Buffer Authorizations and Variances

Buffer Authorization Application

Please use the following for projects seeking approval for activities within protected riparian buffers that do not impact surface waters (streams, wetlands or open waters).

Buffer Authorization Application Form  (new September 2013)

Buffer Authorization Application Help Document  (new September 2013)

For those projects that do have impacts to surface waters (streams, wetlands or open waters), please use the PCN form.

Variance Applications

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.

WQC Meeting Date Complete Application Package Submittal Date
January 13, 2016 November 14, 2015
March 9, 2016 January 9, 2016
May 11, 2016 March 12, 2016
July 13, 2016 May 14, 2016
September 7, 2016 July 9, 2016
November 9, 2016 September 10, 2016
January 11, 2017 November 12, 2016

For any questions on the major variance process, please contact Jennifer Burdette, DWR's 401/Buffer Coordinator, at 919-807-6364 or jennifer.burdette@ncdenr.gov. 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