130A-310.34. Public notice and community involvement.

(a) A prospective developer who desires to enter into a brownfields agreement shall notify the public and the community in which the brownfields property is located of planned remediation and redevelopment activities. The prospective developer shall submit a Notice of Intent to Redevelop a Brownfields Property and a summary of the Notice of Intent to the Department. The Notice of Intent shall provide, to the extent known, a legal description of the location of the brownfields property, a map showing the location of the brownfields property, a description of the contaminants involved and their concentrations in the media of the brownfields property, a description of the intended future use of the brownfields property, any proposed investigation and remediation, and a proposed Notice of Brownfields Property prepared in accordance with G.S. 130A-310.35. Both the Notice of Intent and the summary of the Notice of Intent shall state the time period and means for submitting written comment and for requesting a public meeting on the proposed brownfields agreement. The summary of the Notice of Intent shall include a statement as to the public availability of the full Notice of Intent. After approval of the Notice of Intent and summary of the Notice of Intent by the Department, the prospective developer shall provide a copy of the Notice of Intent to all local governments having jurisdiction over the brownfields property. The prospective developer shall publish the summary of the Notice of Intent in a newspaper of general circulation serving the area in which the brownfields property is located. The prospective developer shall conspicuously post a copy of the summary of the Notice of Intent at the brownfields property, and the prospective developer shall mail or deliver a copy of the summary to each owner of property contiguous to the brownfields property. The prospective developer shall submit documentation of the public notices to the Department prior to the Department entering into a brownfields agreement.

(b) Publication of the approved summary of the Notice of Intent in a newspaper of general circulation, posting the summary at the brownfields property, and mailing or delivering the summary to each owner of property contiguous to the brownfields property shall begin a public comment period of at least 30 days from the latest date of publication, posting, and mailing or delivering. During the public comment period, members of the public, residents of the community in which the brownfields property is located, and local governments having jurisdiction over the brownfields property may submit comment on the proposed brownfields agreement, including methods and degree of remediation, future land uses, and impact on local employment.

(c) Any person who desires a public meeting on a proposed brownfields agreement shall submit a written request for a public meeting to the Department within 21 days after the public comment period begins. The Department shall consider all requests for a public meeting and shall hold a public meeting if the Department determines that there is significant public interest in the proposed brownfields agreement. If the Department decides to hold a public meeting, the Department shall, at least 15 days prior to the public meeting, mail written notice of the public meeting to all persons who requested the public meeting and to each owner of property contiguous to the brownfields property. The Department shall also direct the prospective developer to publish, at least 15 days prior to the date of the public meeting, a notice of the public meeting at least one time in a newspaper having general circulation in such county where the brownfields property is located. In any county in which there is more than one newspaper having general circulation, the Department shall direct the prospective developer to publish a copy of the notice in as many newspapers having general circulation in the county as the Department in its discretion determines to be necessary to assure that the notice is generally available throughout the county. The Department shall prescribe the form and content of the notice to be published. The Department shall prescribe the procedures to be followed in the public meeting. The Department shall take detailed minutes of the meeting. The minutes shall include any written comments, exhibits, or documents presented at the meeting.

(d) Prior to entering into a brownfields agreement, the Department shall take into account the comment received during the comment period and at the public meeting if the Department holds a public meeting. The Department shall incorporate into the brownfields agreement provisions that reflect comment received during the comment period and at the public meeting to the extent practical. The Department shall give particular consideration to written comment that is supported by valid scientific and technical information and analysis and to written comment from the units of local government that have taxing jurisdiction over the brownfields property. (1997-357, s. 2; 2000-158, s. 2; 2006-71, ss. 4, 5; 2009-181, s. 1.)