State opens emergency CAMA permit process to expedite repairs to docks, bulkheads

A dock on Silver Lake in Ocracoke damaged by Hurricane Dorian. [Connie Leinbach/Ocracoke Observer photo]

Coastal property owners who need to replace docks, piers, bulkheads or similar structures damaged by Hurricane Dorian along sounds, rivers and creeks may be authorized to do so more quickly through an emergency general permit offered by the N.C. Division of Coastal Management.

“This is the second year in a row that North Carolina has been hit by a hurricane that caused significant environmental and economic damage along the coast. We want coastal residents and businesses to be able to rebuild quickly from the devastating winds, storm surge and flooding caused by Hurricane Dorian,” said Michael Regan, secretary of the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality. “The emergency general permit helps with short-term recovery as the state considers long-term solutions to make our coast more resilient to the impacts of climate change.”

The emergency permit expedites the approval process for rebuilding docks, piers, bulkheads and similar water dependent structures that meet state standards. The emergency permit may also be used for dune reconstruction and maintenance dredging of existing channels.

This emergency general permit may be used only for damage due to Hurricane Dorian.

The normal $200 permit fee is waived for the emergency permit, and, in many cases, no site visit or adjacent property owner notification is required.

Secretary Regan activated the emergency permit today. It can be used in all 20 coastal counties: Beaufort, Bertie, Brunswick, Camden, Carteret, Chowan, Craven, Currituck, Dare, Gates, Hertford, Hyde, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico, Pasquotank, Pender, Perquimans, Tyrell, and Washington. The permit does not eliminate the need to obtain any other required state, local or federal authorization. To see the signed activation, go to

Emergency permits must be obtained, and all work must be completed, by Sept. 17, 2020.

The emergency permit cannot be used for rebuilding houses and does not apply to the replacement of oceanfront structures.

Those who want to apply for the emergency general permit can help staff with the N.C. Division of Coastal Management review your request as quickly as possible by following these guidelines:

1. First, call the Division of Coastal Management office that covers your county:
Bertie, Camden, Chowan, Currituck, Dare, Gates, Hertford, Pasquotank, and Perquimans:
Elizabeth City office, 401 South Griffin St. Suite 300, 252-264-3901.

Beaufort, Hyde, Pamlico, Tyrrell and Washington:
Washington office, 943 Washington Square Mall, 252-946-6481

2. Provide your name, name of any authorized agent working on your behalf, your address, phone number and the project location. Include any detailed information that will be helpful, such as the state road number, the name of the water body and the name of the subdivision or development.

3. You will be required to pick up your permit at a division office. If requested, bring with you a description of the extent of the repair, replacement, dune reconstruction or maintenance dredging you need to do, including dimensions and shoreline length. Pre- and post-storm pictures of the project are helpful to show Hurricane Dorian-related damage.

4. For projects involving dredging, please provide confirmation that the adjacent riparian property owners received notice by certified mail of the proposed work. The notice should instruct neighbors to provide any comments about the proposed work to the Division of Coastal Management within 10 days of receiving the notice, and that a lack of response by them will be interpreted as no objection. Or, you can provide a signed statement of no objection from both adjacent riparian property owners. Forms are available here.

5. If you have had any other CAMA permit issued for your property, please inform the division staff. Those permits may contain information that will help staff with the Division of Coastal Management review your repair or replacement request.

This story originally appeared on Read More local stories here.

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