Major New Source Review (NSR) Permits

Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD)

Permit Applicability

Any person or entity within Virginia intending to construct a new air pollution source; or to modify, relocate or reactivate an existing source that will emit 250 tons per year of any regulated pollutant or combination of regulated pollutants; or are one of 28 specific industries listed below and will emit 100 tons per year of a regulated pollutant.

  1. Fossil fuel-fired steam electric plants of more than 250 million Btu per hour heat input
  2. Coal cleaning plants with thermal dryers
  3. Kraft pulp mills
  4. Portland cement plants
  5. Primary zinc smelters
  6. Iron and steel mill plants
  7. Primary aluminum ore reduction plants
  8. Primary copper smelters
  9. Municipal incinerators capable of charging more than 250 tons of refuse per day
  10. Hydrofluoric acid plants
  11. Sulfuric acid plants
  12. Nitric acid plants
  13. Petroleum refineries
  14. Lime plants
  15. Phosphate rock processing plants
  16. Coke oven batteries
  17. Sulfur recovery plants
  18. Carbon black plants (furnace process)
  19. Primary lead smelters
  20. Fuel conversion plants
  21. Sintering plants
  22. Secondary metal production plants
  23. Chemical process plants
  24. Fossil fuel boilers (or combinations thereof) totaling more than 250 million Btu per hour heat input
  25. Petroleum storage and transfer units with a total storage capacity exceeding 300,000 barrels
  26. Taconite ore processing plants
  27. Glass fiber processing plants
  28. Charcoal production plants

Legal Authority

  • Federal Clean Air Act
  • Virginia Code Section 10.1-1300 et. seq.
  • Virginia Administrative Code 9 VAC 5-50-10 et seq., 9 VAC 5-60-10 et seq. and 9 VAC 5-80-20 et seq.

Expiration of Permit

The permit remains in effect until further modifications are made, the source is relocated or the permit is replaced by an operating permit.

Application Fees

See the Air Permit Application Fee Form for the fee amount.

Public Participation Requirements

One or more public hearings are required in all cases. Applicant is required to publish a newspaper notice of the project and to conduct a public information meeting.

Time Frames

Review of application may take up to 12 months. Time frames for processing of applications provide more information.

Typical requirements of a permit

Stationary sources in a PSD area must be designed so that any additional emissions will not exceed the increment of pollution allowed for the area. Provisions required for a minor source permit would also be required as a minimum.

Application Process

Contact the appropriate DEQ regional office for your location. To be considered complete an application must:

  • Demonstrate that the design incorporates the 'best available control technology' or BACT.
  • Present evidence that local zoning requirements are satisfied.
  • One year of meteorological and air quality data; needed for detailed analyses of probable existing air quality, visibility, soils and vegetation. Some or all of the necessary data may be available in some areas of the state, while it may need to be collected by the applicant in others. Extensive predictive modeling of emissions from both proposed and existing sources must be provided by the applicant using pre-approved procedures.
  • Include proof of application fee paid.

Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) Manual - Draft

New major Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) sources and major modifications to existing PSD sources are required to undergo major new source review and obtain a permit before commencing construction.The purpose of  this manual is to assist air permitting staff in performing the major new source review in accordance with 9 VAC 5 Chapter 80, Part II, Article 8.

Nonattainment Permits

Permit Applicability:

Nonattainment permits are required by any major new source that is being constructed in a nonattainment area and is major for the pollutant for which the area is in nonattainment. Nonattainment permitting requirements may also be triggered if an existing minor source makes a modification that results in the facility being major for the pollutant for which the area is in nonattainment.  A major source is any source with potential to emit over 250 tpy of a single criteria pollutant or is in one of the listed source categories under 9VAC5-80-2010 and the potential to emit over 100 tpy of any criteria pollutant.  However, if any area is in nonattainment for a specific pollutant, the major source threshold may be lower for that pollutant.  For example, sources locating in the Northern Virginia Ozone Nonattainment Area which are part of the Ozone Transport Region would be a major source if they have the potential to emit more than 100 tpy of NOx and/or 50 tpy of VOC regardless of source category.  Nonattainment permits do not require an air quality analysis but require a source to control to the Lowest Achievable Emission Rate (LAER) and to obtain offsets.

Nonattainment NSR Manual - Draft

New major sources and major modifications to existing major sources in nonattainment areas or in the Ozone Transport Region (OTR) are required to undergo nonattainment major new source review (nonattainment NSR) and obtain a permit before commencing construction.The purpose of this  manual is to assist air permitting staff in performing the nonattainment NSR in accordance with 9 VAC 5 Chapter 80, Part II, Article 9.

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Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000


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