143-214.26. Nutrient offset credits.

(a) Nutrient offset credits may be purchased to partially offset nutrient loadings to surface waters as required by the Environmental Management Commission. Nutrient offset projects authorized under this section shall be all of the following:

(1) Consistent with rules adopted by the Commission for implementation of nutrient management strategies.

(2) Located within the same hydrologic area, as defined in G.S. 143-214.11, in which the associated nutrient loading takes place.

(b) A government entity, as defined in G.S. 143-214.11, may purchase nutrient offset credits through either:

(1) Participation in a nutrient offset bank that has been approved by the Department if the Department approves the use of the bank for the required nutrient offsets.

(2) Payment of a nutrient offset fee established by the Department into the Riparian Buffer Restoration Fund established in G.S. 143-214.21.

(c) A party other than a government entity, as defined in G.S. 143-214.11, may purchase nutrient offset credits through either:

(1) Participation in a nutrient offset bank that has been approved by the Department if the Department approves the use of the bank for the required nutrient offsets.

(2) Payment of a nutrient offset fee established by the Department into the Riparian Buffer Restoration Fund established in G.S. 143-214.21. This option is only available to an applicant who demonstrates that the option under subdivision (1) of this subsection is not available. (2009-337, s. 4(a)-(c).)