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Pre-Design Meeting Process

Businesses considering establishing or expanding facilities in Utah may use DEQ’s pre-design process to assist with obtaining environmental permits quickly and efficiently. The processing of permit applications can take between 21 and 180 days, depending upon the permit(s) required. Complex and large-scale project may require additional review time.

DEQ will arrange a meeting with Division representatives to introduce the permit process, explain which permits are required, and detail pollution prevention techniques. Contacts from DEQ who attend the meeting will serve as the program contact (air, land, water permits) for the company from that point forward. Coordination of Division representative schedules requires contacting DEQ at least two weeks prior to your anticipated need for a meeting.

To set up a Pre-Design meeting, please contact Contact Eleanor Divver: (801) 536-0091

Pre-Design Meeting Preparation

To assure that the pre-design meeting is valuable to the company and to assist DEQ in determining the best suited technical experts to attend the meeting we request that the company submit an information sheet that outlines as much about waste and emissions as possible. Information that is helpful includes:

  • Proposed Site Location
  • Size of Operation
  • Significant Process’ that affect emissions and wastes
  • Number of Employees
  • Contact information of company representatives planning to attend

Permit Considerations by DEQ Division

Air Quality

Companies that pollute the air must evaluate their operations and emissions to determine if an air quality approval order is needed. Businesses generating small amounts of pollution generally will not need permits. Amounts exempted vary but range between 500 pounds and 5 tons per year.

Drinking Water

Water systems serving 25 or more people for more than 60 days yearly, or having 15 or more residential connections year-round, are subject to Utah Public Drinking Water Rules and must obtain a permit known as an approval order.

Environmental Response and Remediation

Underground storage tank owners and operators must register all tanks with this division. Petroleum tanks must have a Petroleum Storage Tank Fund Certificate of Compliance and a current year’s tank tag. Permanent tank closure requires prior approval from the division.

This division also oversees “Community Right-to-Know” law requirements that may require companies submit reports. Past environmental problems on land sections can also be checked against superfund and clean up activities for that area.

Radiation Control

Most companies or individuals that handle radioactive materials must be licensed or registered with this division. The division is responsible for the environmental monitoring/radon study, uranium mill tailings/low level waste management, materials licensing/inspection and x-ray registration/inspection programs.

Solid Waste

Individuals and companies may only dispose of or incinerate solid waste at approved facilities. Non-hazardous waste usually consists of municipal garbage, industrial waste or construction/demolition debris. New and expanding facilities must obtain permits.

Waste Tires

Transporters and recyclers are required to register with this division.

Hazardous Waste

Permits are required for those who treat, store or dispose of hazardous waste before any activities occur. If a company generates hazardous waste, they must obtain an EPA Identification number and use an approved hazardous waste collection facility for disposal. A manifest system is in place to track all hazardous waste that is transported. Companies must determine the amount of hazardous waste they will generate. This will determine their “generator” status and which rules will apply to them.

Used Oil

All companies handling used oil must obtain a permit or be registered with this division. Used oil must be disposed of properly by all companies and many used oil recycling companies are available to collect and recycle used oil from companies.

Water Quality

Several different types of permits may be required from this division depending upon a companies activities:

Waste Water Permits

Facilities that produce, treat, dispose of or otherwise discharge waste water or domestic sewage sludge may need permits.

Construction Permits

Facilities treating waste water, may need construction permits unless they discharge into a municipal sanitary sewer system.

Surface Water Discharge Permit

Discharging waste water to surface waters, including storm drains, requires a permit prior to beginning operations. Utah Pollution Discharge Elimination System (UPDES) permits are required for all industrial, municipal, and federal facilities.

Storm Water Permits

Discharge permits are required from most industries that discharge storm water runoff to surface water. Construction activities disturbing more than one surface acre also need approval.

Ground Water Permit

Any facility that discharges or may discharge pollutants to ground water needs a permit.

Underground Injection Control Permits

Regulations are in place to ensure contaminants do not escape from injection wells into useable aquifers. Some injections wells are regulated by the Division of Oil, Gas and mining in the Department of Natural Resources.

Biosolids and Animal Feeding Operations

If you are working with a company that plans on doing either of these activities, you will also want to work with Water Quality.

Other Environmental Permits

In some cases, a company may be involved in processes with environmental impacts beyond those regulated by DEQ. In this case, the pre-design program can work with the company to determine what outside agencies should also participate in the pre-design process. These include but are not limited to:

  • Army Corps of Engineers/Wetlands
  • Division of Natural Resources
  • Economic Developmentā€”State and Local
  • Energy Office
  • Fish and Wildlife/Endangered Species
  • Local Health/Environmental Health Departments
  • Oil, Gas, and Mining
  • State Trust Lands
  • Transportation
  • United State Geological Survey (USGS)
  • United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA)
  • Water Rights

Companies may also want to check with local fire departments regarding emergency evacuation plans, above ground storage tanks, etc.


Eleanor Divver, Business Assistance Coordinator: (801) 536-0091