News & Blog

The NCAEP uses this site to keep our members and the public informed on the latest news and events concerning the environment and the environmental profession in North Carolina. Use the links below to access and comment on the latest news and postings.

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  • 25 Sep 2020 5:00 PM | Kim Hamlin (Administrator)

    Wow Wednesday Stormwater Webinars

    2020-2021 Webinar Series

    Every Third Wednesday from 11am-12pm

    Presented by: NC Department of Environmental Quality – Stormwater Program

    Attend a series of Free webinars for a year to hear industry professionals, DEMLR Stormwater staff, and local representatives provide information about all things stormwater! Industrial stormwater management, Green Infrastructure, Stormwater Control Measure design, Public Education and much more. A bonus is that you can fulfill your professional development needs. Registration for the webinars are open monthly.

    https://deq.nc.gov/about/divisions/energy-mineral-and-land-resources/stormwater/stormwater-program/training-outreach-0

  • 15 Sep 2020 5:39 PM | Kim Hamlin (Administrator)

    Nationwide Permits (NWPs) authorize certain activities under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) is proposing to reissue its existing NWPs and associated general conditions and definitions, with some modifications. We are also proposing to issue five new NWPs. Two of those proposed new NWPs would authorize certain categories of mariculture activities (i.e., seaweed and finfish mariculture) that are not authorized by NWP 48. We are proposing to divide the current NWP that authorizes utility line activities (NWP 12) into three separate NWPs that address the differences in how different linear projects are constructed, the substances they convey, and the different standards and best management practices that help ensure those NWPs authorize only those activities that have no more than minimal adverse environmental effects. Specifically, we are proposing to modify the current utility line NWP 12 to authorize only oil and natural gas pipeline activities. Two proposed new NWPs would authorize activities associated with the construction, maintenance, repair, and removal of electric utility lines/telecommunication lines and utility lines that convey water, sewage, and other substances. The fifth proposed new NWP would authorize discharges of dredged or fill material into jurisdictional waters for the construction, expansion, and maintenance of water reuse and reclamation facilities. We are proposing these modifications to simplify and clarify the NWPs, reduce burdens on the regulated public, and continue to comply with the statutory requirement that these NWPs authorize only activities with no more than minimal individual and cumulative adverse environmental effects. The Corps is requesting comment on all aspects of these proposed nationwide permits.

    Submit comments on or before November 16, 2020.

    https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/09/15/2020-17116/proposal-to-reissue-and-modify-nationwide-permits

  • 15 Sep 2020 5:30 PM | Kim Hamlin (Administrator)

    On June 1, 2020, the EPA finalized the “Clean Water Act Section 401 Certification Rule” to implement the water quality certification process consistent with the text and structure of the CWA. The final rule published in the Federal Register on July 13, 2020, and will become effective on September 11, 2020.

    https://www.epa.gov/cwa-401/clean-water-act-section-401-certification-rule

    https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2020-07/documents/clean_water_act_section_401_certification_rule.pdf

  • 15 Sep 2020 2:47 PM | Kim Hamlin (Administrator)

    NAEP is excited to announce the recordings and materials from our first-ever Virtual Conference and Training Symposium are now available for purchase. If you weren't able to join us and would like to learn more from our great program of experts, now is your chance to catch up on what you missed. 

    Popular sessions from the Virtual Conference program: 

    • NEPA Updates with Mary Neumayr and Ted Boling
    • NEPA Reform: Real-World Perspectives on Streamlined Schedules, Less Expensive Process, and More Concise Documents (Take Two) with Brian Boose and Jennifer Warf
    • Miami Beach: Preservation Planning Model Update, Panel moderated by Carrie Chasteen

    The recordings and materials will be available for a limited time, until September 28, 2020. 

    Don't delay in purchasing all available session recordings and materials from the 2020 NAEP Virtual Conference and Training Symposium!
  • 07 Aug 2020 6:31 PM | Kim Hamlin (Administrator)


    The 2020 NAEP Virtual Conference and Training Symposium (also known as the 2020 NAEP Virtual Conference) invites environmental professionals from across the United States to share in the opportunity to learn about new projects, share technical knowledge, network with other industry professionals, and experience a new and unique experience. The 2020 NAEP Virtual Conference will cover a variety of topics and tracks including NEPA, Climate Change, Transportation, Planning and Permitting, Wildlife, Ethics, and Career Development!

    For more information and to register, click here!

  • 20 Feb 2020 6:05 PM | Kim Hamlin (Administrator)

    The NC Division of Water Resources has received an 18 month grant to update their 1997 Common Wetland Plants of NC guide and is soliciting input about what users would like to see in the new guide. The old guide is visible on the ncwetlands.org website at ncwetlands.org/learn/downloadable-materials

    Please take 5 minutes to give your feedback at this survey link.

  • 24 Jan 2020 10:13 AM | Kim Hamlin (Administrator)

    The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) is considering updating its NEPA implementing regulations and has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to modernize and clarify the regulations to facilitate a more efficient, effective, and timely NEPA review process.

    CEQ's proposed rule would incorporate elements of the One Federal Decision policy, codify certain case law and CEQ guidance, revise the regulations to reflect current technologies and agency practices, eliminate obsolete provisions, and improve the format and readability of the regulations.

