DEEP: How Do I Apply For A Permit Fact Sheet

How Do I Apply For A Permit?
An Environmental Permitting Fact Sheet

It is the policy of the State of Connecticut "to conserve, improve and protect its natural resources and environment and to control air, land and water pollution in order to enhance the health, safety and welfare of the people of the State".

The Commissioner of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) carries out this policy by regulating activities that may impact the state's natural resources and environment. A primary means of regulating these activities is through the issuance of permits that control the activity in a manner that is protective of the environment. Therefore, if your activity might in some way impact the environment or the state's natural resources, you will likely need to apply for and obtain a permit. Moreover, in the event of a complex project, you may need to obtain several permits.

Connecticut DEEP administers twenty-nine different permitting programs, each of which protects the state's resources by regulating the emission of pollutants, facility operations, and land use activities. To assist you in identifying the specific permits needed for your activity, DEEP has prepared a series of fact sheets describing each permit program. Remember, it is your responsibility to ensure that all required permits are obtained.

The department has developed expedited and short processes to facilitate the permitting of certain minor activities in some programs. For more information on the activities covered, and the way these short processes function, see the fact sheet entitled Short Permit Processes (DEP-FS-003). For all other activities, an individual permit is required. The process of applying for and obtaining an individual permit may differ slightly from program to program, but almost all programs follow the generic process depicted below:

{Permit Application Flowchart}

In some cases, it may be appropriate to request a pre-application meeting with DEEP staff. These pre-application meetings may be helpful in identifying any application requirements unique to your project. The department has developed a pre-application questionnaire as an aid to help a potential applicant assemble the necessary information prior to contacting DEEP. If you have any questions regarding the permitting process, or need further information, please contact the DEEP Ombudsman at 860-424-3003.

To initiate the permit application process, you must submit a complete permit application form including all required documentation and any applicable fees. After submission, the applicant must publish notice of the application in a newspaper of general circulation in the affected area and submit a copy of the notice to the department.

The department, upon receipt of your application, will perform an Initial review to determine if all the necessary items (complete form, compliance information, fee, etc.) have been submitted and will notify you whether or not the application is sufficient. If the department notifies you that your application is insufficient, you should make every effort to respond promptly to the notice. The department will not process an insufficient application, and may reject an insufficient application, requiring you to reapply with a new filing fee. Once your application is determined to be sufficient, it is moved on to the technical review stage. During technical review of an application, the staff will determine if the proposed activities meet the applicable standards for the activity to be permitted. In making this determination, it is often necessary for department staff to request clarification or additional information from you in order to fully evaluate the environmental impact of the proposed activity.

After technical review, a tentative determination is made by the department as to whether a permit should be issued. If the tentative determination is to grant the permit, the department staff will draft a permit. Notice of the department's tentative determination is published and a period of time is allowed for public comment. A public hearing may be held on the application before an impartial hearing officer, who will subsequently draft a proposed decision. After an opportunity for oral argument before the Commissioner, a final decision on your application will be issued. In most cases, where no comments are received, the process proceeds directly to the final decision stage and a permit is issued. Note: only a small percentage of applications processed must go through the administrative hearing process. For more information, see the Public Participation (DEP-FS-005) fact sheet.

After your permit becomes effective, you as the applicant/permittee must comply with the terms and conditions of that permit. Please carefully read your permit and any statutes and regulations that apply. Remember, violations of a permit may expose the permittee to civil and criminal sanctions.

For more information on this and other fact sheets, please contact:

PERMIT ASSISTANCE OFFICE
DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
79 ELM STREET
HARTFORD, CT 06106-5127

860-424-3003

This overview is designed to answer general questions and provide basic information. You should refer to the appropriate statutes and regulations for the specific regulatory language of the different permit programs. This document should not be relied upon to determine whether or not an environmental permit is required. It is your responsibility to obtain and comply with all required permits.

Fact Sheet: DEP-FS-001
Content Last Updated on October 11, 2012

Users Guide to Environmental Permits