Those applying for a Coastal Area Management Act major permit now have the option to fill out the application online.
The state Division of Coastal Management is the first division under the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality to implement the new, web-based permitting transformation program being implemented at the agency.
“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 in a statement. “This is the first of many permits that will be moving to the new system, thanks to our Permitting Transformation Program.”
The department’s permitting transformation program is a departmentwide 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, officials said. The multiyear effort is being funded by state budget appropriations for the first two years.
Applications for CAMA major permits, which authorize development activities located in or affecting an Area of Environmental Concern 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,” Division Director Braxton Davis said. “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, officials said, including offering a streamlined application that asks targeted questions concerning the applicant’s specific project, making the application easier to navigate.
Additionally, the agency will be able to process applications faster while eliminating paper copies, postage and printing costs. Division staff can enter and access data in the field, reducing response time, and the public will be able to track the status of their application, increasing access to information. Plus, the system offers a new online credit card payment option.
Online access to additional permit applications and information in multiple divisions is in development and will be added to the system in the future.
To learn more about the new CAMA electronic permitting system, go to the DCM website.