VPDES Permits, Fees, and Regulations

Who Must Apply

Any person who discharges or proposes to discharge any pollutant into surface waters of the Commonwealth from a point source, including stormwater discharges from certain industrial facilities.  Exclusions include runoff from fields and orchards, return flows from irrigation, land disposal of pollutants permitted by other Virginia programs, and discharges into otherwise permitted treatment systems.

Point sources are categorized based on the type of discharge and volume:

  1. Major: sewage with a design volume equal to or greater than 1.0 million gallons per day and industrial discharges requiring EPA review
  2. Minor: commercial, small industrial and sewage of less than 1.0 million gallons per day
  3. General: typically small volumes of low potency pollutants

Authority for Program

Federal Clean Water Act

Virginia Code §§ 62.1-44.15 through 44.30

VPDES Permit Program Regulation (VAC 25-31)

VPDES Permit Manual

VPDES Permit Manual  (March, 2014 Version) 

Permit Term & Fees

The term of a VPDES permit may extend up to a maximum of 5 years.

The current fees for VPDES permits (Water Permit Fee Regulation, 9 VAC 25-20) are detailed below. The fee regulation was amended effective July 1, 2004 to include the fee law changes made by the 2004 General Assembly. The regulation was amended again effective January 1, 2008 to include fees for the land application of sewage sludge, and again in 2010 to modify the Annual Maintenance Fee portion of the regulation. At the June 21-22, 2010 meeting, the State Water Control Board adopted amendments to the Permit Maintenance Fees section of the Fee Regulation in 9VAC25-20-142. The amendments were made to address budget changes made by the 2010 General Assembly. The new permit maintenance fee schedule was effective August 18, 2010 and impacts the water permit annual maintenance fees for the 2010 billing year on forward.

Individual Permit Fees

  • VPDES Industrial Major:
    Issuance: $24,000; Modification: $12,000
  • VPDES Industrial Minor / No Standard Limits:
    Issuance: $10,200; Modification: $5,150
  • VPDES Industrial Minor / Standard Limits:
    Issuance: $3,300; Modification: $3,300
  • VPDES Industrial Stormwater:
    Issuance: $7,200; Modification: $3,600
  • VPDES Municipal Major:
    Issuance: $21,300; Modification: $10,650; Land Application Modification*: $1,000
  • VPDES Municipal Minor / Greater Than 100,000 gallons per day:
    Issuance: $7,500; Modification: $3,750; Land Application Modification*: $1,000
  • VPDES Municipal Minor / 10,001 to 100,000 gallons per day:
    Issuance: $6,000; Modification: $3,000; Land Application Modification*: $1,000
  • VPDES Municipal Minor / 1,001 to 10,000 gallons per day:
    Issuance: $5,400; Modification: $2,700; Land Application Modification*: $1,000
  • VPDES Municipal Minor / 1,000 gallons per day or less:
    Issuance: $2,000; Modification: $1,000
  • VPDES Municipal Minor / 1,000 gallons per day or less that includes authorization for land application or land disposal of sewage sludge:
    Issuance: $5,000; Modification: $1,000; Land Application Modification: $1,000 (The fee for modification of a VPDES permit due to changes relating to authorization for land application or land disposal of sewage sludge shall be $1000.)
  • VPDES Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation / Farming Operations Engaged in Production for Market: $0

General Permit Registration Fees

  • VPDES General / Industrial Stormwater Discharges: $500
  • VPDES General / Domestic Sewage Discharges of <= 1,000 gallons per day (9 VAC 25-110): $0
  • VPDES General / Discharges from Petroleum Contaminated Sites (9 VAC 25-120): $0
  • VPDES General / Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation, Farming Operations Engaged in Production for Market: $0
  • VPDES General / Pesticide Discharges to Surface Waters: $0
  • All other VPDES General Permits that are not described above: $600 (Note - does not include VSMP Construction and MS4 permits)

Application Process

Individual Permit Application:

  1. Contact the DEQ regional office that serves your location.
  2. Completed application must be filed at least 180 days before start of operation or before expiration of an existing permit. Permit application fees, if applicable, must be submitted at the same time that the application is submitted.
  3. Draft permit is prepared by the DEQ regional office and may be reviewed by the Virginia Department of Health (for municipal facilities), the EPA and the applicant. EPA has 30 days to object to a permit. Changes to the draft may be re-reviewed by all parties.
  4. Public notice is issued and a hearing conducted if justified.
  5. The applicant makes appeal of permit denial or permit conditions to the State Water Control Board in a hearing. Judicial review is in accordance with Virginia's Administrative Process Act.

General Permit Registration:

  1. Contact the DEQ regional office that serves your location.
  2. A complete general permit Registration Statement must be submitted prior to beginning operations at the facility, or before the expiration date of an existing general permit. See the specific general permit of interest for the exact Registration Statement submittal requirements. Permit application fees, if appropriate, must be submitted to Receipts Control at the DEQ Central Office at the same time that the Registration Statement is submitted to the Regional Office.
  3. The DEQ regional office will send the applicant a copy of the general permit and will indicate the date of coverage. The regional office will also send a copy of the Discharge Monitoring Report (DMR), if applicable.

