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Regulations

There are numerous rules and regulations that govern how forestry operations must be done in order to protect the quality of our water resources. These regulations come from both the state and federal government, and cover a wide array of topics that are related to forestry. In some cases, the rules apply across the entire state of North Carolina. In other cases, there are regulations that only apply to specific locations.

Additionally, there are situations in which a federal or state regulatory agency has developed written guidance on how to interpret a specific regulation for practical application. These guidance documents, while not technically considered laws, should be carefully considered if you want to undertake the activity that is being discussed.

The information below is not a complete listing of all possible applicable regulations. You should seek assistance from a consulting forester, the N.C. Forest Service, or other natural resources professionals to obtain further advice if you have questions, and you should stay up-to-date on changes to these regulations or the establishment of new laws.

These regulations are explained in further detail within the North Carolina Forestry Best Management Practices Manual to Protect Water Quality.

Statewide

Name: Forest Practices Guidelines Related to Water Quality
Source: State
Reference: Administrative Code 02 NCAC 60C.0100 - .0209
Forestry effects: All forestry-related, site-disturbing activities must comply with the 9 performance standards defined within the FPG's if they wish to remain exempt from the additional requirements of the SPCA.
 
Name: Sedimentation Pollution Control Act of 1973
Source: State
Reference: N.C. General Statutes: Article 4, Ch. 113A
Forestry effects: Can effect all forestry-related, site-disturbing activities. The FPG's and the so-called 'forestry exemption' are defined within this law.
 
Name: Obstructing Streams a Misdemeanor
Source: State
Reference: N.C. General Statute 77-13
Forestry effects: This law describes restrictions on obstructing designated waterways.
 
Name: Obstructions in Streams and Drainage Ditches
Source: State
Reference: N.C. General Statute 77-14
Forestry effects: This law describes restrictions on obstructing designated waterways.
 
Name: Act to Clarify the Role of Counties and Cities in Regulating Certain Forestry Activities
Source: State
Reference: North Carolina General Statutes, Ch. 153A— 452, and Ch.160A—458.5.
Forestry effects: Clarifies the role of counties and cities in regulating certain forestry activities; also known as the "Right to practice forestry bill".
 
Name: Exemption from Temporary Driveway Permitting for Forestry Operations
Source: State
Reference: North Carolina General Statutes Ch. 136-92.1
Forestry effects: Exempts forestry and silviculture operations from having to obtain a NCDOT temporary driveway access permit, as long as the outlined conditions are met.
 
Name: Oil Pollution and Hazardous Substances Control Act
Source: State
Reference: N.C. General Statutes Ch. 143—215.75 et seq.
Forestry effects: Outlines the required notification and response for a person that owns or has control over petroleum that is discharged into the environment. Specifically, N.C. General Statute Chapter 143—215.85(b) details the expected reporting requirements to the Dept. of Environmental Quality.
 
Name: Regulation of Flood Hazard Areas
Source: State
Reference: N.C. General Statute Ch. 143—215.54.
Forestry effects: General forestry uses may occur in a flood hazard area without the need to obtain a floodplain permit.
 
Name: Article 57: Nuisance Liability of Agricultural and Forestry Operations.
Source: State
Reference: N.C. General Statutes Ch.106—700 to 106—702.
Forestry effects: It is the purpose of this Article to reduce the loss to the State of its agricultural and forestry resources by limiting the circumstances under which an agricultural or forestry operation may be deemed to be a nuisance.

RIVERBASIN & WATERSHED BUFFER RULES

 
Name: Catawba River and Mainstem Lakes Riparian Buffer Rule
Where it applies: Along the mainstem of the River, and shorelines of mainstem Lakes, starting on Lake James, downstream to the S.C. state line.
Source: State
Reference: Administrative Code 15A NCAC 02B .0243
Forestry effects: Limitations on forestry activities within the designated 50-foot wide riparian buffer zone.
 
Name: Goose Creek Watershed Riparian Buffer Rule
Where it applies: Designated mapped streams in the watershed drainage area of Goose Creek in Mecklenburg and Union counties.
Source: State
Reference: Administrative Code 15A 02B .0600-.0609
Forestry effects: Limitations on forestry activities within either a 100-foot or 200-foot wide riparian buffer zone, depending upon location within the floodplain.
 
Name: Jordan Lake Watershed Riparian Buffer Rule
Where it applies: Designated mapped streams in the entire watershed.
Source: State
Reference: Administrative Code 15A NCAC 02B .0267
Forestry effects: Limitations on forestry activities within the designated 50-foot wide riparian buffer zone.
 
Name: Neuse River Basin Riparian Buffer Rule
Where it applies: Designated mapped streams in the entire watershed.
Source: State
Reference: Administrative Code 15A NCAC 02B .0233
Forestry effects: Limitations on forestry activities within the designated 50-foot wide riparian buffer zone.
 
Name: Randleman Lake Watershed Riparian Buffer Rule
Where it applies: Certain on-site streams and certain ditches that exist in the entire watershed.
Source: State
Reference: Administrative Code 15A NCAC 02B .0250
Forestry effects: Limitations on forestry activities within the designated 50-foot wide riparian buffer zone.
 
Name: Tar-Pamlico River Basin Riparian Buffer Rule
Where it applies: Designated mapped streams across the entire river basin.
Source: State
Reference: Administrative Code 15A NCAC 02B .0259
Forestry effects: Limitations on forestry activities within the designated 50-foot wide riparian buffer zone.

Wetlands

 
Name: Section 404(f) Silvicultural Exemption; and 15 Required BMPs for Forest Roads in Wetlands and Waters of the U.S.
Source: Federal
Reference: 33 CFR Part 323.4 - Discharges Not Requiring Permits
Forestry effects: These 15 BMPs are required in order to remain exempt from having to obtain a Clean Water Act, Section 404 permit for forest roads in wetlands or stream crossings.
 
Name: 6 Required BMPs for Mechanical Site Prep to Establish Pine in Wetlands of the Southeast
Source: Federal
Reference: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Joint Memo to the Field
Forestry effects: This memo describes 6 required BMPs for mechanical silvicultural site prep activities that are undertaken for establishment of pine plantations in the southeast. This memo also outlines those situations in which a Clean Water Act Section 404 permit is required to undertake these same types of activities.
 
Name: Guidance for the Construction and Maintenance of Forestry Roads in Wetlands of North Carolina
Source: Federal
Reference: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Wilmington District, Regulatory Division
Forestry effects: This document contains specific guidance for forest roads in wetlands.
 
Name: North Carolina Coastal Area Management Act (CAMA)
Where it applies: In the 20 coastal zone counties
Source: State
Reference: North Carolina General Statutes Ch. 113A-103(5)b.4
Forestry effects: A permit may be needed for forestry-related activities that involve excavation or filling of certain types of wetlands, as defined within the law.
 
Name: North Carolina Dredge and Fill Law
Where it applies: In the 20 coastal zone counties
Source: State
Reference: North Carolina General Statutes Ch. 113-229
Forestry effects: A permit may be needed for forestry-related activities that involve excavation or filling of certain types of wetlands, as defined within the law.
 
This page updated: Friday, March 3, 2017 13:14


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