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N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Water Quality - Fees and Procedures

Water Quality

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401 & Buffer Permitting Unit

Applying for a Certification/Permit
Fees and Procedures

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Fee Schedule

Applications received as of September 1, 2007 are subject to the following fee schedule:

Scale of impacts to wetlands1, waters1 and streams2Fee Schedule

Major3 water quality applications: Greater than or equal to one acre of wetlands/waters AND/OR greater than or equal to 150 feet of streams (intermittent or perennial)

$570.00

Minor3 water quality applications: Less than one acre of wetlands/waters AND less than 150 feet of streams (intermittent or perennial)

$240.00

Checks should be made payable to "N.C. Division of Water Resources."

  1. Includes all wetlands and waters identified as Waters of the State, including 404 Wetlands, Isolated Wetlands, and other non-404 Wetlands subject to a permitting program administered by the State of North Carolina
  2. Includes all streams claimed by the State of North Carolina. US Army Corps of Engineers stream categories such as important/unimportant, or Relatively Permanent Waters are not relevant to this issue
  3. The legislation refers to "major" and "minor" applications. These artificial categories refer to combined impacts, and have no relationship whatsoever to the actual types of 401 Certifications and Isolated Wetlands Permits (Individual and General). Fees are based strictly on the scope of impact, not on the type of authorization requested. If you apply for a 401 Certification and an Isolated Wetlands Permit on a single project, the impacts are added to determine the total application fee

Procedures:

  • All applications must be accompanied by a check for the required amount. Payment must be made in full. No applicants or projects are exempt from the fee requirement unless it is designated an Emergency Watershed Protection project.
  • If payment is not included with the application, the application will be returned to the applicant as incomplete.
  • If the correct payment is not included with an Individual or a CAMA permit application, a project file will be created, but the applicant will receive a letter informing them that the project will not be processed until the full payment is provided.
  • Changes to an existing 401 Water Quality Certification or Isolated Wetlands Permit require a modification to the certification/permit by DWR. A fee is required with each issuance of a modification.
  • A fee is required for each application submitted, so applicants are encouraged to include as many project details and phases as possible in the initial application.
  • If a project requires a CAMA permit, a separate payment for the 401 Certification is not required.  The Division of Coastal Management administers the fee for both the CAMA Permit and 401 Certification/Isolated Wetlands Permit.
  • No refunds will be issued for denied, modified or withdrawn certification requests. If DWR or the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers retires a project due to insufficient or inaccurate information, no refunds will be issued.
  • Nationwide Permits or General Isolated Wetland Permits for minor wetland impacts or those without wetland or stream fill that do not require written approval do not require payment of the fee. If an applicant still chooses to submit an application in order to have written approval to file with their project records, then the fee payment is required if wetland or stream fill is involved.
  • Receipts for fees will only be sent upon written request.
  • Stream impact will be calculated based on length rather than an area in all cases (regardless of Individual versus Nationwide permit status or significant versus insignificant channel). This has been the policy since February 1997 but recently some confusion has developed with some applicants.
  • For non-transportation projects send all five (5) copies of the application for DWR to:

     Mailing Address (if sending by first class mail via the US Postal Service):

      NC DWR, 401 & Buffer Permitting Unit 
      1617 Mail Service Center
      Raleigh, NC 27699-1617     Physical Address (if sending by delivery service, UPS, FedEx, etc.):

      NC DWR, 401 & Buffer Permitting Unit 
      512 North Salisbury Street
      Raleigh, NC 27604

  • For transportation projects send all five (5) copies of the application for DWR to:

     Mailing Address (if sending by first class mail via the US Postal Service):

      NC DWR, Transportation Permitting Unit 
      1617 Mail Service Center
      Raleigh, NC 27699-1617     Physical Address (if sending by delivery service, UPS, FedEx, etc.):

      NC DWR, Transportation Permitting Unit 
      512 North Salisbury Street
      Raleigh, NC 27604

For more information, please contact Karen Higgins at 919-807-6360. 

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