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Act 250 -

Environmental Permit Information Summary


The links below take you to a brief discussion for each topic as well as links to the topic itself.
To go directly to a topic, see the Quick Links menu on the right.



Permit Assistance

- Permit Specialists - includes Permit Specialist Locator

Vermont Permit Handbook

- includes in-depth compilation of 45 DEC permit programs as well as 50 other Vermont and federal regulatory programs

Environmental Notice Bulletin

- status information for active permit applications and recently-issued DEC permits

LIST of Permits, Certifications, Licenses & Other Approvals

- Detailed Listing - includes brief description of each item, links to program information, links to the Permit Handbook Sheet for each item, links to application forms, links to fee schedules

Document Search

- After an application for a Wastewater System and Potable Water Supply permit has been processed and a permit issued, the public can search the Drinking Water and Groundwater Protection Division’s Regional Office Project Database for related documents and/or plans.

Act 250

- Vermont's Land Development Law - search the Act 250 Permit database

ANR Environmental Research Tool (ERT)
ANROnline Online Permit applications for: Undergraound Storage Tank Renewals; UIC; Mercury Program; Green Business Program; EPA Subscriber Agreement (SA) Form
eDEC Online Permit applications for: Wastewater System & Potable Water Supply; Multi-Sector General Permit (Stormwater).

DEC Rules and Regulations Summary Chart


Other Departments and Other Agencies Permits

- brief discussion



The Agency of Natural Resources' three departments, Environmental Conservation (DEC), Fish and Wildlife (F&W), Forests, Parks and Recreation (FPR) have regulatory responsibility for a number of programs and oversee their associated permits. The majority of environmental permits are issued by the DEC. To help you understand the permitting process, or look up permit information, please see the following resources.

Permit Specialists

Permit Assistance

The Environmental Assistance Office provides permit assistance through the Agency of Natural Resources' five regional offices and five satellite offices. The Permit Specialists are available in these offices to answer your questions about the permit process. The Permit Specialist will advise you about needed state permits and will prepare a Project Review Sheet. The Project Review Sheet is a preliminary determination of not only environmental permits, but also any state permits your project may need. It lists the agencies and departments and provides contact information. Knowing all of the permits required before you begin your project can prevent costly delays, saving you time and money. View an example Project Review sheet.

Permit Specialist Locator

To find the Permit Specialist serving your area, select your town from the dropdown list below and click on the "Find My Permit Specialist" button. Contact information for the Permit Specialist in that office is provided.
Or, visit the Environmental Assistance Office Permit Assistance page for more detailed information.

Hint: click on the text box to select it, then press the first letter of your town name - it will scroll down that letter.



Permit Handbook

Vermont Permit HandbookState of Vermont - Agency of Natural Resources

The Agency of Natural Resources publishes a Permit Handbook which contains an in-depth compilation of 45 DEC permit programs as well as 50 other Vermont and federal regulatory programs. The Handbook includes a description of the permit, criteria for jurisdiction, staff contacts, and statutory citations for authority and appeals. The handbook is updated periodically. The Permit Handbook also contains several small business fact sheets, summarizing the probable permit requirements for each business type.

Example of a Permit Handbook Sheet
There is a Sheet for each permit.
example of permit handbook sheet - page 1 example of permit handbook sheet - page 2

Environmental Notice Bulletin

Listing of the status of active permit applications and recently-issued DEC permits

The weekly Environmental Notice Bulletin (ENB) report includes the Project Identification Number, Permit Number, and some basic information about the project, the type of permit requested, important dates in the application review process, and the name and phone number of a DEC contact person who can provide additional information.

DEC Rules & Regulations

Summary Chart

The chart of DEC rules and regulations includes rules related to Air Quality, Hazardous and Solid Waste, Underground Storage Tanks, Wastewater and Potable Water Supply Systems, Dams, Groundwater and Surface Water Quality, Indirect and Point Discharges, Water Well Drilling, Water Withdrawals, Environmental Penalties, Wetlands, etc.


