General Permit Questions
If operations at your facility include, but are not limited to: incinerators, industrial processes (furniture manufacturing, coating operations, wood products manufacturing, chemical, rubber, plastic and resin manufacturing, concrete batching, hot mix asphalt production, metal melting, reclamation and fabrication), fuel burning equipment (diesel engines, boiler and gas turbines depending on size and fuel type), electrical power generation, animal byproduct processes, and mineral processing operations (rock crushing and/or screening operations), or if your facility emits ten (10) tons per year or more of all aggregated criteria pollutants, then your facility needs a permit to construct and/or operate.
Permits to Construct are issued for new or modifying sources. They are a one-time permit required before commencing construction or modification.
Permits to Operate are issued to new and existing sources based on the type and quantity of pollutants that will be emitted and renewed every 5 years to keep them up-to-date with any new requirements that may have been promulgated in the interim.
For new sources, or major modification of existing sources, please see our Construction Permit Application Guidance Page.
For new and existing sources with emissions greater than ten (10) tons per year of all criteria pollutants, please see our Operating Permit Application Guidance Page.
The Department of Environmental Conservation Environmental Assistance Office
provides permit assistance
through the Permit Navigator
tool. The Permit Navigator can help you identify what environmental permits you may need for a project on a single parcel. If you have a linear, polygon, or multi-parcel project, contact a Community Assistance Specialist
to get started.
Do I need an air permit to...
The size of a boiler, and the type of fuel it burns are crucial in determining whether or not you will need to obtain a permit to install a boiler. In general, small residential hot water furnaces or heaters will not need a permit to install, however, larger units that provide steam to a process or facility will likely need a permit. Please contact the AQCD Permits & Engineering Section
to confirm permit applicability before installing a new boiler at your facility. More information can also be found on our Boiler Page
Under Vermont's Air Pollution Control Regulations, the open burning of natural wood from property maintenance, clearing of property, etc. is allowed without a permit from the Air Quality & Climate Division. More details on open burning are available from our Compliance section
Typically, we do not issue permits specifically for waste furnace units. The regulations state units less than 500,000 btu/hr are exempt from the air toxics rule but still must meet visible emission limits as well as limits on the constituents and properties of the oil itself.
In most case you will not need to obtain an air permit, or amend your current permit, to install an emergency generator. However there are still provisions of state and federal air pollution regulations that may apply. Thus prior to installation of the emergency generator you must notify the AQCD Permits & Engineering Section to ensure you are fully aware of your compliance obligations. The notification must include the following information: the make, model, engine hp rating, generator kW rating (if applicable), the year of engine manufacture, and the emission certification for the engine. This information is available on the engine nameplate(s) attached to the engine, as opposed to the generator nameplate which is attached to the generator component. A photograph of the engine nameplate(s) should be included with the notification to ensure all the information is accurately captured and submitted. The notification must also state that your intended purpose of the emergency generator is to be used for emergency use only and that you are familiar with the state and federal definitions restricting what operations are allowed for emergency generators. Generators to be used for non-emergency purposes will generally require a permit or permit amendment before installation. More information can be found on our Stationary Reciprocation Internal Combustion Engines Page
In many cases you will need to obtain a permit, or amend your current permit, before installing a paint spray booth. Spray painting and associated paint spray booths are of concern due to the volatilization of the solvents used to carry the paint solids as well as the overspray paint solids themselves and the hazardous constituents of both. A permit is required if your proposed total coating usage at the facility will result in five (5) tons per year or greater of air emissions. Yes, volatile gaseous emissions still have weight. A permit may still be required even if emissions are less than this if the coatings contain significant volatile or particulate hazardous constituents. Most auto body spray painting operations tend to be small enough as not to require a permit. You should contact the AQCD Permits & Engineering Section to confirm permit applicability before conducting spray painting operations or installing a spray booth of any size. More information can be found on our Spray Coating Operations Page
In most cases you will not
need to obtain an air permit for small gravel pits that do not conduct any aggregate crushing operations. Your operations are still required to take all reasonable precautions to prevent particulate matter dust from becoming airborne [VAPCR 5-231(4)]. This would include controlling dust from internal roads and traffic areas, from processing and handling of materials on-site such as a screen deck, from exposed windblown areas and by minimizing material tracked onto public roadways. If you can see dust be emitted into the air you should be taking all reasonable measure to control it. In the case of most new gravel pits, an Act250 permit will likely be required and the AQCD will request that the permit include a condition requiring effective dust control.
