15A NCAC 01C .0208       INCOMPLETE OR UNAVAILABLE INFORMATION

(a)  Where a DENR agency is evaluating significant effects upon the environment in an environmental document and there are gaps in relevant information or scientific uncertainty, the DENR agency should always make clear that such information is lacking or that uncertainty exists.

(b)  If the information relevant to the effects is essential to a reasonable choice among alternatives and the overall costs of and time for obtaining it are not out of proportion to the potential environmental effects of the activity, the DENR agency should include the information in the environmental document.

(c)  If the information relevant to the effects is essential to a reasoned choice among alternatives and the overall cost of and time for obtaining it are out of proportion to the potential environmental effects of the activity, or the means of obtaining it are not known (beyond the state of the art), then the DENR agency shall weigh the need for the action against the risk and severity of possible adverse impacts were the action to proceed in the face of uncertainty.  If the DENR agency proceeds, it shall include within the environmental document:

(1)           a statement that such information is incomplete or unavailable;

(2)           a statement of the relevance of the incomplete or unavailable information to evaluating reasonably foreseeable significant adverse impacts on the human environment;

(3)           a summary of existing credible scientific evidence which is relevant to evaluating the reasonably foreseeable significant adverse impacts on the human environment; and

(4)           the DENR agency's evaluation of such impacts based upon theoretical approaches or research methods generally accepted in the scientific community.

(d)  For the purposes of this Section, "reasonably foreseeable" includes impacts which have catastrophic consequences, even if their probability of occurrence is low, provided that the analysis of the impacts is supported by credible scientific evidence, is not based on pure conjecture, and is within the rule of reason.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 113A‑4; 113A‑6; 143B‑10;

Eff. April 1, 2003.