(a) Information obtained under this Article or Article 21A or 21B of this Chapter shall be available to the public except that, upon a showing satisfactory to the Commission by any person that information to which the Commission has access, if made public, would divulge methods or processes entitled to protection as trade secrets pursuant to G.S. 132-1.2, the Commission shall consider the information confidential.
(b) Effluent data, as defined in 40 Code of Federal Regulations § 2.302 (1 July 1993 Edition) and emission data, as defined in 40 Code of Federal Regulations § 2.301 (1 July 1993 Edition) is not entitled to confidential treatment under this section.
(c) Confidential information may be disclosed to any officer, employee, or authorized representative of any federal or state agency if disclosure is necessary to carry out a proper function of the Department or other agency or when relevant in any proceeding under this Article or Article 21A or Article 21B of this Chapter.
(d) The Commission shall provide for adequate notice to any person who submits information of any decision that the information is not entitled to confidential treatment and of any decision to release information that the person who submits the information contends is entitled to confidential treatment. Any person who requests information and any person who submits information who is dissatisfied with a decision of the Commission to withhold or release information may request a declaratory ruling from the Commission under G.S. 150B-4 within 10 days after the Commission notifies the person of its decision. The information may not be released by the Commission until the Commission issues a declaratory ruling or, if judicial review of the final agency decision is sought by any party, the information may not be released by the Commission until a final judicial determination has been made. (1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 694, s. 2.)