VPA Permits, Fees, and Regulations

Who Must Apply

Any person who proposes to manage pollutants without resulting in a point source discharge to surface waters. Virginia Pollution Abatement (VPA) permits may be used to authorize land application of industrial wastes (sludge and wastewater), sewage sludge, municipal wastewater, animal wastes, or 'closed systems' that reuse and recycle wastewater. Excluded are vessels, runoff from fields (except from animal feeding operations) and orchards, return flows from irrigation, land disposal of pollutants permitted by other Virginia programs, and discharges into otherwise permitted treatment systems.

Virginia Pollution Abatement Individual and General Permits

(To view the current Regulation in its entirety: follow the link(s) in this section and then select create report at the top of the page after the regulation title, a new window will open, select submit-without entering any information-the current version of the regulation will open.)


Individual permits:  varied, maximum term of 10 years.

General permit authorizations:  maximum term of 10 years, as follows:

  • VPA Regulation and General Permit for Animal Feeding Operations and Animal Waste Management: effective November 16, 2014, expires November 15, 2024
  • VPA Regulation and General Permit for Poultry Waste Management: effective December 1, 2010, expires November 30, 2020


Regulation: Fees for Permits and Certificates, 9VAC25-20 -10 et. seq.  

Water Permit Application Fee Form  

The following permit application fees apply:

 VPA Permit Type  Issuance Fee  Modification Fee 
VPA Industrial Wastewater Operation / Land Application of 10 or More Inches Per Year  $15,000  $7,500
VPA Industrial Wastewater Operation / Land Application of less Than 10 Inches Per Year  $10,500  $5,250
VPA Industrial Sludge Operation  $7,500  $3,750
VPA Combined Sludge Operation - Industrial Sludge (excluding water treatment plant residuals) and Municipal Biosolids  $7,500  $3,750
VPA Municipal Wastewater Operation  $13,500  $6,750
VPA Municipal Sludge Operation (Biosolids) (May also include water treatment plant residuals)  $5,000  $1,000
VPA Animal Feeding Operation (Including Poultry Feeding Operations) / Farming Operations Engaged in Production for Market  $0  $0
Other VPA Permits  $750  $375

Typical Requirements of a Permit

  1. Prohibition of discharge of pollutants to surface waters.
  2. Sludge, wastewater, manure, and soil monitoring requirements.
  3. Waste storage and land application requirements.
  4. Best management practices, such as berms and buffer strips to protect surface water and groundwater.
  5. Nutrient Management Plan for land application associated withanimal feeding operations, biosolids and industrial residuals.
  6. Groundwater monitoring may be required on a case-by-case basis to detect possible contamination.

Permitting Process

Individual permits

  1. Contact the appropriate DEQ regional office for your project location.
  2. Obtain the appropriate Virginia Pollution Abatement permit application form(s) from below. Completed application must be filed along with the permit fee at least 180 days before start of construction or operation, or before expiration of existing permit.
  3. Draft permit is prepared by the DEQ regional office and may be reviewed by the Virginia Department of Health and the applicant. Revised drafts may be re-reviewed by all parties.
  4. Public notice is issued and a hearing conducted if justified.
  5. Appeal of permit denial or permit conditions is made by the applicant to the State Water Control Board in a hearing. Judicial review is in accordance with Virginia's Administrative Process Act.

General permits

Complete the registration statement form below according to the instructions and submit to the appropriate DEQ regional office.

Instructions and Forms

Application Instructions


Request for Extended Setback - In accordance with 9VAC25-32-560.B.3.e.(1) people living in the vicinity of a biosolids land application site may obtain an extended setback from the land application area, with a written request from their physician on the Extended Setback Request Form.  Please submit the completed form to a Biosolids Specialist at the DEQ Regional Office that serves the county in which you live.  Please refer to the VA DEQ Biosolids Program Contact List to determine which region you are in and obtain the contact information for the Biosolids Specialists in that region.

Biosolids Sources - In accordance with 9VAC25-32-305.D., only biosolids  from a source that has been approved by the board may be included in a permit authorizing the land application of biosolids issued or modified after September 1, 2013.  Check on the status of biosolids or other residuals sources here: Sources of Biosolids, Industrial Sludges and WTP Residuals.


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

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