Environmental Permit Information Summary
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.
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
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.
State 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.
Environmental Notice Bulletin
Listing of the status of active permit applications and recently-issued
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.
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
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.
- "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
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
- 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
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
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
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
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
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
WASTE MANAGEMENT - HAZARDOUS MATERIALS
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
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
WASTE MANAGEMENT - SOLID WASTE
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
Act 250 -
Development Control Law
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
Act's ten environmental criteria, issuance of opinions concerning
the applicability of Act 250 to developments and subdivisions,
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.
250 Permit Database includes a searchable database of Act 250
permits and applications, as well as a weekly listing of Act 250
Other Departments and Other State Agencies
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
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 -
The following is a partial listing of permits
and the other state agencies you may need to contact:
of Fire and Safety - construction permit for fire prevention,
electrical wiring, plumbing, boilers and pressure vessels, LP
Department of Health
- food, lodging, bakeries, children's camps, asbestos and lead
of Agriculture - greenhouses, pesticides, golf courses, weights
and measures, milk processing, slaughterhouses, poultry processing,
animal shelters/kennels, retail sales of /milk /poultry /oleo
Agency of Transportation
- construction within a state highway right-of-way, off premise
Agency of Human Services
- child care facilities, nursing and other care homes
Secretary of State -
Department of Taxes