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Title Office of External Affairs

Permit Assistance

Environmental Permitting Overview

  1. Introduction

    The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) was created in 1993 with specific statutory language directing the agency to be customer friendly. Over the past two decades DEQ’s Customer Assistance Program (CAP) has lived up to that directive. In particular, the CAP has established itself as a leader in the country at providing permitting assistance. DEQ has become proficient at not only helping business, industry and local government understand what environmental permits they need, but also in helping them secure the permits in the most efficient way possible. In 2014 CAP became part of DEQ’s Office of External Affairs (OEA) and will continue to be focused on customer service.

    DEQ has been delegated authority from EPA for permitting programs in air, storm water, wastewater, public water supply and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). Applications will be filed with DEQ to obtain permits from these programs. Some entities may require multiple permits to construct and operate a new facility and can benefit from an OEA designated permit representative. The OEA designee can serve as a single point of contact to help entities determine what environmental permits are needed, coordinate meetings with DEQ permit writers and the applicant, and track the progress of the permitting process to ensure it proceeds in an efficient manner. In many cases the OEA representative will suggest an initial meeting for facility representatives with DEQ’s Permit Assistance Team. This meeting will provide an opportunity to review permitting needs and likely scenarios for issuance in an effort to establish realistic construction and operating timelines for new facilities.

    DEQ Contact:

    If you would like assistance with permitting or have other questions related to Customer Assistance or the OEA, please contact Lloyd Kirk, Director of External Affairs at 405-702-5131 or 405-702-5100. His email address is Please mail documents to Attn: Lloyd Kirk, Director of External Affairs, Office of the Executive Director, PO Box 1677 Oklahoma City, OK 73101-1677.

  2. Air Quality Division

    1. Air Permits

      Construction and operating permits for air emissions may be required for many operations. Minor source Tier I, major source Tier II and PSD Tier III requirements are found in DEQ rules at 252:4-7 at

      1. Permit Exempt – A facility would not need an air permit if the Potential to Emit (PTE) is below major source levels (100 tons/year of any criteria pollutant and 10 TPY of any individual hazardous air pollutant and 25 TPY of all HAPs combined), actual emissions of each criteria pollutant are below 40 TPY, and the facility is not subject to any emission standard, equipment standard, or work practice standard, under New Source Performance Standard (NSPS) or National Emission Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP).
      2. Minor Source Permit – A minor source permit is needed if a facility does not qualify as Permit Exempt. Minor source permits are processed as Tier I permits with no public review. These permits are typically issued in 1-4 months but can be processed in as little as 2 weeks depending upon the need of the facility and the quality of the application.
      3. Major Source Permit – A major source permit is required if the facility does not qualify under the lower categories. Major source permits are processed as Tier II permits and require 30-day public review of the draft permit and 45-day EPA review of the proposed permit. These are typically issued in 6-9 months but timelines vary depending on the company need, facility complexity and application quality.
      4. PSD-Major Sources – PSD-major sources are large major sources with permitted criteria emissions above 250 TPY (this level can be 100TPY if it is a designated source type as classified by EPA). PSD-major source construction permits are processed as Tier III permits and require 30-day public review of the draft, 45-day EPA and 20-day public review of the proposed permit. These permits are typically issued in 9-12 months.

        Certain construction activities are allowable prior to issuance of a Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permit in air. The following table identifies these activities for both types of sources.

        Prior to Issuance of a PSD Permit
        Allowable Activities Prohibited Activities (costly, significantly alter the site, or permanent in nature)
        Planning Installation of building supports, retaining walls, and foundations
        Ordering of equipment and materials Paving
        Site-clearing Laying of underground pipe work
        Grading Construction of permanent storage structures
        Installing forms and rebar Pouring concrete
        On-site storage of equipment and materials Excavating (includes blasting, removing rock and soil, and backfilling)
        Construction on something that is not necessary for the PSD emissions unit to operate in accordance with its original intent Construction of any emissions unit that is an integral part of the new PSD source or modification, i.e., the new source or modification would not serve in accordance with its original intent except for inclusion of the emissions unit

        Prior to Issuance of a PSD Permit
        Allowable Activities Prohibited Activities
        Anything allowed for PSD permits, plus any construction that is not directly related to actually building the emissions unit Construction of the emissions unit such that the unit could be made operational

        The full air permitting rules may be found at
        A fact sheet which describes the air permitting process may be found at

  3. Water Quality Division
    1. Stormwater Permits
      1. Construction – A construction storm water permit will be required if the project will disturb one (1) or more acres.

        The NOI form for storm water discharges associated with construction can be found here:

      2. Industrial - Facilities wishing to discharge storm water associated with industrial activities must obtain coverage under the storm water multi-sector general permit.

        The NOI form for storm water discharges associated with industrial activity can be found here:

        Storm water permit authorizations are typically issued within 14-30 days.

    2. Wastewater

      1. Wastewater Pretreatment Permit