104E-9. Powers and functions of Department of Health and Human Services.

(a) The Department of Health and Human Services is authorized:

(1) To advise, consult and cooperate with other public agencies and with affected groups and industries.

(2) To encourage, participate in, or conduct studies, investigations, public hearings, training, research, and demonstrations relating to the control of sources of radiation, the measurement of radiation, the effect upon public health and safety of exposure to radiation and related problems.

(3) To require the submission of plans, specifications, and reports for new construction and material alterations on (i) the design and protective shielding of installations for radioactive material and radiation machines and (ii) systems for the disposal of radioactive waste materials, for the determination of any radiation hazard and may render opinions, approve or disapprove such plans and specifications.

(4) To collect and disseminate information relating to the sources of radiation, including but not limited to: (i) maintenance of a record of all license applications, issuances, denials, amendments, transfers, renewals, modifications, suspensions, and revocations; and (ii) maintenance of a record of registrants and licensees possessing sources of radiation requiring registration or licensure under the provisions of this Chapter, and regulations hereunder, and any administrative or judicial action pertaining thereto; and to develop and implement a responsible data management program for the purpose of collecting and analyzing statistical information necessary to protect the public health and safety. The Department may refuse to make public dissemination of information relating to the source of radiation within this State after the Department first determines that the disclosure of such information will contravene the stated policy and purposes of this Chapter and such disclosure would be against the health, welfare and safety of the public.

(5) To respond to any emergency which involves possible or actual release of radioactive material; and to perform or supervise decontamination and otherwise protect the public health and safety in any manner deemed necessary. This section does not in any way alter or change the provisions of Chapter 166 of the North Carolina General Statutes concerning response during an emergency by the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs or its successor.

(6) To develop and maintain a statewide environmental radiation program for monitoring the radioactivity levels in air, water, soil, vegetation, animal life, milk, and food as necessary to ensure protection of the public and the environment from radiation hazards.

(7) To implement the provisions of this Chapter and the regulations duly promulgated under the Chapter.

(8) To establish fees in accordance with G.S. 104E-19.

(9) To enter upon any lands and structures upon lands to make surveys, borings, soundings, and examinations as may be necessary to determine the suitability of a site for a low-level radioactive waste facility or low-level radioactive disposal facility. The Department shall give 30 days' notice of the intended entry authorized by this section in the manner prescribed for service of process by G.S. 1A-1, Rule 4. Entry under this section shall not be deemed a trespass or taking; provided, however, that the Department shall make reimbursement for any damage to such land or structures caused by such activities.

(10) To encourage research and development and disseminate information on state-of-the-art means of handling and disposing of low-level radioactive waste.

(11) To promote public education and public involvement in the decision-making process for the siting and permitting of proposed low-level radioactive waste facilities. The Department shall assist localities in which facilities are proposed in collecting and receiving information relating to the suitability of the proposed site. At the request of a local government in which facilities are proposed, the Department shall direct the appropriate agencies of State government to develop such relevant data as that locality shall reasonably request.

(b) The Division of Health Service Regulation of the Department shall develop a training program for tanning equipment operators that meets the training rules adopted by the Commission. If the training program is provided by the Department, the Department may charge each person trained a reasonable fee to recover the actual cost of the training program. (1975, c. 718, s. 1; 1979, c. 694, s. 4; 1981, c. 704, s. 10.1; 1987, c. 633, s. 7; 1987 (Reg. Sess., 1988), c. 993, s. 25; 1989, c. 727, s. 219(19); 1991, c. 735, s. 2; 1993, c. 501, s. 4; 1995, c. 509, s. 49; 1997-443, s. 11A.119(a); 2001-474, s. 3; 2002-70, s. 3; 2009-451, s. 13.3(b); 2011-145, s. 13.3(eee); 2011-391, s. 27(d).)