ss. 153, 154; 1989, c. 135, s. 2; c. 447, s. 1; c. 742, s. 7; 1991, c. 287, s. 1; c. 403, s. 1; c. 552, s. 1; 1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 889, ss. 1, 2; c. 1028, s. 2; c. 1039, s. 13; 1993, c. 400, ss. 1(a)‑(c); 2012‑187, s. 11; 2014‑120, s. 51(a); 2015‑286, s. 4.3(b); 2021‑78, s. 11(a); 2023‑63, s. 14.)