State Environmental Clearinghouse Review Process
The following outlines the process for any citizen to submit comments regarding an Environmental Assessment:
The North Carolina Department of Administration's standardized guidelines are used when preparing an Environmental Assessment (EA) to comply with the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) and its rules in the North Carolina Administrative Code. The purpose of the EA is to provide enough information to determine if a planned project has a level of impact on the environment requiring the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) or if a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) is the appropriate conclusion.
The State Environmental Review Clearinghouse (SCH) manages the review process. The primary purpose of the process is to notify potentially affected state/local agencies and the public of the proposed development activities in their jurisdiction/local area. The process offers a means for agencies with expertise and/or the public to review the environmental assessment/impact documents prepared for the proposed activity and offer comments regarding the adequacy/accuracy of the impact analysis. The end result of the process is to provide decision makers with the information that would enable them to make an informed decision of the environmental consequences of their actions. The process is not to veto a proposed activity but to offer input as to the environmental consequences of that action.
The SCH publishes availability of the document and circulates to state/local agencies and the public for a 30-day review and comment period. After the 30-day period, SCH considers the comments received and advises of appropriate action (i.e., EA information is adequate; EA satisfies a FONSI; or an EIS is required).
The SCH provides a listing of documents available for review in the North Carolina Environmental Bulletin. The Bulletin will give a summary for the document under review and the location of reading copies. Any citizen can send comments to the Clearinghouse by the review close date indicated in the North Carolina Environmental Bulletin. All citizen comments are considered.