State Environmental Review Process
Due to the magnitude of this project, we were required by the State of North Carolina to undergo an environmental review process to analyze potential alternatives and their impact on the human environment. This process resulted in Draft and Final Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) that documented the details of the analysis. The Final EIS was reviewed by the Environmental Management Commission (EMC) alongside the petition for an Interbasin Transfer Permit to help determine whether to approve, approve with conditions, or deny the request. The EMC approved the request and issued an IBT Permit to Union County in May of 2017.
What does the EIS analyze?
An environmental review examines the potential environmental, cultural, and socioeconmic impacts associated with the proposed alternatives, as well as the impacts of not taking any action at all. The EIS document analyzes and compares impacts in the following categories (in random order):
- Topography and geology
- Land use
- Public lands and scenic, recreational, and state natural areas
- Prime or unique agricultural lands
- Areas of archaeological or historic value
- Resources of historic value
- Air quality
- Noise levels
- Floodways and 100-year floodplains
- Water resources
- Shellfish or fish and their habitats
- Forest resources
- Wildlife and natural vegetation
- Environmental justice
- Introduction of toxic substances
Interbasin Transfer (IBT) Certificate
An interbasin transfer is the movement of surface water from one river basin into another.Transfers that exceed 2 million gallons per day (mgd) average daily, or 3 mgd maximum daily, require an IBT certificate. The Environmental Management Commission (EMC) is the unit responsible for approving or denying requests for IBT certificates. The EMC issued an IBT Permit to Union County in May of 2017.
Their responsibility is to ensure that all transfers are:
- Not detrimental on the source or receiving river basin
- Have reasonable proposed alternatives
A more detailed discussion of the interbasin transfer process can be viewed at Regulation of Surface Water Transfers Statutory Guidance document.