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State Environmental Review Clearinghouse Resources

Educational Resources

The items below are quick summaries of some aspects of the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) and the work of the State Environmental Review Clearinghouse. To keep these short and easy to understand, they do not include all the specifics and/or exemptions applicable to the given topic. Furthermore, they do not use legal language. Therefore, these documents should be used as informational material only, and the SEPA Statutes and Regulations should be consulted for specific requirements and detailed information.

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Public Notices

Records and Reports

The North Carolina Environmental Policy Act of 1971 (G.S. 113A 1-13), also known as the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA), declares a state policy which is designed to maintain and protect the state’s environment. The statute requires state agencies to the fullest extent possible to identify significant environmental effects of their actions and to implement measures to minimize negative effects. This Act followed the passage of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in 1969.

To meet the requirements of SEPA and NEPA, agencies develop environmental documents identifying potential impacts of proposed projects. These documents are then made available for public and intergovernmental review and comment. The SEPA compliance process has, since its inception, been administered by the Department of Administration (DOA). All SEPA, and many NEPA, environmental documents for proposed projects that would affect North Carolina are submitted to the State Environmental Review Clearinghouse.

For the first few years of SEPA implementation, the State Environmental Review Clearinghouse kept track of all environmental documents on index cards. Then, information was entered in computers and printouts served as logs of the documents submitted. Starting in January 1997, the State Environmental Review Clearinghouse began using a database to record information about the documents submitted for public and intergovernmental review. This database is updated as new documents are submitted and review timeframes close. In addition, it is used to generate the Environmental Bulletin, a listing of all environmental documents currently under review. The database-generated spreadsheet below lists basic information about the environmental documents reviewed through the Clearinghouse process. This file will be updated quarterly.

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EO 12372

In addition to its role pursuant to SEPA and NEPA, the Clearinghouse was previously the State Single Point of Contact (SPOC) for the intergovernmental review of federal grant proposals and other activities. This role was terminated in June 2002. Therefore, it is no longer necessary to obtain Clearinghouse comments for federal grant applications. For information on which states participate in EO 12372 reviews, please visit http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants_spoc/.

However, for some federal grant applications, it is still necessary to obtain intergovernmental review comments. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires that applications be submitted to the Council of Governments office responsible for the area(s) affected or that may be affected by the proposed project. For more information, please visit EPA Region 4’s website at http://www.epa.gov/region4/grants/how_to_apply.htm.

A Clearinghouse statement on EO 12372 and a copy of a letter to the Office of Management and Budget is provided below.

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