(a)  Jurisdiction.  Municipalities, counties, local boards or commissions, water and sewer authorities, or groups of municipalities and counties may apply to the Commission for approval of local programs for permitting construction, modification, and operation of public and private sewer systems in their utility service areas (i.e., delegation) pursuant to G.S. 143-215.1(f).  Permits issued by approved local programs serve in place of permits issued by the Division except for projects involving an Environmental Assessment, which shall continue to be permitted by the Division.   The Division may chose to cede permitting authority to the approved local program after review of Environmental Assessment projects or if other permits are required.

(b)  Applications.  Application for approval of a local program must provide adequate information to assure compliance with the requirements of G.S. 143‑215.1(f) and the following requirements:

(1)           Applications for local sewer system programs shall be submitted to the Director.

(2)           The program application shall include three copies of the intended permit application forms, permit shell(s), minimum design criteria (specifications), sewer ordinances, flow chart of permitting, staffing, inspection and certification procedures, intended permit application fees, downstream capacity assurance methods and other relevant documents to be used in administering the local program.  The applicant shall specify in a cover letter what permits the local authority desires to issue.  The options are any of the following: gravity sewers, pump stations, force mains, and/or pressure sewers. The applicant shall also specify whether such permits will be issued to public (to be self owned) or private systems (not donated to delegated authority).

(3)           Certification that the local authorities for processing permit applications, setting permit requirements, enforcement, and penalties are compatible with those for permits issued by the Division.

(4)           If the treatment and disposal system receiving the waste is under the jurisdiction of another local unit of government, then the program application must contain a written statement from that local unit of government that the proposed program complies with all its requirements and that the applicant has entered into a satisfactory contract which assures continued compliance.

(5)           Any future amendments to the requirements of this Section shall be incorporated into the local sewer system program within 60 days of the effective date of the amendments.

(6)           A Professional Engineer shall be on the staff of the local sewer system program or retained as a consultant to review unusual situations or designs and to answer questions that arise in the review of proposed projects.

(7)           Each project permitted by the local sewer system program shall be inspected for compliance with the requirements of the local program at least once during construction.

(c)  Approval of Local Programs.  The staff of the Division shall acknowledge receipt of an application for a local sewer system program in writing, review the application, notify the applicant of additional information that may be required, and make a recommendation to the Commission on the acceptability of the proposed local program.  

(d)  Conditions of Local Program Approval (Delegation).  Once approved by the Commission, the delegated authority shall adhere to the following:

(1)           Adequacy of Receiving Facilities.  Local sewer system programs shall not issue a permit for a sewer project which would increase the flow or change the characteristics of waste to a treatment works or sewer system unless the local program has received a written determination from the Division that, pursuant to G.S. 143‑215.67(a), the treatment works or sewer system is adequate to receive the waste.  The Division staff may, when appropriate, provide one written determination that covers all local permits for domestic sewage sewer projects with total increased flow to a particular treatment works less than a specified amount and which are issued within a specified period of time.  In no case shall the local sewer system program issue a permit for additional wastewater if the receiving wastewater treatment is in noncompliance with its Division issued permit unless the additional flow is allowed as part of a special order pursuant to G.S. 143-215.2.  In no case shall the delegated authority issue a permit for additional wastewater without documenting capacity assurance along the tributary wastewater path to the wastewater treatment plant.

(2)           All permitting actions shall be summarized and submitted to the Division and the appropriate Division Regional Office on a quarterly basis on Division forms.  The report shall also provide a listing and summary of all enforcement actions taken or pending during the quarter.  The quarters begin on January 1, April 1, July 1 and October 1. The report shall be submitted within 30 days after the end of each quarter.

(3)           A copy of all program documents such as specifications, permit applications, permit shells, shell certification forms, and ordinance pertaining to permitting shall be submitted to the Division on an annual basis along with a summary of any other program changes.  Program changes to note include staffing, processing fees, and ordinance revisions.  After initial submittal of such documents and if no further changes occur in subsequent years, a letter stating such may be submitted in lieu of the requested documentation.  The Division may request changes to local program documents if the Commission adopts more stringent standards.

(4)           Modification of a Local Program.  Modifications to local programs, including the expansion of permitting authority shall not be required to be approved by the Commission, but by the Director.

(e)  Appeal of Local Decisions.  Appeal of individual permit denials or issuance with conditions the permit applicant finds unacceptable shall be made according to the approved local ordinance.  The Commission shall not consider individual permit denials or issuance with conditions to which a Permittee objects.  This Paragraph does not alter the enforcement authority of the Commission as specified in G.S. 143‑215.1(f).

(f)  The Division may audit the delegated program for compliance with this Rule and G.S. 143-215.1(f) at any time with a scheduled appointment with the delegated authority.

(g)  The Division shall maintain a list of all local units of government with approved local sewer system programs and make copies of the list available to the public upon request and payment of any reasonable costs for reproduction.  The list may be obtained from the Division.


History Note:        Authority G.S. 143-215.1; 143-215.3(a);

Eff. September 1, 2006.