Notice of construction permit
We issue a notice of construction permit to businesses to make sure Washington meets state and federal air quality requirements. A notice of construction permit limits the amount of air pollutants a business can emit. This permit is sometimes called a "pre-construction permit" because you must have one before you start construction or operate your business.
Public comment opportunities for air quality permits or orders
When we receive an application for a notice of construction air permit or a general order, we post a 15-day notice on our website. During that time, you can request that we conduct a formal 30-day public comment period. An application for a larger facility with a certain level of air pollution, or significant changes to an existing permit, may automatically trigger a 30-day public comment period.
To view current notices, applications, public comment periods, and to request a formal comment period, visit our public input and events listing page, select ‘Air Quality’ and use the filters to refine your search.
Who needs a permit
Whether your business needs a notice of construction permit depends on the equipment or its emission levels. You may need a notice of construction permit if your business is:
- Replacing or changing air pollution control equipment.
- Increasing its air pollution emissions.
Apply for a permitThe agency that issues your permit depends on the location of your business. We issue permits in the counties that do not have a local clean air agency. To apply for a permit:
- Determine if a local clean air agency issues your permit.
- If an agency other than Ecology issues your permit, contact them. Each agency has its own application and process.
- If Ecology issues your permit, contact us. We will verify if your business needs a permit.
- Read the permit application instructions.
- Fill out a SEPA checklist, if required.
- Fill out a notice of construction application.
- If your business emits toxic air pollutants, then you may have an extra level of review, called a health impact assessment.
- Send us your application and permit fee.
Some types of businesses are regulated statewide:
|Type of business||Agency||Location/phone|
|Pulp and paper mills, aluminum smelters||Ecology Industrial Section||Olympia
|Hanford||Ecology Nuclear Waste Program||Richland
|Large power plants||Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (EFSEC)||Olympia
Processing time for permits can vary significantly. The average time to complete an application is 86 days, followed by an average of 46 days to receive a decision on the application.
- Find more information about how long it takes Ecology to process and issue Notice of Construction permits.
Annual permit requirements
After a business receives a permit, most must join the registration program. A business in the registration program pays a yearly fee for the amount of air pollution listed in their permit.