    CEQ requests public comment on the NPRM. Comments should be submitted on or before March 10, 2020.

    See https://ceq.doe.gov/laws-regulations/regulations.html for instructions on how to submit comments.

  • 15 Jul 2019 12:54 PM | Kim Hamlin (Administrator)

    CAROLINA MADTOM AND NEUSE RIVER WATERDOG PROPOSED FOR ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT PROTECTION

    Critical Habitat proposed for both species, with a 4(d) special rule proposed for waterdog, allowing for tailored conservation

    May 21, 2019

    The venom in the stinging spines of the Carolina madtom’s fins is so potent that it earned the freshwater catfish the scientific name, Noturus furiosus. The Neuse River waterdog salamander, with its black spots and red external gills, looks like something out of a science fiction movie.

    Both species are part of North Carolina’s rich biological heritage, and due to ongoing threats are now only found in limited and shrinking areas of the state. Following rigorous scientific review, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is proposing to protect the Carolina madtom as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and the Neuse River waterdog as threatened.

    “We look forward to continuing our work with our state and local partners within the Tar and the Neuse Rivers,” said Pete Benjamin, field supervisor for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Raleigh, North Carolina, field office. “Together we will conserve aquatic wildlife and implement actions that have additional benefits to local communities and other native wildlife in the area.”

    The ESA defines endangered species as those that are in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of their range, and threatened species as those that are likely to become endangered throughout all or a significant portion of their range within the foreseeable future.

    These findings are the result of reviews conducted by Species Status Assessment (SSA) teams composed of experts from state and federal government agencies and academic institutions. The assessments (See madtom SSA and waterdog SSA) included comprehensive reviews of scientific information as well as evaluations of current population status and projected trends in population levels based on threats to the Carolina madtom and the Neuse River waterdog.

    The Service is proposing to designate about 257 river miles in seven units in North Carolina as critical habitat for the Carolina madtom and about 738 river miles as critical habitat for the Neuse River waterdog.

    For the waterdog, the Service is also proposing a special rule under section 4(d) of the ESA, which will allow the agency to tailor ESA protections while reducing regulatory burdens. While conservation efforts focus threats that are slowing the species’ recovery, activities that do not significantly harm the species will be allowed to continue.

    The Service is seeking information about distribution, status, population size or trends, life history and threats to these species. Comments received will be reviewed, addressed and, where appropriate, incorporated into the final listing rule. If these species are listed under the ESA, the Service will continue to work closely with all partners to develop recovery plans to conserve them.

    With Carolina madtom population in the Trent River within the Neuse River Basin presumed extinct, remaining populations in the Tar and the Neuse River Basins are facing a variety of threats. Ongoing threats include declines in water quality, loss of stream flow, fragmentation of riparian and instream habitats, deterioration of instream habitats, and expansion of the invasive predator flathead catfish. These threats are expected to be exacerbated by urbanization and extreme weather events like hurricanes.

    Challenges to the Neuse River waterdog include dams or culverts that limit the salamander’s ability to move throughout a stream to occupy quality habitat. Impoundments also slow down water and limit the amount of dissolved oxygen. Development, pollution and increased water temperature also add stress to or kill waterdogs living in the stream. Excessive aquatic plant growth, particularly from hydrilla, an invasive water weed, have become a problem in the upper Neuse River Basin, likely interfering with waterdog movement and foraging during the summer months.

    The Service and the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission are working with numerous partners to conserve the Neuse River waterdog and Carolina madtom and restore habitat. One restoration project involves partnering with land trusts to target key parcels for acquisition. Federal, state and university biologists are surveying and monitoring species occurrences.

    Conservation Fisheries Inc., collected Carolina madtom individuals as well as juveniles and eggs and is attempting to propagate it in captivity. The work is made possible by a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The goal is to put the fish produced by Conservation Fisheries back into the wild to augment and expand the current populations into historical habitat.

    Written comments and information concerning the proposed listing rule will be accepted until July 22, 2019. Requests for public hearings should be submitted within 45 days by July 8, 2019. Comments may be submitted by one of the following methods:

    1. Electronically: Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: regulations.gov. In the Search box, enter FWS–R4–ES–2018–0092, which is the docket number for this rulemaking. Then, in the Search panel on the left side of the screen, under the Document Type heading, click on the Proposed Rules link to locate this document. You may submit a comment by clicking on “Comment Now!”
    2. By hard copy: Submit by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS–R4–ES–2017–0018; U.S. Fish & Wildlife Headquarters, MS: BPHC, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803.

    The Service will post all comments on regulations.gov. This generally means the agency will post any personal information provided through the process. The Service is not able to accept e-mails or faxes.


  • 21 Dec 2018 10:01 AM | Ward Marotti

    https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/4823104907576658956

    The agencies are hosting this webcast to help explain the key elements of the proposal. In order to provide access to as many people as possible, this system is a webcast rather than a webinar. This means there will not be an opportunity for questions and answers, and participants must join via an internet-connected device (there will be no dial-in audio). There is a limit of 2,000 attendees for the live webcast, however the webcast will be recorded and hosted on the agencies’ websites for later review. The agencies encourage participants to submit comments through the official docket for this rulemaking at http://www.regulations.gov under Docket ID No. EPA–HQ–OW–2018–0149. 

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