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Skip Navigation LinksDNREC : Division of Air Quality : DAQ Permitting FAQs

Air Permitting Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


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Question: Why do I need an air permit?
The Division of Air Quality (DAQ) Section is responsible for ensuring that the State of Delaware’s air meets State and Federal Air Quality Standards that were created to protect public health and the environment.  In order to meet these obligations, Delaware law requires that any owner or operator of equipment or processes which have the potential to discharge air contaminants into the atmosphere must report and obtain written approval from DAQ in the form of a permit to construct or a permit to operate. An air contaminant is defined as particulate matter, dust, fumes, gas, mist, smoke or vapor.  These permits are designed to help owners and operators understand how to operate their equipment according to State and Federal Air Regulations.

Q. How do I know if my equipment or process emits air contaminants and whether I need a permit?
A. DAQ rules and regulations apply to both large and small businesses whose operations emit air pollutants. Operations or equipment that usually require a permit include, but are not limited to: 

  • Solvent cleaning (degreasing)
  • Chromium electroplating
  • Coating of metal parts or products
  • Coating of plastic parts or products
  • Chemical manufacturing operations
  • Dry materials handling - such as concrete and aggregate plants
  • Auto body refinishing
  • Wood furniture manufacturing and/or coating operations
  • Graphic arts operations (print shops)
  • Gasoline stations or any gasoline dispensing facility
  • Storage of organic liquids
  • Combustion equipment such as boilers and stationary internal combustion engines including generators
  • Dry cleaning
  • Solid waste disposal sites
  • Contaminant soil/water remediation projects
  • Plating operations
  • Air pollution control equipment such as scrubbers, cyclones, baghouses (fabric filters), and thermal oxidizer
  • Equipment without a control device that emits equal to or greater than ten pounds per day of air contaminants
  • Equipment with a control device in which the inlet to the control device is equal to or greater than ten pounds per day of air contaminants

If you are unsure of what your equipment emits, please contact:
Divison of Air Quality
Engineering & Compliance Branch
  Dover Office: (302) 739-9402
  New Castle Office: (302) 323-4542

Q. When do I need to apply for an air permit or permit modification?
Any equipment that emits or controls air contaminants requires an air permit from DAQ prior to construction or installation of new equipment, or modification or operation of existing equipment. For a general idea, permits or permit modifications are needed:

  • Before installing new equipment or processes that may release or control air contaminants;
  • Before modifying existing permitted equipment or changing a permitted process;
  • Before an existing permitted facility changes ownership;
  • Before existing permitted equipment is relocated to a new address;
  • When a permitted facility wishes to modify a permit condition, including changing its permitted emissions;
  • When new regulations are promulgated that require permitting or impact permitted equipment or processes.

DAQ recommends that an owner or operator apply for a permit as early in the project as possible.  It is a good idea to meet with an air permitting engineer or scientist before submitting a final permit application.  This Draft Application Review Meeting ensures that the final application will be complete.  To schedule a Draft Application Review Meeting, contact your assigned air permitting engineer or scientist.  If you do not have an assigned air permitting engineer or scientist, contact the Dover office at (302) 739-9402.

Q. How do I apply for an air permit?
Instructions on how to apply for an air permit can be found at: 

Permit forms can be found at:

Q. Will I have to pay a permit fee?
Yes. Applicants must pay a permit fee and an advertising fee to advertise their permit application in the newspaper. More information on fees can be found at:

More Air Permitting FAQs

For more information contact: 

Engineering and Compliance
(302) 323-4542

Revised: 06/15/2016

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