MOREHEAD CITY – The N.C. Division of Coastal Management (DCM) is the first division to implement a new online permitting system as part of the Permitting Transformation Program at the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). Applications for the Coastal Area Management Act (CAMA) major permits are now available in the new online system.
“Having an online permit application process is key to modernizing our Department and working more efficiently for the people of North Carolina,” said Secretary Elizabeth Biser. “This is the first of many permits that will be moving to the new system, thanks to our Permitting Transformation Program.”
The DEQ Permitting Transformation Program is a department-wide initiative to update and improve the permit process, provide better access to permit information, and improve transparency through the development of a robust online system. Online access to additional permit applications and information in multiple DEQ divisions is in development and will be added to the system in the future. The Permitting Transformation Program is a multi-year effort, currently funded by state budget appropriations for the first two years of implementation.
Applications for CAMA major permits, which authorize development activities located in (or affecting) an Area of Environmental Concern (AEC) in any of North Carolina’s 20 coastal counties, are now available in the online system. CAMA general permits, as well as enforcement and compliance actions issued under the CAMA, will transition to the online system in the coming weeks.
“Implementing the new online system for CAMA permits is the result of careful planning and collaboration among DCM staff, the Permitting Transformation Program team, and key agencies and stakeholders,” said Braxton Davis, Division Director. “The new system is intended to streamline the application process, be easier to navigate than paper-based forms, and allow better public access to information about past and ongoing permit actions.”
The online permit system supports a number of improvements in efficiency and transparency, for example:
• The application has been streamlined to ask targeted questions concerning the applicant’s specific project, making the application easier to navigate;
• The public will be able to track the status of their application, increasing access to information;
• DCM staff can enter and access data in the field, reducing response time;
• Agency processing and handling of applications will be decreased by several hours for each major permit application, in addition to the elimination of paper copies, postage and printing costs; and
• The system offers a new online credit card payment option.
To learn more about the new CAMA electronic permitting system, go to the DCM website.