401 & Buffer Permitting Statutes & Rules

To view the current rules and regulations, chapter/section information has been provided below to search the NC Office of Administrative Hearing Administrative Code Online.

*New: Riparian Buffer Rules, Temporary/Draft Permanent Wetland Permitting Rules* 

(See details in the Procedures for Permits and Riparian Buffer sections below.)
 

Streams, Wetlands, Waters

Section 404 of the Clean Water Act
Section 401 of the Clean Water Act
 

Procedures for Permits and Certifications

*NEW: DRAFT PERMANENT WETLAND PERMITTING RULES 
 
15A NCAC 02H .1301 (Revision) and 15A NCAC 02H .1400 (.1401 through .1405) Discharges to Isolated Wetlands and Waters; and, Discharges to Federally Non-Juristictional Wetlands and Classified Surface Waters
Regulatory Impact Analysis for 15A NCAC 02H .1301 and .1401 - .1405 
 
TEMPORARY WETLAND PERMITTING RULES 
 
15A NCAC 02H .1301  Discharges to Isolated Wetlands and Isolated Waters (Temporary Amendment Eff. 5/28/21) 
15A NCAC 02H .1400 (.1401-.1405)  Discharges to Federally Non-jurisdictional Wetlands and Federally Non-jurisdictional classified Surface Waters (Temporary Adoption Eff. 5/28/21)
                   
 
15A NCAC 02H .0500 401 Water Quality Certification (Readopted Eff. 6/15/20)
15A NCAC 02H .1300  Isolated Wetlands and Waters (non-404) Rules (Readopted Eff. 6/15/20)
(Note: 15A NCAC 02H .1301 was revised as a temporary rule eff. 5/28/21. See link above.)

Surface Water and Wetland Standards

15A NCAC 02B .0100, .0200, .0300 Classifications and Standards (Readopted Eff. 11/1/19)
15A NCAC 02B .0200 (.0211-.0222)  Stream Standards (Readopted Eff. 11/1/19)
15A NCAC 02B .0231                     Wetlands Standards (Readopted Eff. 11/1/19)
15A NCAC 02B .0230                    Activities deemed to comply with Wetlands Standards (Readopted Eff. 11/1/19)
 

Riparian Buffers  

*NEW Buffer Rules, effective June 15, 2020*
(Please see the Riparian Buffer Protection Program page for additional information)
 

15A NCAC 02B .0714     Neuse River Basin Buffer Rule (Eff. 8/1/00, Amended Eff. 6/15/20)
15A NCAC 02B .0715     Neuse Buffer Rule Delegation Authority (Eff. 8/1/00, Amended Eff. 6/15/20)
15A NCAC 02B .0734     Tar-Pamlico River Basin Buffer Rule (Eff. 8/1/00, Amended Eff. 6/15/20)
15A NCAC 02B .0735     Tar Pam Buffer Rule Delegation Authority (Eff. 8/1/00, Amended Eff. 6/15/20)  
15A NCAC 02B .0614     Catawba River Basin Buffer Rule (Eff. 8/1/04, Amended Eff. 6/15/20)  
15A NCAC 02B .0724     Randleman Lake Water Supply Watershed Buffer Rule (Eff. 4/1/99, Amended Eff. 6/15/20)    
15A NCAC 02B .0267     Jordan Lake Water Supply Watershed Buffer Rule (Eff. 8/1/09, Amended Eff. 7/7/14)  
15A NCAC 02B .0605     Goose Creek Watershed Water Quality Management Plans: Buffer Widths Rule (Eff. 1/1/09, Amended Eff. 6/15/20) 
15A NCAC 02B .0606     Goose Creek Watershed: Authorization Certificates Rule (Eff. 2/1/09, Amended Eff. 6/15/20)  
15A NCAC 02B .0607     Goose Creek Watershed: Buffer Types & Managing Activities in Buffers Rule (Eff. 2/1/09, Amended Eff. 6/15/20)  
15A NCAC 02B .0608     Goose Creek Watershed: Forest Harvesting Requirements Rule (Eff. 2/1/09, Amended Eff. 6/15/20)  
15A NCAC 02B .0610     Managing Activities Within Riparian Buffers: Definitions
15A NCAC 02B .0611      Managing Activities Within Riparian Buffers: Authorization Certificates
15A NCAC 02B .0612     Managing Activities Within Riparian Buffers: Forest Harvesting Requirements
Interpretive Ruling on USDA Soil Survey Maps (Ruling signed 8/16/07)

Note that the following session laws and recent legislation are all being implemented by DWR. Some may have been codified indirectly by incorporation in the rules above.
Session Law 2011-394 Section 17   20 Coastal Counties
Session Law 2012-200 Section 8    Neuse & Tam-Pamlico
Session Law 2013-395 Section 2    Jordan
Session Law 2013-413 Section 52   Agricultural Ponds Exemption    
Session Law 2015-246, House Bill 44, G.S. 143-214.23A  Riparian Buffer Reform
Session Law 2017-209                  Section 9 (public safety) Section 10 (Catawba greenways)
 

Mitigation

15A NCAC 02B .0295    Consolidated Buffer Mitigation Rule (Eff. 9/1/15)
15A NCAC 02B .0703    Nutrient Offset Cedit Trading (*recodified from "Nutrient Offset Payments", 15A NCAC 02B .0240) (Eff. 8/1/98, Readopted Eff. 4/1/20) 
15A NCAC 02H .0506(c), .1305(c)      Review of Applications (Eff. 10/1/96, Readopted Eff. 6/15/20)
G.S. 143-214.11             Compensatory Mitigation Options
G.S. 143-214.20            Compensatory Mitigation Fees
G.S. 143-214.26                Nutrient Offset Credits (*amended by Session Law 2019-86)
Session Law 2009-337
Session Law 2011-343
Session Law 2017-10      [Section 3.13.(a)]
Session Law 2017-145
 

To view the current rules and regulations, search the sites below using chapter/section information provided above:

NC Office of Administrative Hearings Administrative Code Online
NC General Assembly website: General Statutes and Session Laws
Additional Water Resource Rules and Regulations
 

Previous Rules

15A NCAC 02B .0233     Neuse River Basin Buffer Rule  
15A NCAC 02B .0259     Tar-Pamlico River Basin Buffer Rule  
15A NCAC 02B .0243     Catawba River Basin Buffer Rule  
15A NCAC 02B .0250     Randleman Lake Water Supply Watershed Buffer Rule   
15A NCAC 02B .0605     Goose Creek Watershed Water Quality Management Plans: Buffer Widths Rule  
15A NCAC 02B .0606     Goose Creek Watershed: Buffer Variance Rule  
15A NCAC 02B .0607     Goose Creek Watershed: Buffer Rule  
15A NCAC 02B .0608     Goose Creek Watershed: Forest Harvesting Requirements Rule