DEQ Requests Public Comments in Proposed Revisions to State’s Groundwater Rules

Raleigh, North Carolina

The Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ) Division of Water Resources (DWR) is requesting public comments on proposed changes to a portion of DEQ's groundwater classifications and standards rules.

DWR is proposing changes only to the General Considerations section (15A NCAC 2L .0100), with a focus on clarifications to groundwater corrective action. This section requires re-adoption in accordance with G.S. 150B-21.3A.  The proposed changes are designed to help streamline the Rules by clarifying certain areas through content revisions and reorganization, as well as adding some new requirements. A summary of changes may be viewed here.

Highlights include:

  • Strengthening the Restricted Designation Rule (.0104) by clarifying the process for requesting, implementing, and terminating the designation; and requiring requestors provide proof of financial ability.
  • Reorganizing the Corrective Action Rule (.0106) by adding additional clarification to initial response, site assessment, and corrective action process; and requiring financial demonstration for requestors of active remediation and monitored natural attenuation; as well as clarifying options for corrective action. 
  • Amending language to the Compliance Boundary Rule (.0107) to mirror recent changes to the general statute. 

In an effort to improve the state’s water quality, DWR also proposes adding requirements to protect surface water during corrective actions and enhancing requirements for comprehensive site assessment reports and corrective action plans, to result in a clearer understanding of site conditions.

Feedback from this early public comment period will be considered before DWR presents the proposed rules to the Environmental Management Commission and requests approval to proceed to a public hearing. The public will be encouraged to comment further during the formal public hearing process.

Public comments will be accepted through Friday, December 18, 2020 and may be submitted by email to groundwater.comments@ncdenr.gov or USPS at:

Latoya Strickland
Division of Water Resources
Attn: Groundwater Rules
1636 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1635

North Carolina law requires the Code rules be reviewed and re-adopted every 10 years. DWR is proposing changes only to the General Considerations section, as outlined above. The remaining two sections, Classifications and Groundwater Standards (15A NCAC 02L Section .0200), and Assignment of Underground Water Classifications (15A NCAC 02L .0300), are not undergoing re-adoption at this time. 

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