401 & Buffer Permitting Unit
Buffer Authorizations and Variances
For those projects that do have impacts to surface waters (streams, wetlands or open waters), please use the PCN form.
Major and Minor Variance Application Form (for all Basins/Watersheds) (updated October 1, 2013)
Major and Minor Variance Help Document (for all Basins/Watersheds) (updated October 1, 2013)
Minor Variances - To request a minor variance, you must submit a complete variance application package to the Central Office (1617 MSC, Raleigh, NC 27699-1617). Minor variance are reviewed and processed by the Division. Click here for staff contacts.
Major Variances - To request that your proposed major variance be presented at the next Water Quality Committee (WQC) meeting, you must submit a complete variance application package to the Central Office (1617 MSC, Raleigh, NC 27699-1617) at least sixty (60) days prior to the WQC meeting date. To view the WQC meeting dates, click on this link: http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/emc. Please note that we cannot guarantee the proposed major variance will be presented at the next WQC meeting.
For any questions on the major variance process, please contact Jennifer Burdette, DWR's 401/Buffer Coordinator, at 919-807-6364 or email@example.com. For information regarding scheduling a major variance request submittal meeting, including how to schedule a meeting and what is necessary to bring to the meeting, please click here. To complete the online submittal meeting request form, please click here.