List of DEC Environmental Permits, Certifications, Licenses & Other Approvals


Detailed Listing

The list includes a brief description of each item, links to detailed information, links to the Permit Handbook Sheet for each item, and links to the Application Forms, and Fee Schedules. Forms are available in a choice of formats including: Adobe PDF*, PDF Forms, MS Word, MS Word Forms, Wordperfect.

Dependent upon the nature, size and location of a project, one or more Department of Environmental Conservation permits, certificates, licenses or other approvals may be required for that project. In addition, many of these permits are integrated into the Act 250 permitting process - Vermont's land use development control law. Permitting programs most frequently required and links to additional information are listed below.

Wastewater Permits

- "Document Search" - After an application for a Wastewater System and Potable Water Supply permit has been processed and a permit issued, the public can search the Drinking Water & Groundwater Protection Division’s Regional Office Project Database for related documents and/or plans.

- Some wastewater related permitting programs go through a public comment process prior to making final determination on an application. Public notices, fact sheets and draft permits/certifications for applications currently under consideration are available in PDF format and may be downloaded.

- Pursuant to Title 10 Chapter 220 a Notice of Appeal of a wastewater related permit decision may be filed with the Environmental Court within 30 days of the date of the decision.  A list of permit decisions is updated regularly.

- The Regional Offices of the DEC Drinking Water & Groundwater Protection Division issue a variety of permits including:

Wastewater System and Potable Water Supply Permits:
Buildings and structures that require wastewater and water supply systems to be usefully occupied may require a Wastewater and Potable Water Supply Permit. This includes single family residences and public buildings such as: apartments (1 or more), duplexes, second dwelling on a lot (including a guest house for a single family residence), repair shops, churches, schools, day cares, stores, offices, lodging, food service, beauty parlors, municipal buildings, health care. This also applies to construction of, or modification to, or changes in use that affect the water or sewer systems. Wastewater System and Potable Water Supply Permits are issued from the DEC Regional Offices. Applications for these permits are filled out by Licensed Site Designers. For additional information see links below, or the Division's Permit Information summary page, or contact either the appropriate Permit Specialist or Division Regional Office Staff.

- The DEC Watershed Management Division also issues a variety of other wastewater related permits including:

Industrial or Municipal Direct Discharge: Regulates wastewater discharges to surface waters from industrial activities, or municipal treatment plants.

Pretreatment Discharge: Regulates wastewater discharges from industrial/commercial activities to municipal treatment plants.

Indirect Discharge: For land based sewage disposal systems of greater than 6,500 gpd and discharges from unlined landfills to groundwater.

Residual Management Certification: for management of wastewater treatment biosolids, septage and other special wastes. This certification is also known as "Solid Waste Management Certification".

Underground Injection Control (UIC): Required to discharge non-sanitary waste into an opening in the ground, or floor drains discharging onto or into the ground. This includes stormwater infiltration structures.

Wastewater Treatment Facility Operator Certification: all chief and assistant operators of wastewater treatment facility must obtain a certification for the grade level associated with the treatment facility.

Designer Licensing Program (formerly the Site Technician Certification Program): Certification is required for individuals to become licensed designers. Class A and Class B designers details are described on the web site.


Air Quality & Climate Division Permits

DEC's Air Quality & Climate Division administrates the following permitting programs

Air Quality & Climate Division Construction Permit: Required before construction, installation or modification of a stationary air sources.

Air Quality & Climate Division Permits to Operate: Regulates the operation of stationary air contaminant sources to ensure continuous compliance with state and federal regulations.

Air Quality & Climate Division Annual Registration: All stationary sources emitting 5 tons per year or more of air contaminants must register and pay a fee annually.

Air Quality & Climate Division Indirect Source Permit: Regulates emissions from facilities providing parking or vehicular traffic where parking capacity is greater than 1000 motor vehicles.

Air Quality & Climate Division Open Burning: Allows burning of certain materials provided no public nuisance is created, including burning of commercial waste and demolition material.


Drinking Water and Groundwater Protection Division Permits

DEC's Drinking Water & Groundwater Protection Division administrates the following permitting programs:

Public Community Water Source Permit: Required for sources for public community water systems; bulk water facilities; or bottled water facilities.

Public Water System Construction Permit: Required for construction of new or expanded public community water system or drinking water facility or line extension of greater than 500 feet.

