In order to quickly and effectively serve communities around the state, the Division of Water Quality has seven regional offices located in Asheville, Fayetteville, Mooresville, Raleigh, Washington, Wilmington and Winston-Salem.
Regional office staff members are the division's first line of response to environmental events that threaten or reveal problems with water quality, such as sewage system overflows or fish kills. They also are the first people to talk to about activities that have the potential to impact water quality such as building or road projects near streams or wetlands. Much of the work in the regions involves issuing permits, inspecting permitted activities and enforcing the rules that protect the environment.
In addition, the regional staff members do ambient monitoring of streams throughout their region, gathering basic water quality data over time to better characterize changes in water quality through the watershed. Regional office staff also do special projects and research to better characterize, understand and improve water quality in their regions.
During the normal workday - Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. through 5 p.m. - call the regional office closest to the environmental emergency. Do not leave a message. Make sure that you speak to an actual person so that you can share information that may be necessary to a fast response.
Outside of normal business hours, call the emergency hot line:
and an appropriate regional staff member will be alerted.
Several permits for activities regulated by the Division of Water Quality are issued through the regional offices.
Permits for non-pressurized sewer system extensions may be issued through the regional offices. Applications for pressurized sewer system extensions must be sent to the DWQ Construction Grants and Loans section.
State Stormwater Permitting
Applications for state stormwater permits, such as those regulating development in the 20 coastal counties and those required for development near High Quality Waters and Outstanding Resource Waters across the state are reviewed and may be issued through the regional offices.
Permits for the installation of several types of wells - industrial high volume water supply (>100,000 gallons per day), monitoring, recovery - and well construction variances may be issued through the regional offices.
Wetland and Stream Impacts
Activities that require a US Army Corps of Engineers 404 permit may also require a 401 Certification from DWQ. If the project disturbs less than an acre, the 401 Certification may be issued by the regional office.
In addition to these permitting activities, the regional office staff may issue modifications for other permits including management plans for animal operations, biosolids application sites and non-discharge land application systems.