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SEPA Requirements

SEPA and NEPA Requirements

Document Content Requirements

Each state agency (SEPA) and federal agency (NEPA) may have individual format preferences and procedural requirements to be followed in the development of environmental documents. For example, when the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is the lead agency for SEPA projects, a DENR in-house review of EA and EIS documents is usually required prior to submittal to the State Environmental Review Clearinghouse. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that the project proponent coordinate closely with the SEPA or NEPA lead agency.

All environmental documents should include a location map indicating the footprint of the project under review. Location markers such as street/road names and any natural features in the vicinity, such as wetland areas and streams, should be indicated.

For SEPA documents, minimum format and content requirements are listed in 01 NCAC 25. Additional guidance for the preparation of Environmental Assessments is available here. Please also note that a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) must be signed by the lead state agency.

Submitting Documents to the State Environmental Review Clearinghouse

All environmental documents prepared pursuant to SEPA must be submitted to the State Environmental Review Clearinghouse for intergovernmental review and comment. Please see the SEPA Submission Schedule for information on submission deadlines and review and comment timeframes.

There is no state requirement for NEPA documents to be submitted to the State Environmental Review Clearinghouse. However, Federal regulations encourage this practice and many Federal agencies regularly use the coordinated intergovernmental review offered by the State Environmental Review Clearinghouse as part of their NEPA compliance activities. NEPA documents are normally assigned a 30-day review and comment timeframe.

To coordinate the intergovernmental review, the State Environmental Review Clearinghouse requires 16 copies of all SEPA and NEPA documents. (Exception: When DENR is the lead agency and projects have been processed through the DENR in-house review, only six (6) copies need to be submitted to the Clearinghouse.) The environmental documents can be submitted in the following format:

  • 16 hard copies, or
  • 2 hard copies and 14 compact disks/DVD, or
  • 2 hard copies and a website address where the document can be accessed.

Each copy must include a site location map indicating the footprint of the project under review. Location markers such as street/road names and any natural features in the vicinity, such as wetland areas and streams, should be indicated.

Furthermore, an e-mail address should be provided for receiving official correspondence from the State Environmental Review Clearinghouse. Starting May 1, 2009, acknowledgement of receipt of environmental documents, as well as intergovernmental review comments, will be transmitted via e-mail.

Mailing Address

State Environmental Review Clearinghouse
1301 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, North Carolina 27699-1301

Physical Address

State Environmental Review Clearinghouse
NC Department of Administration
116 West Jones Street, Suite 5106
Raleigh, North Carolina 27603-8003