State Operating Permits

Permit Applicability

The State Operating Permit (SOP) is elective. There is not a requirement for any particular emissions unit or stationary source to get a state operating permit. State operating permits are either issued at the request of the owner or at the discretion of the Department.

How a State Operating permit is used

SOPs that are issued at the request of the owner can be used to do the following:

  1. To designate a stationary source or emissions unit as a synthetic minor or area stationary source;
  2. To combine a stationary source or emissions unit requirements under multiple permits into one permit; or
  3. To implement emissions trading requirements.

SOPs issued at the discretion of the Department can be used to do the following:

  1. To cap the emissions of a stationary source or emissions unit causing or contributing to a violation of any air quality standard; or
  2. To establish a source-specific emission standard or other requirements necessary to implement the federal Clean Air Act or the Virginia Air Pollution Control Law.

Expiration of Permit

SOPs do not expire and do not have to be renewed.

Application Fees

Sources subject to Synthetic Minor permitting requirements; see the Air Permit Application Fee Form for fee amounts.

Public Participation Requirements

SOP applications are subject to a public comment period of at least 30 days in order for the permit to be federally enforceable.

Details of the public participation requirements can be found in 9VAC5-80-1020.

Time Frames

  • Completeness review:  30 days from receipt of application 
  • Processing of application:  90 days from receiving a complete application; 180 days from receiving a complete application if public participation involving a hearing is required.

Application Process

To start the application process:

  • Fill out a complete Form 7 application. Please note that the facility only has to fill out the pages that apply. (The first page of the application states which pages need to be filled out for specific units.)
  • Detailed application requirements are located in 9VAC5-80-840.
  • Send the completed Form 7 application (with cover letter and other documents) to the appropriate regional office
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Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000


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