143-215.119. Permit application requirements; fees; notice of receipt of completed permit; public hearing; public comment.

(a) Permit Requirements. - A person applying for a permit for a proposed wind energy facility or proposed wind energy facility expansion shall include all of the following in an application for the permit:

(1) A narrative description of the proposed wind energy facility or proposed wind energy facility expansion.

(2) A map showing the location of the proposed wind energy facility or proposed wind energy facility expansion that identifies the specific location of each turbine.

(3) A copy of a deed, purchase agreement, lease agreement, or other legal instrument demonstrating the right to construct, expand, or otherwise develop a wind energy facility on the property.

(4) Identification by name and address of property owners adjacent to the proposed wind energy facility or proposed wind energy facility expansion. The applicant shall notify every property owner identified pursuant to this subdivision by registered or certified mail or by any means authorized by G.S. 1A-1, Rule 4, in a form approved by the Department. The notice shall include all of the following:

a. The location of the proposed wind energy facility or proposed wind energy facility expansion and the specific location of each turbine proposed to be located within one-half mile of the boundary of the adjacent property owner.

b. A description of the proposed wind energy facility or proposed wind energy facility expansion.

(5) A description of civil air navigation or military air navigation routes, air traffic control areas, military training routes, special-use air space, radar, or other military operations that may be affected by the construction or operation of the proposed wind energy facility or proposed wind energy facility expansion.

(6) Documentation that addresses any potential adverse impact on military operations and readiness as identified by the Department of Defense Clearinghouse pursuant to Part 211 of Title 32 Code of Federal Regulations (July 1, 2012 edition) and any mitigation actions agreed to by the applicant.

(7) Documentation that the applicant has either (i) submitted Federal Aviation Administration Form 7460-1 for the turbines associated with the proposed wind energy facility or proposed wind energy facility expansion or (ii) initiated an informal review by the Department of Defense Siting Clearinghouse of the proposed wind energy facility or proposed wind energy facility expansion. If the applicant has submitted Federal Aviation Administration Form 7460-1 in order to fulfill the requirements of this subdivision, the applicant shall provide any determination reached by the Federal Aviation Administration at the time the application is submitted to the Department. If the Federal Aviation Administration has not made a determination at the time the application is submitted to the Department, the application shall include a description of the status of the applicant's engagement with the Federal Aviation Administration and the Department of Defense Siting Clearinghouse.

(8) A study of the noise impacts of the turbines to be associated with the proposed wind energy facility or proposed wind energy facility expansion.

(9) A study on shadow flicker impacts of the turbines to be associated with the proposed wind energy facility or proposed wind energy facility expansion, unless the turbines will be located in a sound or in offshore waters.

(10) A study of the impact of the proposed wind energy facility or proposed wind energy facility expansion on natural resources and uses, including avian, bat, and endangered and threatened species.

(11) An explanation of how the proposed wind energy facility or proposed wind energy facility expansion would be consistent with the criteria in subsection (a) of G.S. 143-215.120.

(12) The application fee required by subsection (c) of this section.

(13) A plan regarding the action to be taken upon the decommissioning and removal of the wind energy facility. The plan shall include an estimate of the cost to decommission and remove the wind energy facility. The plan shall also include the anticipated life of the project, an estimate of the cost to decommission and remove the wind energy facility, a description of the manner in which the facility will be decommissioned, and a description of the expected condition of the site once the wind energy facility has been decommissioned and removed.

(14) Other data or information the Department may reasonably require.

(b) Confidentiality of Trade Secrets and Business Information. - To the extent that any documents included in the permit application contain trade secrets or confidential business information, those portions of the documents shall not be subject to disclosure under the North Carolina Public Records Act.

(c) Fees. - An applicant for a permit for a proposed wind energy facility or proposed wind energy facility expansion under this section shall submit with the application required pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, an application fee of three thousand five hundred dollars ($3,500).

(d) Notice of Receipt of Complete Permit Application. - Within 10 days of receipt of a complete permit application for a proposed wind energy facility or proposed wind energy facility expansion submitted pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the Department shall provide notice of the permit application to (i) the commanding military officer of all major military installations, (ii) the commanding military officer of any military installation located outside the State that is located within 50 nautical miles of the location of the proposed wind energy facility or proposed wind energy facility expansion, and (iii) the board of commissioners for each county and the governing body of each municipality in which the wind energy facility or wind energy facility expansion is proposed to be located. The notice shall include:

(1) A copy of the map showing the location of the proposed wind energy facility or proposed wind energy facility expansion that includes the specific locations of wind turbines.

(2) A written request to the commanding military officer of a major military installation or the commanding military officer's designee, for technical information related to any adverse impact on the installation's operations, training, or mission, including military air navigation routes, air traffic control areas, military training routes, special-use air space, radar or other military operations that may be affected.

(3) A written request for information related to potential adverse impacts of the proposed wind energy facility or proposed wind energy facility expansion on local governments from the board of commissioners for each county and the governing body of each municipality.

(e) Provision of Permit Application to Affected Entities. - Except as provided by G.S. 143-215.124, within 10 days of receipt of a written request from the commanding military officer of any major military installation or the commanding military officer's designee, the board of commissioners for any county in which the site is proposed to be located or the governing body of any municipality in which the site is proposed to be located, the Department shall provide a copy of a permit application filed pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, in addition to any supplements, changes, or amendments to the permit application to the requesting commanding military officer or local government.

(f) Public Hearing and Comment. - The Department shall hold a public hearing in each county in which the wind energy facility or wind energy facility expansion is proposed to be located within 75 days of receipt of a completed permit application. The Department shall provide notice including the time and location of the public hearing in a newspaper of general circulation in each applicable county. The notice of public hearing shall be published for at least two consecutive weeks beginning no less than 45 days prior to the scheduled date of the hearing. The notice shall provide that any comments on the proposed wind energy facility or proposed wind energy facility expansion should be submitted to the Department by a specified date, not less than 15 days from the date of the newspaper publication of the notice or 15 days after distribution of the mailed notice, whichever is later. No less than 30 days prior to the scheduled public hearing, the Department shall provide written notice of the hearing to:

(1) The North Carolina Utilities Commission.

(2) The Office of the Attorney General of North Carolina.

(3) The commanding military officer of any potentially affected major military installation or the commanding military officer's designee.

(4) The board of commissioners for each county and the governing body of each municipality with jurisdictions over areas in which a potentially affected major military installation is located. (2013-51, s. 1.)