Public Water System Operating Permit: An Operating or Temporary Operating Permit must be obtained to operate or maintain a public water system with at least 15 service connections serving an average of 25 people daily.

Bottled Water Permit: Required to process, process or provide for sale or distribution bulk or bottled water in Vermont.

Public Water System Operator Certificate: This provides the designated individual with approval to operate a public community and non-transient non-water system.

Well Drillers License: Any person who intends to engage in the business of drilling water or monitoring wells must have a license to do so.

Water Supply Assistance and Loan Programs - Information and Applications:


Watershed Management Division Permits

DEC's Watershed Management Division administrates the following permitting programs:

Stormwater Discharges: Required to authorize the discharge of stormwater runoff from impervious surfaces, construction sites, and/or industrial facilities to surface waters.

Construction in or near Lakes and Ponds:

Effective July 1, 2014, the Vermont Legislature passed shoreland regulations that apply to activities within 250 feet of a lake's mean water level for all lakes greater than 10 acres in size. The Shoreland Protection Act (V.S.A Chapter 49A, 1441 1452) establishes a new state regulation for guiding shoreland development. The intent of the Act is to prevent degradation of water quality in lakes, preserve habitat and natural stability of shorelines, and maintain the economic benefits of lakes and their shorelands. The Act defines clear standards for the creation of buildings, driveways, and cleared areas in shorelands. The Act seeks to balance good shoreland management and shoreland development, but also recognizes that many shoreland properties in Vermont are already developed or are small lots that cannot meet the new standards. These properties are "grandfathered" until the owner proposes redevelopment. In these cases state officials will work with homeowners so that standards are met to the extent possible. See the link below to the Shoreland Permit Program for additional information.

Any project that encroaches beyond the normal summer water level of a lake or pond that is a public body of water may require a Lake Encroachment Permit. Encroachments include retaining walls or riprap to control shoreline erosion, commercial docks, large docks, dredging or filling, and repairs or replacements of existing encroachments.

Wetlands Conditional Use Determination: Vermont wetland rules state that all uses which are not allowed uses in significant wetlands (class 1 and 2) are conditional uses. Conditional uses are only allowed in significant wetlands or in adjacent buffer zones upon receiving a Conditional Use Determination (CUD).

Aquatic Nuisance Control Permit: Regulates the use of chemicals, biological controls, or bottom barriers to control nuisance aquatic plants, insects or other aquatic life such as lamprey.

Stream Alteration Permit: Regulates the alteration of streams, including bank stabilization, utility crossings under streambeds, bridge construction or repair.

Water Quality Certification (401 certification): Any activity that is subject to a Federal permit or license and may result in a discharge to waters of the United States must be reviewed and approved, conditioned, waived or denied water quality certification. Certification applications are reviewed to determine if the activity will comply with the Vermont Water Quality Standards. A federal license or permit may not be granted if certification has been denied.


Waste Management & Pollution Prevention Division Permits

DEC's Waste Management & Pollution Prevention Division administrates the following permitting programs


Underground Storage Tank Permit: A permit is required to be obtained by the owner or operator of a 'category one tank'. Category one tanks include most underground gasoline and fuel oil storage tanks; farm or residential motor fuel storage or storage of fuel oil for on-site use exempt. A permit is required, without exception, for any UST used to store waste oil. There may be notification requirements dependent upon the size of the tank.

Hazardous Waste Treatment Storage and Disposal Certificate: Certification is required for facilities engaged in treatment, long-term storage or disposal of hazardous waste. All Vermont generators are regulated at one of three levels: conditionally exempt, small or large quantity generators.

Hazardous Waste Handler Notification: All Vermont generators are required to determine if the waste they generate is hazardous and if so complete and submit a notification form.


Solid Waste Transfer Station Certification: Authorizes owner-operator to construct and operate a transfer station for the collection and temporary storage of solid waste for transfer to another certified solid waste facility.

Solid Waste Recycling Certification: Authorizes owner-operator to collect store treat process or otherwise manage materials to be recycled. The annual volume of handled waste determines specific requirements; ranging from exemption to categorical certification to full certification.

