113A-124. Additional powers and duties.

(a) The Secretary shall have the following additional powers and duties under this Article:

(1) To conduct or cause to be conducted, investigations of proposed developments in areas of environmental concern in order to obtain sufficient evidence to enable a balanced judgment to be rendered concerning the issuance of permits to build such developments.

(2) To cooperate with the Secretary of the Department of Administration in drafting State guidelines for the coastal area.

(3) Repealed by Session Laws 2021-158, s. 2(b), effective July 1, 2021, and applicable to permit applications received on or after that date.

(4) To propose rules to implement this Article for consideration by the Commission.

(5) To delegate such of his powers as he may deem appropriate to one or more qualified employees of the Department or to any local government, provided that the provisions of any such delegation of power shall be set forth in departmental rules.

(6) To delegate the power to conduct a hearing, on his behalf, to any member of the Commission or to any qualified employee of the Department. Any person to whom a delegation of power is made to conduct a hearing shall report his recommendations with the record of the hearing to the Secretary for decision or action.

(b) In order to carry out the provisions of this Article the Secretaries of Administration and of Environmental Quality may employ such clerical, technical and professional personnel, and consultants with such qualifications as the Commission may prescribe, in accordance with the State personnel rules and budgetary laws, and are hereby authorized to pay such personnel from any funds made available to them through grants, appropriations, or any other sources. In addition, the said secretaries may contract with any local governmental unit or lead regional organization to carry out the planning provisions of this Article.

(c) The Commission shall have the following additional powers and duties under this Article:

(1) To recommend to the Secretary the acceptance of donations, gifts, grants, contributions and appropriations from any public or private source to use in carrying out the provisions of this Article.

(2) To recommend to the Secretary of Administration the acquisition by purchase, gift, condemnation, or otherwise, lands or any interest in any lands within the coastal area.

(3) To hold such public hearings as the Commission deems appropriate.

(4) To delegate the power to conduct a hearing, on behalf of the Commission, to any member of the Commission or to any qualified employee of the Department. Any person to whom a delegation of power is made to conduct a hearing shall report his recommendations with the evidence and the record of the hearing to the Commission for decision or action.

(5) Repealed by Session Laws 1987, c. 827, s. 141.

(6) To delegate the power to determine whether a contested case hearing is appropriate in accordance with G.S. 113A-121.1(b).

(7) To delegate the power to grant or deny requests for declaratory rulings under G.S. 150B-4 in accordance with standards adopted by the Commission.

(8) To adopt rules to implement this Article.

(9) To delegate the power to approve land-use plans in accordance with G.S. 113A-110(f) to any qualified employee of the Department.

(d) The Attorney General shall act as attorney for the Commission and shall initiate actions in the name of, and at the request of, the Commission, and shall represent the Commission in the hearing of any appeal from or other review of any order of the Commission. (1973, c. 1284, s. 1; 1975, c. 452, s. 5; 1977, c. 771, s. 4; 1981, c. 932, s. 2.1; 1987, c. 827, ss. 125, 141; 1989, c. 727, s. 135; 1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 839, s. 2; 1997-443, s. 11A.119(a); 2015-241, s. 14.30(v); 2017-209, s. 5(a); 2021-158, s. 2(b).)