130A-336. Improvement permit and authorization for wastewater system construction required.

(a) Any proposed site for a residence, place of business, or place of public assembly in an area not served by an approved wastewater system shall be evaluated by either (i) the local health department in accordance with rules adopted pursuant to this Article or (ii) by a professional engineer, licensed soil scientist, or licensed geologist acting within the engineer's, soil scientist's, or geologist's scope of work, as applicable, and pursuant to the conditions of the engineered option permit in G.S. 130A-336.1. An improvement permit issued by a local health department shall include:

(1) For permits that are valid without expiration, a plat, or, for permits that are valid for five years, a site plan.

(2) A description of the facility the proposed site is to serve.

(3) The proposed wastewater system and its location.

(4) The design wastewater flow and characteristics.

(5) The conditions for any site modifications.

(6) Any other information required by the rules of the Commission.

Neither the improvement permit nor the authorization for wastewater system construction shall be affected by change of ownership of the site for the wastewater system provided both the site for the wastewater system and the facility the system serves are unchanged and remain under the ownership or control of the person owning the facility. No person shall commence or assist in the construction, location, or relocation of a residence, place of business, or place of public assembly in an area not served by an approved wastewater system unless an improvement permit and an authorization for wastewater system construction are obtained from the local health department unless that person is acting in accordance with the conditions and criteria of an engineered option permit pursuant to G.S. 130A-336.1. This requirement shall not apply to a manufactured residence exhibited for sale or stored for later sale and intended to be located at another site after sale.

(b) The local health department shall issue an authorization for wastewater system construction authorizing work to proceed and the installation or repair of a wastewater system when it has determined after a field investigation that the system can be installed and operated in compliance with this Article and rules adopted pursuant to this Article. This authorization for wastewater system construction shall be valid for a period equal to the period of validity of the improvement permit and may be issued at the same time the improvement permit is issued. No person shall commence or assist in the installation, construction, or repair of a wastewater system unless an improvement permit and an authorization for wastewater system construction have been obtained from the Department or the local health department unless that person is acting in accordance with the conditions and criteria of an engineered option permit pursuant to G.S. 130A-336.1. No improvement permit or authorization for wastewater system construction shall be required for maintenance of a wastewater system. The Department and the local health department may impose conditions on the issuance of an improvement permit and an authorization for wastewater system construction.

(c) Unless the Commission otherwise provides by rule, plans, and specifications for all wastewater systems designed for the collection, treatment, and disposal of industrial process wastewater shall be reviewed and approved by the Department prior to the issuance of an authorization for wastewater system construction by the local health department.

(d) If a local health department repeatedly fails to issue or deny improvement permits for conventional or accepted septic tank systems within 60 days, or within 90 days for provisional or innovative systems, after receiving completed applications for the permits, then the Department of Health and Human Services may withhold public health funding from that local health department. (1973, c. 452, s. 5; c. 476, s. 128; 1981, c. 949, s. 3; 1983, c. 891, s. 2; 1985, c. 273; 1991, c. 256, s. 2; 1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 944, s. 5; 1995, c. 285, s. 1; 1995 (Reg. Sess., 1996), c. 585, s. 3; 1996, 2nd Ex. Sess., c. 18, s. 27.31(d)-(f); 1997-443, ss. 11A.83, 11A.119(a); 2014-120, s. 40(c); 2015-241, s. 14.30(u); 2015-286, s. 4.14(g).)