Solid Waste Compost Certificate: Authorizes owner-operator to compost various materials. The type and volume of materials determined specific requirements; ranging from exemption to categorical certification to full certification.

Solid Waste Lined Landfill Certificate: For owner-operator to construct and operate a lined landfill for the disposal of municipal solid waste.

Solid Waste Insignificant Waste Disposal Approval: Authorizes one-time disposal of certain solid wastes such as stumps, untreated wood, masonry or other inert wastes.

Waste Transporter Permit: Required to transport hazardous, solid and residual wastes to or from any location in Vermont. Must be renewed annually by June 30th.

Solid Waste Categorical Certification of Disposal Facilities: Authorizes owner-operator to dispose of certain solid wastes such as stumps, untreated wood, masonry or other categories of inert wastes.

Other Solid Waste Certificates & Approvals

Facilities Engineering Division

DEC's Facilities Engineering Division administrates the following permitting program

Dam Safety Permit: Required for the construction, alteration, or removal of non-hydroelectric dams or impoundments of greater than 500,000 cubic feet. Ensure that these activities are carried out to serve the public good and provide adequately for public safety.


Environmental Assistance Division

DEC's Environmental Assistance Division provides non-regulatory assistance to small businesses and municipalities. The division is also responsible for review and approval of Pollution Prevention Plans.



Act 250 -
Vermont's Development Control Law

The Land Use Panel of the Natural Resources Board and Act 250 Permit Database

Act 250 provides a public, quasi-judicial process for reviewing and managing the environmental, social and fiscal consequences of major subdivisions and development in Vermont through the issuance of land use permits. It is Vermont's development and control law that is administered by nine District Environmental Commissions, overseen by the Natural Resources Board. Activities include review of land use permit applications for conformance with the Act's ten environmental criteria, issuance of opinions concerning the applicability of Act 250 to developments and subdivisions, monitoring for compliance with the Act and with land use permit conditions, and public education.

The Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) and Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is a separate state entity. Many DEC permits are required in the Act 250 process as presumptions of compliance with the appropriate criteria. Most permit handbook program sheets describe the relationship with the Act 250 process. In some cases final DEC permits are required for a complete Act 250 permit application. In addition, ANR and DEC staff make recommendations to the District Commissions based on technical evaluations of each application for impacts on natural resources such as air quality, soil erosion, water quality, wetlands and wildlife habitat. The ANR and DEC do not issue Act 250 permits. Only District Commissions and the Natural Resources Board have authority to issue or deny Act 250 permits.

The Act 250 Permit Database includes a searchable database of Act 250 permits and applications, as well as a weekly listing of Act 250 agenda items.


Other Departments and Other State Agencies Permits

Fish and Wildlife Department Permits

In addition to the various fishing and hunting licenses (see license fees and season dates), the Fish and Wildlife Department administers several permit programs. Some are described in the Permit Handbook, such as Protection of Endangered Species. Other Fish and Wildlife Department permits, such as a Falconry License, or Fish Propagation Farm Permit, are listed in the Permit Handbook with links to the Vermont State Statues. Or you can contact the Department at 802-828-1454, or through the Fish & Wildlife Department's web site.

Forest, Parks and Recreation Department Permits

The Forest, Parks and Recreation Department's Permit for Chip Harvesting and Utilization is described in the Permit Handbook. Please visit the FPR Department's web site or call 802-828-1534 for information on other permits they administer, such as Authorization for Uses on State Owned Land.

Other State Agencies -

Permit Examples:

The following is a partial listing of permits and the other state agencies you may need to contact:

Div. of Fire and Safety - construction permit for fire prevention, electrical wiring, plumbing, boilers and pressure vessels, LP gas storage
Department of Health - food, lodging, bakeries, children's camps, asbestos and lead control programs
Department of Agriculture - greenhouses, pesticides, golf courses, weights and measures, milk processing, slaughterhouses, poultry processing, animal shelters/kennels, retail sales of /milk /poultry /oleo /pesticides
Agency of Transportation - construction within a state highway right-of-way, off premise signs, junkyards
Agency of Human Services - child care facilities, nursing and other care homes
Secretary of State - business registration
Department of Taxes


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