Individual Permit Application Forms & Information

Discharges of wastewater: Detailed instructions are provided with each form. All questions should be answered. If a question does not apply, an ";NA"; (Not Applicable) should be entered to show that the question was considered.

  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Form 1 - General Information. This form provides general information needed to identify and locate the facility, determine the type of facility, the identity of the owner and the nature of the applicant's business.
  • EPA Form 2A and Instructions (corrected 04-21-10) - Treatment Works Treating Domestic Sewage. This form is used for applications for discharges from Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTWs) and all other Treatment Works Treating Domestic Sewage (TWTDS). Form 2A is in 7 parts. Parts A and C are required for ALL applicants. Dischargers with a design flow of 100,000 GPD or more must also complete Part B. If the design flow is greater than or equal to 1 MGD, or if the applicant is required to have a pretreatment program, then Parts D and E must be completed. Those TWTDS that accept process wastewater from Significant Industrial Users (SIUs) or that receive RCRA or CERCLA waste must complete Part F. If the system has combined sewer overflows (CSOs), then Part G must also be completed. Detailed instructions are provided with Form 2A. Note: federal facilities that receive 50% or more industrial waste must use Form 2C.
  • EPA Form 2B (11/08 revision) - Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations and Aquatic Animal Production Facilities. This form is used for VPDES permits for animal feeding operations that have point source discharges, such as large puppy farms. For new aquatic animal production facilities (fish farms and hatcheries), this form has been superseded by the Fish Farm Questionnaire. Concentrated animal feeding operations that are restricted by federal effluent guidelines at 40 CFR 412 are permitted under the VPA program, not the VPDES.
  • Fish Farm Questionnaire (04/11 revision) - This questionnaire is used by applicants for new or unpermitted concentrated aquatic animal production facilities, such as fish farms and hatcheries. This application is used as a substitute for EPA Forms 1 and 2B. The questionnaire will allow DEQ to decide if a VPDES permit is required. If the facility qualifies for a VPDES permit, then Form 2C must also be submitted in order for the permit to be issued. Aquatic animal production facility owners who are applying for reissuance of a VPDES permit should submit EPA Forms 1 and 2C.
  • EPA Form 2C (modified*) - Process Wastewater - Existing Manufacturing, Commercial, Mining or Silvicultural Operations. This form is used by owners of existing industrial facilities with process wastewater discharges who cannot use the other application forms. Federal facilities that receive 50% or more non-domestic waste must complete Form 2C. *EPA removed three pollutants from the Priority Pollutant list in 1981 (dichlorodifluoromethane, trichlorofluoromethane, and bis(chloromethyl) ether ), but failed to remove them from Form 2C.  The Form 2C available here has been modified to note that these three pollutants were de-listed, and that an analysis is not required for them.
  • EPA Form 2D - Process Wastewater - New Sources and New Dischargers. This form is used by industrial facilities that have new sources or are new dischargers of process wastewater. Those industrial facilities that discharge only non process wastewater not regulated by an effluent limitation guideline or new source performance standards (NSPS) should use Form 2E. Form 2D is not for use by municipal facilities or by industrial dischargers of stormwater runoff.
  • EPA Form 2E - Facilities Discharging Non-Process Wastewater. This form is used by industrial facilities which discharge only non-process wastewater not regulated by an effluent limitation guideline or new source performance standards (NSPS) (primarily noncontact cooling water). It is not for use by dischargers of stormwater runoff or by existing educational, medical, or commercial chemical laboratories. These facilities must use Form 2C or 2F.
  • EPA Form 2F - Stormwater Discharges Associated With Industrial Activity. This form is used by facilities in certain industrial categories who are applying for an individual permit for point source discharges of stormwater associated with industrial activity. Form 2F can also be used for permitting discharges of stormwater that are not included in the definition as long as the discharge is composed exclusively of stormwater. Stormwater runoff which occurs as sheet flow and does not discharge through a distinct outfall does not require completion of Form 2F or require a permit. Stormwater point source discharges can be covered by a permit that also addresses other types of wastewater discharges. Form 2F should be submitted along with Form 1, 2C, 2D or 2E if the facility has both stormwater and other types of discharges.
  • DEQ Sewage Sludge Permit Application (PDF format, Word format) and Instructions for Completing Sewage Sludge Permit Application. All Treatment Works Treating Domestic Sewage (TWTDS) are required to submit the applicable parts of the sludge application form (9 VAC 25-31-100 P). The form is divided into 4 sections. Section A is for all applicants. Section B applies to facilities that generate sludge or derive material from sludge. Section C is must be completed by any facility that land applies sludge or whose sludge is land applied by another person. Section D is for applicants who dispose of sludge in a surface disposal unit. Details on completing the form are provided in the instructions.

General Permit Regulations, Registration Forms and Information

The general permit information below is arranged by general permit type.  Unless otherwise noted, all documents are available in .pdf  format.

Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations GP (CAFOs) (VAG01)

Concrete Products Facilities GP (VAG11)

Domestic Sewage Discharges Less Than or Equal To 1,000 GPD GP (aka, Single Family Home GP) (VAG40)  

Noncontact Cooling Water Discharges of 50,000 GPD or Less GP (VAG25)

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


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