Stormwater Rules Review and Readoption

UPDATE: The proposed stormwater rules were adopted by the NC EMC on July 14, 2016.  They were filed with the Rules Review Commission on July 19, 2016 for a decision on Aug. 18, 2016.  The earliest possible effective date for the new rules is Jan. 1, 2017.


Stormwater permitting staff has worked with stakeholders to draft new stormwater rules that reflect the new "Minimum Design Criteria" and Fast-Track Permitting Process required by S.L. 2013-82. At the same time, we've updated all the stormwater rules in accordance with G.S. §150B-21.3A, which directs state agencies to review and update their rules every 10 years. 

Note that this package of rules does not include the Water Supply Watershed rules. Those rules are codified in a different section of administrative code and will be readopted on a different timeline. However, local governments with Water Supply programs may begin implementing the new stormwater Minimum Design Criteria.

The proposed stormwater rules have been reorganized and, in some cases, rewritten. Some of the benefits of the new organization and rule rewrites include:

  • Decreasing repetition from rule to rule
  • Clarifying unclear requirements
  • Incorporating current technology and design standards
  • Improving consistency between the programs
  • Codifying policies that are actually requirements

How will I know what's changing?

Use the indexes below to navigate rule-by-rule between the existing rules and the proposed rules. Existing rules are either being amended or repealed. In addition, some new rules are being created. Alternatively, you may bypass the indexes and view a single PDF of all the proposed stormwater rules.

Index of Existing Stormwater Rules

  • Existing Rule Text = Text of each existing rule as is currently appears in the NC Administrative Code
  • Proposed Action = Readopt w/ Amendments, Repeal, or Adopt
  • Notes/Guidance = Information to help connect the dots between the existing and proposed rules.

Index of Proposed Stormwater Rules  (DOC; 06/14/2016)

  • Proposed Rule = Rule language for each rule proposed for adoption.  Shows proposed overstrikes and underlines as required by the state Administrative Procedures Act. This is the version that will be submitted to the Rules Review Commission.  Yellow highlighting indicates changes made from previous version 12/22/2015.
  • Proposed Action = Readopt w/ Amendments, Repeal or Adopt
  • Notes/Source of Rule Language = Additional information about the proposed changes

All Proposed Stormwater Rules  (PDF; 06/14/2016) -- yellow highlighting indicates changes made from previous version 12/22/2015

Regulatory Impact Analysis  (PDF; 01/13/2016)

Hearing Officer's Report (PDF; 06/14/2016) -- includes public comments and responses

Anticipated Rulemaking Schedule (subject to change)

  • Public comment period: Feb 15-Apr 18, 2016
    • UPDATE:  3 public hearings were held in March 2016 in New Bern, Mooresville, and Raleigh.
  • EMC adoption of rules: July 14, 2016
    • UPDATE:  Rules were adopted by EMC on July 14, 2016.
  • RRC decision on rules:  Aug. 18, 2016
  • Earliest possible effective date:  Jan. 1, 2017