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N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Environmental Assistance and Customer Service - Review Process

Environmental Assistance and Customer Service

State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA)

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Lyn Hardison
SEPA Environmental Coordinator
252-948-3842

Lyn Hardison, DENR's SEPA Coordinator with questions or to receive a printed version of the Guidance for Preparing SEPA Documents and Addressing Secondary and Cumulative Impacts.

Download Guidance for Preparing SEPA Documents and Addressing Secondary and Cumulative Impacts:


Other Downloads:

Review Process

  1. Step I: Applicant consults/meets with DENR about potential need for SEPA document and to identify/scope issues of concern.
  2. Step II: Applicant submits draft environmental document to DENR.
    • Environmental document is either an environmental assessment (EA) or an environmental impact statement (EIS).
  3. Step III: DENR-Lead Division reviews environmental document.
  4. Step IV: DENR-other Divisions review environmental document.
    • 15-25 calendar days.
    • DENR issues must be resolved prior to sending to the Department of Administration - State Clearinghouse (SCH) review.
  5. Step V: DENR-Lead Division sends environmental document and FONSIa to SCHb.
  6. Step VI: SCH publishes Notice of availability for environmental document in NC Environmental Bulletin. Copies of environmental document and FONSI are sent to appropriate state agencies and regional clearinghouses for comments.
    • Interested parties have either 30 (EA) or 45 (EIS) calendar days from the Bulletin publication date to provide comments.
  7. Step VII: SCH forwards copies of environmental document comments to DENR-Lead Division who ensures that applicant addresses comments.
    • SCH reviews applicant's responses to comments and recommends whether environmental document is adequate to meet SEPA.
    • Substantial comments may cause applicant to submit revised environmental document to DENR-Lead Division. This will result in repeating of Steps III-VI.
  8. Step VIII: Applicant submits final environmental document to DENR-Lead Division
  9. Step IX: DENR-Lead Division sends final environmental document and FONSI (in case of EA and if not previously prepared) to SCH.

Environmental Assessment (EA)

  1. Step X: SCH provides letter stating one of the following:
    • Document needs supplemental information, or
    • Document does not satisfy a FONSI, and an EIS should be prepared, or
    • Document is adequate; SEPA is complete.

Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)

  1. Step X: After lead agency determines the EIS is adequate, SCH publishes a Record of Decision (ROD) in the NC Environmental Bulletin.

Notes:

Public hearing(s) are recommended (but not required) during the draft stage of document preparation for both EA and EIS

Comments on environmental documents need to be addressed to the following:

State Clearinghouse
1302 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, N.C. 27699-1302
Phone:919-807-2425
Fax: 919-733-9571
SCH website: www.doa.state.nc.us/clearing/

  1. A Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) is a statement prepared by Lead Division that states proposed project will have only minimal impact on the environment. 
  2. For an EA, if no significant environmental impacts are predicted, the lead agency (or sometimes the applicant) will submit both the EA and the Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) to SCH for review (either early or later in the process). 
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