Office for Regulatory Innovation and Assistance Logo
Information Center (800) 917-0043 or help@oria.wa.gov

Regulatory Handbook -> Air Quality Permits -> Air Quality Notice of Construction (NOC) Permit

Air Quality Notice of Construction (NOC) Permit

What is the Purpose of this Permit?
The Department of Ecology (Ecology) issues a Notice of Construction (NOC) permit to businesses to make sure Washington meets state and federal air quality requirements. An NOC 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.
Who Issues this Permit?
Variable: See notes/comments for more information.
What Activities Require this Permit?
An NOC permit is required to install a new source of air pollution or modify an existing source of air pollution (either an increase or decrease in emissions). A NOC Application is also required to install, replace, or a change to the air pollution control equipment installed on an existing source of air pollution, unless the source or activity is exempt.

To determine if your project is exempt, contact the permitting authority for your area. Be prepared to provide a detailed description of your project.
How Much Will this Permit Cost?
Application review fees vary, depending on the type and complexity of the project and the time it takes Ecology to review the project. Projects that are more complicated pay higher fees. Please see the permit application for fee information.
https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/publications/SummaryPages/ECY070410.html
Where Can I Get the Application for this Permit?
The application which is called 'Notice of Construction Application' is online and can be accessed at https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/publications/summarypages/ecy070410.html.
Do I Need to Include Anything with my Application?
Please see the instructions for more information: https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/publications/SummaryPages/ECY070410A.html
Is the Decision on my Permit Dependent on Anything Besides the Information in my Application?
When making the decision on your permit, Ecology will consider the applicable laws and rules, the contents of your application, and the background environmental conditions.

Before Ecology can approve an NOC permit, your project must go through the State Environmental Policy Act review process.
How Long Will it Take to Review my Application?
Review time depends on how complete the application is and the type and complexity of the project.

Generally, Ecology takes two to six months to issue a final permit. Within 30 days of receiving your application, Ecology will notify you if you must submit additional information. Ecology will issue a draft permit decision within 60 days of determining the application is complete. All permit applications require a 15-day web notice. If a formal public comment period is required or requested, the draft permit decision will undergo a 30-day comment period. Ecology will issue a final NOC permit as soon as possible after the public comment period is closed. If there is no formal public comment period, Ecology will issue a final permit determination within 60 days of determining the application is complete.
Where do I Submit my Application?
If your project is located in Adams, Asotin, Chelan, Columbia, Douglas, Ferry, Franklin, Garfield, Grant, Kittitas, Klickitat, Lincoln, Okanogan, Pend Oreille, San Juan, Stevens, Walla Walla or Whitman County, send your application permits to:

    Washington Department of Ecology
    Cashiering Unit
    PO Box 47611
    Olympia, WA 98504-7611

If your project is located in Benton, Clallam, Clark, Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, Island, Jefferson, King, Kitsap, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, Pierce, Skagit, Skamania, Snohomish, Spokane, Thurston, Wahkiakum, Whatcom, or Yakima County, select the appropriate local clean air agency for information about Notice of Construction Permits in your county.
Schematic:
View the schematic
How Long is my Permit Valid?
The permit is valid for the lifetime of the permitted pollution source. Changes to the pollution source (either an emission increase or decrease) or the addition of new equipment in a facility may trigger the need for a new NOC permit.
What is the Appeal Process for the Permit?
You have a right to appeal a permit decision to the Pollution Control Hearings Board (PCHB) within 30 days of the date of receipt of the permit. The appeal process is governed by Chapter 43.21B RCW and Chapter 371-08 WAC. “Date of receipt” is defined in RCW 43.21B.001(2).

You must also comply with other applicable requirements in Chapter 43.21B RCW and Chapter 371-08 WAC.

Read the Pollution Control Hearings Board Appeal Process web page for more details.

If the Ecology issued the permit, please contact the issuing office to discuss the decision on your permit.

If a local clean air agency issued the permit, contact that office directly (see notes/comments).
Notes / Comments:
Who issues this permit?
The agency that issues these permits varies by location.

The Department of Ecology issues the permits in the following counties:
  • Ecology Central Regional Office - Chelan, Douglas, Kittitas, Klickitat, Okanogan Counties
  • Ecology Eastern Regional Office - Adams, Asotin, Columbia, Ferry, Franklin, Garfield, Grant, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Stevens, Walla Walla, Whitman Counties
  • Ecology Northwest Regional Office - San Juan County


For all other counties the agency that issues these permits varies, it would be one of the following:
  • The local clean air agency
  • Tribes protect air quality in Indian country, with technical assistance from EPA.


Permit Application:
If the Department of Ecology issues the permit, use Ecology’s application. If a local clean air agency issues the permit, contact them for their application.

If you need help, the statewide contact listed below is a good resource.
Permit Timeliness Results

Permit Timeliness data collection is in response to a State Auditor’s Performance Audit and RCW 43.42A. Each regulatory agency developed a plan to improve permit clarity, predictability, and timeliness. Each agency considers the customers experience to ensure permit assistance is simple to use, easy to access, and designed in a customer-friendly manner. Agencies report progress to the Governor’s Office for Regulatory Innovation and Assistance (ORIA). ORIA prepares and distributes reports, with participation from the State Auditor’s Office and Results Washington. See latest report here: https://www.oria.wa.gov/ORIA-2018-PermitTimelinessProgressReport.pdf.

All permits submitted for reporting were entered into this Regulatory Handbook. Here are the results of the performance data:

Estimated Time Required By the Agency to Process a Permit Application (Definition)
Average number of days from Receipt to Complete: 54
Maximum number of days from Receipt to Complete: 648

Estimated Time Required By the Agency to Issue a Permit Decision (Definition)
Average number of days from Complete Application to Decision: 67
Maximum number of days from Complete Application to Decision: 718

(Summary results based on 37 submittals in 2020)

Where can I get permitting assistance?
Subject matter expert phone: Contacts vary by location, see notes/comments for link to contacts table.
Statewide Contact:
Department of Ecology
Air Quality Program
Headquarters
300 Desmond Drive
PO Box 47600
Olympia, WA 98504-7600
Telephone: (360) 407-6800
Fax: (360) 407-7534
Website: http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/air/airhome.html
* Permit information last updated 2/12/2020
[v2]
© 2021 Governor's Office for Regulatory Innovation and Assistance