If your gravel pit or quarry will include drilling, sawing, blasting, or aggregate crushing operations then an air permit will likely be required. In some cases, the air permit may be issued directly to the crushing plant operator rather than the gravel pit or quarry owner. This may be the case when the gravel pit or quarry owner is separate from the crushing plant owner and the crushing operations are portable and temporary at the site and used for purposes of crushing up stockpiles before moving to another gravel pit or quarry. The Air Permit for the crushing plant operator may then allow the plant to operate at multiple locations to crush up stockpiles. In such a case, the gravel pit or quarry owner must take reasonable precautions to control dust from all other areas of the gravel pit or quarry. In such cases the AQCD will request that any Act 250 permit for the gravel pit or quarry include conditions requiring effective dust control and to only utilize crushing plants that are approved by the AQCD. This topic is discussed further on our Gravel Pits, Quarries, and Aggregate Crushing and Screening Plants page
In most cases, you will not need to obtain a permit to construct or operate a bulk gasoline plant or dispensing facility, however, there are still several state and federal regulations that may still apply, such as sulfur limits, tank and truck configurations, and vapor recovery systems. These requirements depend upon the total potential throughput of gasoline or fuel oils through the facility. Please see our Bulk gasoline and Dispensing Facilities webpage
for more information on applicable requirements for these facilities.
In all cases, if you plan to operate a crematory in Vermont with the sole purpose of reducing the volume and weight of human or animal remains, you will need to obtain an air permit. Crematoriums are classified as “incinerators” under [VAPCR 5-401(1)]. This topic is further discussed on our Crematories Page.
In most cases, an Air Permit to Construct will be required before installing an anaerobic digester. But permit applicability is based more on the end use of the biogas than the anaerobic digester itself. For this discussion it is assumed the digester will utilize an engine to generate electricity since the economics and incentives to date have not favored other uses for the biogas. The combustion of the biogas in an internal combustion engine, typically coupled to an electric generator, creates significantly more air pollution than burning the same gas in a boiler or flare. The emission potential varies significantly from one engine make and model to another. If you are proposing an anaerobic digester, be it a manure or food waste digester, you must contact the AQCD to determine permit applicability. Most of the farm based Cow Power digester projects were approved by the AQCD with a streamlined preconstruction permit approval process provided the projects utilized an approved cleaner burning engine and included a flare to burn the digester gas when the engine was offline. Even with a cleaner burning engine, these projects typically generate enough air pollution to also require an Air Permit to Operate where the residual emissions can be monitored and reviewed periodically. For more information, please visit our Anaerobic Digester Source Category Page.
The Air Quality and Climate Division typically does not require an Air Permit for coffee operations roasting less than 1 million pounds of green beans annually, although requirements for emission controls may still apply. For more information, please visit our Coffee Roasters Source Category Page.
An air permit is not required to install a wood stove, pellet stove, or wood-fired central heater. However, all such units sold after December 16, 2016 must be certified by the US EPA to meet clean air standards. A list of US EPA certified devices can be found here.
More information on wood stove and central heaters can be found on our Wood Stove and Central Heater page.
The quick answer is probably not. As of 2019 the Vermont Air Quality & Climate Division (AQ&CD) has only required air permits for two facilities in this sector: one for a hard cider facility (due to its large boilers) and the other for a whiskey distillery (due to aging in wooden barrels). Thus far, no breweries or wineries have been identified as needing an air permit. For more specific information please see our webpage for Breweries, Wineries and Distilleries.
The Air Quality and Climate Division typically does not require an Air Permit for media blasting, commonly called abrasives blasting or sandblasting, although sand is seldom used anymore. While an Air Permit may not be required, reasonable precautions must still be taken to minimize and control any dust generated. More information can be found on our media blasting, abrasives blasting and sandblasting webpage.
Do I need to amend an air permit in order to...
This topic is discussed in detail on the Stack Height and Rain Guard Guidance
Please contact the Agency and we will determine if your facility’s permit will need to be amended. In most cases, the Agency will amend your existing permit and re-calculate any changes in allowable emissions from the fuel switch. Regardless of the fuel type, facility-wide allowable emissions will be re-calculated using a heat input limitation, based on the heating value of the various fuels to be used, instead of a fuel volume limit. This will give your facility the flexibility to continue to burn your existing fuel type as well as your newly proposed fuel type(s).
We allow facilities to use biodiesel blends up to 20% (B20) as an equivalent fuel in either diesel engines or conventional boilers without need for permit amendments or approvals. If you plan to use a blend above 20%, please contact Tony Mathis, Permitting and Engineering Section
||Sulfur Content 3
|Liquefied Petroleum Gas
|| < 254 ppm
|No.2 Fuel Oil
|No.6 Fuel Oil
|Wood, wet 40% MC 1
|Wood, kiln dry 12% MC
|Wood, bone dry 0% MC
1 MC - moisture content as measured on a wet basis.
2 Btu/cf - British thermal unit of heat input per cubic feet of fuel. Btu/gal - British thermal unt of heat input per gallon of fuel. Btu/lb - British thermal unit of heat input per pound of wood.
3 gr/MMBtu - grains of sulfur per million British thermal units. ppm - parts of sulfur per million parts of fuel.
Contact information is available on our Contacts Page