Copyright notice

This article is from the Encyclopedia of North Carolina edited by William S. Powell. Copyright © 2006 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

Printer-friendly page

Environment and Natural Resources, Department of

by David Stick, 2006

The origins of what came to be known as the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources date as far back as 1823, when the state sponsored a geological survey. Later, state research activities were expanded to include forestry, and in 1891 these and other varied functions were combined in a single agency, the North Carolina Geological Survey. The name was changed to the North Carolina Geological and Economic Survey in 1905, and between then and its replacement by the Department of Conservation and Development in 1925 the agency took on still more responsibilities. From the outset, the Department of Conservation and Development was one of the more important divisions of North Carolina state government, and membership on its board was a widely sought political plum.

In addition to geology, mineral resources, and forestry, the divisions of the Department of Conservation and Development included marine fisheries, coastal resources, water resources, tourism, advertising, and state parks. By the time it was replaced by the Department of Natural Resources and Community Development with adoption of the Executive Organization Act of 1971, the new department included 18 different agencies, boards, and commissions. Other name changes followed, and by 1998 the state's catchall agency was known as the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. In the early 2000s, the department worked to protect water quality, air quality, and public health through various programs designed to do everything from encouraging respect for the environment to assisting businesses, local governments, and the public with technical matters related to its divisions.

Additional Resources:

North Carolina Department of Environment & Natural Resources website:

Archived webpages, NC Department of Environment & Natural Resources. 2010-present:*/

Archived webpages, NC Department of Environment & Natural Resources. 2001-present:*/

Department of Environment and Natural Resources. "A Short History of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources."

North Carolina State Government Publications Collection:

User Tags: 



Odd request, I know...I found a tiny book called "The Queen's English" at an estate sale here in Altanta. It is published by Travel and Promotion Division N.C. Dept of Conservation & Development Raleigh, NC 27811. It has a wonderful graphic on the front cover of a queen. I would love to use it as my logo but not sure where to get permission to do so. Do you think it is okay to copy?



Thanks for visiting NCpedia and asking your question.

I am forwarding your query to our Reference services who can assist you:

Erin Bradford, Government and Heritage Library


Hi, I work for an engineering company that does some work throughout your state inspecting potable water storage tanks for city's, county’s, state, etc. I am trying to find your state requirement for storage tanks elevated towers, ground reservoirs, and underground tanks steel or concrete. What I am looking for is your requirements for vents, OverFlow’s, access hatches, and anything else that may apply. Any help you can provide in finding this info is greatly appreciated. Thanks and have a good day.


Hello, I think you will find your answer with the North Carolina General Statues. There is a table of contents ( with sections on engineering. You can also do a keyword search at The table of content are in links, so if you find a section, just click the link and it will take you right there.

I did a search for the word "overflow" and found chapter 139a-291.2 about temporary domestic wastewater holding tanks. A keyword search may be good to find statutes it different sections.

Erin Bradford, Government and Heritage Library

Add a comment

PLEASE NOTE: NCpedia provides the comments feature as a way for viewers to engage with the resources. Comments are not published until reviewed by NCpedia editors at the State Library of NC, and the editors reserve the right to not publish any comment submitted that is considered inappropriate for this resource. NCpedia will not publish personal contact information in comments, questions, or responses. If you would like a reply by email, note that some email servers, such as public school accounts, are blocked from accepting messages from outside email servers or domains. If you prefer not to leave an email address, check back at your NCpedia comment for a reply. Please allow one business day for replies from NCpedia. Complete guidelines are available at