NCDEQ Accepting Comments on Draft Public Participation Plan and LEP Plan

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NCDEQ Accepting Comments on Draft Public Participation Plan and LEP Plan

The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ) has published a draft Public Participation Plan that details the agency's intent "to conduct the people’s business in an open and transparent way". NCDEQ notes that the plan provides guidance and best practices, but is not to be used as a "one size fits all" approach for every community. Instead, NCDEQ will apply best practices to fit the needs of each individual community.

Per the draft Public Participation Plan, NCDEQ will ensure that, with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies, all North Carolinians will receive fair treatment and meaningful involvement regardless of their race, color, national origin, or income. The plan adopts the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) definition for fair treatment and meaningful involvement. Per EPA:

Fair treatment means no group of people should bear a disproportionate share of the negative environmental consequences resulting from industrial, governmental, and commercial operations or policies.

Meaningful involvement means

  • people have an opportunity to participate in decisions about activities that may affect their environment and/or health
  • the public's contribution can influence the regulatory agency's decision
  • community concerns will be considered in the decision-making process, and
  • decision-makers will seek out and facilitate the involvement of those potentially affected

NCDEQ will take comments on the draft plan through September 18.

A companion Limited English Proficiency (LEP) plan was also made available for public comment detailing how NCDEQ would reach out to North Carolina's more than 1 million people who speak a language other than English. LEP includes anyone with limited ability to read and write English.

NCDEQ Press Release

RALEIGH (August 20, 2019)– The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality is accepting public comment through September 18 on the draft Public Participation Plan and draft Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Plan.

The purpose of the Public Participation Plan is to provide transparency and ensure consistency across the department in the implementation of its public participation and outreach strategies. The LEP Plan highlights best practices to reach individuals who speak a language other than English.

The comment period will be open until Sept. 18, 2019. The public is invited send comments by email to or mail comments to:
N.C. Department of Environmental Quality
Attn: Renee Kramer
217 West Jones Street
1646 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1646

All comments received by the close of the comment period will be considered as the final versions of the plans are completed.

More information about the Public Participation Plan and Limited English Proficiency Plan can be found online at:

Contact Information

Laura J. Leonard 

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