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Commission OK’d Sandbag Rules Too Late

New temporary rules that relaxed restrictions on sandbags on N.C. beaches won’t take effect this month as planned.

That’s because the N.C. Coastal Resources Commission, which adopted the rules Feb. 10, missed the legislature’s Dec. 31, 2015, deadline, the StarNews of Wilmington reported. The N.C. Rules Review Commission, which verifies state agency rules, said the CRC acted too late, according to the report.

The commission voted in November 2015 to set Dec. 10 as the date for a public hearing on the rules and accepted public comment Dec. 1-22. Commission members didn’t meet again until February.

The new rules the General Assembly called for in 2015 as a provision in the state budget would have allowed sandbags to line entire shorelines, including vacant lots, and be left in place indefinitely. The changes were to have been reflected in permanent rules set for adoption within 270 days of the effective date for the temporary rules.

The commission could appeal the decision, which appears unlikely, ask state lawmakers to take action during their upcoming session, or accept the decision while the commission drafts permanent rules.

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Staff Report

The story was compiled by staff members of Coastal Review Online.