113A-4. Cooperation of agencies; reports; availability of information.

The General Assembly authorizes and directs that, to the fullest extent possible:

(1) The policies, rules, and public laws of this State shall be interpreted and administered in accordance with the policies set forth in this Article; and

(2) Every State agency shall include in every recommendation or report on any action involving significant expenditure of public moneys or use of public land for projects and programs significantly affecting the quality of the environment of this State, a detailed statement by the responsible official setting forth the following:

a. The direct environmental impact of the proposed action;

b. Any significant adverse environmental effects which cannot be avoided should the proposal be implemented;

c. Mitigation measures proposed to minimize the impact;

d. Alternatives to the proposed action;

e. The relationship between the short-term uses of the environment involved in the proposed action and the maintenance and enhancement of long-term productivity; and

f. Any irreversible and irretrievable environmental changes which would be involved in the proposed action should it be implemented.

(2a) Prior to making any detailed statement, the responsible official shall consult with and obtain the comments of any agency which has either jurisdiction by law or special expertise with respect to any environmental impact involved. The failure of an agency to provide comments within the comment period established under this subdivision or to request an extension for a specific period of time set forth in the request shall be treated by the responsible official as a conclusion by that agency that there is no significant environmental impact. Any unit of local government or other interested party that may be adversely affected by the proposed action may submit written comment. The responsible official shall consider written comment from units of local government and interested parties that is received within the established comment period. Copies of such detailed statement and such comments shall be made available to the Governor, to such agency or agencies as he may designate, and to the appropriate multi-county regional agency as certified by the Secretary of Administration, shall be placed in the public file of the agency and shall accompany the proposal through the existing agency review processes. A copy of such detailed statement shall be made available to the public and to counties, municipalities, institutions and individuals, upon request.

(3) The Governor, and any State agency charged with duties under this Article, may call upon any of the public institutions of higher education of this State for assistance in developing plans and procedures under this Article and in meeting the requirements of this Article, including without limitation any of the following units of the University of North Carolina: the Water Resources Research Institute, the Institute for Environmental Studies, the Triangle Universities Consortium on Air Pollution, and the School of Government at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. (1971, c. 1203, s. 4; 1987, c. 827, s. 125; 1991, c. 431, s. 2; 1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 945, s. 2; 2006-264, s. 29(g); 2015-90, s. 1.)