Time frames

Reasonable time frames have been established as goals for processing environmental permit applications. The permit application process includes several steps:

  • Completeness Review begins when the permit application is received and ends when the permit writer sends a letter to the applicant describing the results of the review (e.g., no deficiencies were found or a list of deficiencies is provided). This is not the final review, and additional information may be required at a later date. Completeness review and processing may overlap if an application is fully complete when first submitted.
  • Processing of Complete Application begins when the permit application is deemed to be complete and ends with the final action on the application (i.e., issuance or denial of the permit or, in cases where a public hearing is to be held, a draft permit to be advertised for public hearing).
  • Public Comment Period (if necessary) begins when the draft permit is advertised for public hearing and ends with final action on the permit application. This time period could vary depending on the complexity of comments received and if action is required by a Board.

Time Frames For Application Reviews

DEQ Air Permits

  Completeness Processing of Application Public Comment Remarks
Minor Permit (10-A Permit) Issued for facilities that emit less than 100 tons per year of a regulated pollutant and that are non-controversial. 30 90   A hearing is not held if certain criteria are not met.
Major Permit (10 Permit) Issued for facilities that emit more than 100 tons per year of a regulated pollutant, or for smaller sources of a controversial or precedent-setting nature. 30 90 90* *In addition, a State Air Pollution Control Board decision, if required, may add 60 days; Federal Land Manager review may add another 30 days.
Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) Issued for facilities that emit more than 250 tons per year of any pollutant (100 tons per year for 28 specific industries). * 365 ** *Usually involves phased submittals, each with 30-day completeness review.

**Includes Federal Land Manager review, all public participation and State Air Pollution Control Board consideration, if necessary.

DEQ Water Permits

  Completeness Processing of Application Public Comment Remarks
Virginia Pollution Discharge Elimination System (VPDES) Permits Issued to sewage treatment plants and industrial wastewater plants that discharge pollutants from point sources to streams or rivers or ditches.
Major (sewage greater than or equal to 1 million gal/day and industrial discharges requiring EPA review) 14 120* 90 *Major dischargers require EPA review, which could add 90 days to processing time.
Minor (commercial, small industrial and sewage less than 1 million gal/day) 14 120 90  
General Permit - 14 -  
Virginia Pollution Abatement (VPA) Permit Issued to dischargers that do not have a point source discharge to surface waters (i.e., dischargers that land apply or recycle their waste-water/sludge). 45 120 90  
Ground Water Withdrawal (GWW) Permit Issued to owners withdrawing more than 300,000 gallons of water per month in a ground water management area. 45 120 90  
Virginia Water Protection (VWP) Permit
Individual permits 15 120 90  
General permits 15 45 N/A  

DEQ Waste Permits

  Completeness Processing of Application Public Comment Remarks
Solid Waste Landfill
Part A 30 90 -  
Part B 60 180 135* *Includes 45 days for public comment and 90 days for final decision.
Solid Waste Treatment & Storage*
Permit-by-Rule 30 - -  
Emerguency Permit - 5  30* *Public notice occurs after permit issuance.
Hazardous Waste
Treatment & Storage 60 120 135* *Includes 60 days for EPA review and 45 days for public comment.
Land Disposal 60 250 135* *Includes 60 days for EPA review and 45 days for public comment
Incineration - Trial Burn 60 250 135* *Includes 60 days for EPA review and 45 days for public comment.
Incineration - Final 60 120 135* *Includes 60 days for EPA review and 45 days for public comment.
Transportation 3 7 -  
Emergency Permits 5 10 30* *Public Notice occurs after permit issuance.

Virginia Marine Resources Commission

  Completeness Processing of Application Public Comment Remarks
Permit for Subaqueous Disturbance - 60 - 90 * *Public hearing may be required if an objection is filed with VMRC.
Permit for Tidal Wetlands and Sand Dunes - 60 - 90 60* *Public hearing is required.

Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

  Completeness Processing of Application Public Comment Remarks
Pesticide Distribution and Retail Business License - - - Licenses and Certificates are issued as soon as training and examination results are verified.
Pesticide Applicator Certification - - -
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Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000


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