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N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Water Infrastructure - Environmental Review

Water Infrastructure

Environmental Review for Projects seeking DWSRF funding

The Division of Water Infrastructure can consider a drinking water loan program application (e.g., assign priority points), but not commit funding, prior to the completion of environmental review. Susan Kubacki is the primary contact for environmental review.

Procedures negotiated between the division and EPA to clarify review under the National Environmental Policy Act, the state minimum criteria also apply for projects seeking division-administered Federal funding such as a Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) Loan. However, DWSRF requires additional process steps:

  • If the water supply project does not require an Environmental Assessment (EA) to be completed, please refer to the Factsheet for Categorical Exclusions. In particular, submit a Request for Categorical Exclusion Form (part of the application package) with the application.
  • If the water supply project requires an EA to be completed, please refer to the EA Guidelines and to the Factsheet for EAs. Additional information concerning EA issues can be found at the State Clearinghouse, within the Department of Administration, or by contacting us.
  • If the water supply project requires an Environmental Impact Statement to be completed, please contact the Division for guidance.

Information for concerned citizens

The division advertises decisions to approve requests for Categorical Exclusions (CE) with this public notice.

Information for all projects, including projects seeking approval of plans and specifications

Under the rules established by the North Carolina Environmental Policy Act (SEPA), DENR established minimum criteria for Water Supply Facilities that exempt most projects from Environmental Assessments unless unusual circumstances exist. The 'minimum criteria' that exempt Water Supply Facilities from SEPA review, are approximately as follows:

  1. Waterline Projects:

Waterline Projects entirely within the existing right-of-way of roads are exempt under SEPA.

Waterline projects in established utility right-of-way, or establishing a new right-of-way less than five miles in length, are exempt as long as they have either a) no stream crossings or b) only directional boring stream crossings. Waterline projects that cross a stream outside the established right of way will require review unless the crossing is by directional bore or attachment to an existing span.

Waterline projects establishing a new right-of-way five miles in length or greater will require review.

  1. Projects involving construction of new potable water wells.
  2. Projects involving improvements to water treatment plants on existing sites that involve less than 1,000,000 gallons per day added capacity and design withdrawal less than one-fifth of the 7-day, 10-year low flow of the contributing stream.
  3. Projects involving construction of water tanks.
  4. Projects involving construction of booster pumping and/or re-chlorination pump stations.
  5. Projects involving construction of a dam 25 feet in height or less or a reservoir having 50 acre-feet of storage or less.

Water supply projects that are not exempt under the minimum criteria are required to submit an Environmental Assessment (EA) prepared according to the guidelines published by the State Clearinghouse.

 

Information for Projects seeking state funding (e.g., HUC grant)

Under G.S. 159-8(b), the environmental review process must be complete before the division can consider awarding funding. Complete means one of the following:

  • the project has received notification by the division that it is exempt from substantive review (i.e., has received a Categorical Exclusion, CE), or
  • the project has received a Finding of No Significant Impact (FoNSI), or
  • the project has received a Record of Decision (ROD).

If the water supply project does not require an EA to be completed, please refer to the factsheet for Categorical Exclusions. In particular submit a completed copy of the Request for Categorical Exclusion Form (part of the application package) along with the application.

If the water supply project requires an EA to be completed, please refer to the EA Guidelines and to the Factsheet for EAs. Additional information concerning EA issues can be found at the State Clearinghouse, within the Department of Administration, or contacting us.

If the water supply project requires an Environmental Impact Statement to be completed, please contact us early in the process for specific instructions.

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For assistance contact us at (919) 707-9160

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N.C. Division of Water Infrastructure

Mailing Address (USPS): 1633 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, North Carolina, 27699-1633

Street Address (FedEx, UPS): 512 N. Salisbury St, Raleigh, North Carolina, 27604

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