ADEQ: Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, Arizona's Official Web Site
Our mission is to protect and enhance public health and the environment
Permits: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Permits

Does ADEQ provide a copying service for documents?

The ADEQ Records Center has a copy contractor; costs and the length of time required to make copies varies depending on the complexity of the document and any special handling requirements. Regional Offices can provide customers with less than ten copies for free. For larger quantities, consultants can work with bonded off-premise copying services.

Where can I get information about permits and other requirements?

Where can I get a copy of Arizona's environmental rules and statutes?

ADEQ does not produce or sell official copies of the Arizona Administrative Code. To get a copy of the Arizona Administrative Code, Title 18 (Environmental Quality), please contact:

Office of the Secretary of State
State Capitol, West Wing
1700 West Washington Street
Phoenix, Arizona 85007
(602) 542-4086 - Publications
Arizona Administrative Code

The most common print form of the statutes is the Arizona Revised Statutes, a hardbound multi-volume reference set published by the West Group. It is available at many locations throughout the state, such as courthouses, law and public libraries. A publication containing only statutes relevant to ADEQ activities is the "Arizona Laws Relating to Environmental Quality," published by West Group, which is revised annually. This book is usually prepared in the fall after the regular legislative session, and it may not contain special session or emergency legislation from the most recent session.

To purchase Arizona Revised Statutes, please contact:

State Bar of Arizona
111 West Monroe, Suite 1800
Phoenix, Arizona 85003-1742
(602) 340-7314
Arizona Revised Statutes

To purchase the Code of Federal Regulations, please contact:

Superintendent of Documents
P.O. Box 371954
Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954
(202) 512-1800
Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)

What is a general permit, and how does it differ from an individual permit?

The most common type of general permit ADEQ uses covers sources that are similar in nature and subject to similar requirements. It differs from an individual permit in that it can apply to more than one source, is usually more restrictive, but less expensive and takes a shorter amount of time to obtain coverage. When a source applies for coverage under an individual permit, it must go through its own public notice period and possibly a public hearing. General permits have already been subjected to the public notice and comment process. Thus sources that are covered by the general permit are not required to have prior public notice and public hearings.

How is "source" defined for environmental regulatory purposes?

In the Air Quality Division, a "source" can be a power plant, factory, farm, gas station, dry cleaning business, mining operation or any activity that releases pollutants into the air. Cars, trucks and other motor vehicles are considered mobile sources because they move around. Equipment, machines and consumer products that can be moved from site to site are called portable sources. Sources that stay in one place are referred to as stationary sources. See ARSĀ§ 49-401.01 for details.

In the Waste Programs Division, "source reduction"is the U.S. EPA's preferred method of waste management because it maximizes or reduces the use of natural resources at the beginning or source of an industrial process, thereby eliminating the amount of waste produced by the process. See ARS § 49-831 for details.

In the Water Quality Division,"source" means a body of water above or below the ground that supplies water to a public water system including a well, spring or surface water. A "point source" is a single discharge pipe from a wastewater treatment plant, mining operation, factory or other facility that releases pollutants into the surface water or groundwater. A "nonpoint source" is surface water runoff that causes water pollution and can be from irrigated agriculture, concentrated animal feeding operations, range lands, agriculture, urban runoff, construction, sand and gravel mining and recreation activities. See ARS § 49-201 for details.

What is meant by "waters of the state?"

"Waters of the state" means all waters in Arizona, including all perennial or intermittent streams, lakes, ponds, impounding reservoirs, marshes, watercourses, waterways, wells, aquifers, springs, irrigation systems, drainage systems, other bodies or accumulations of surface, underground, natural, artificial, or public or private water situated wholly or partly in or bordering on the state. See ARS § 49-201 for details.

What is meant by "waters of the United States?"

"Waters of the United States" means all waters that are currently used, were used in the past or may be used in the future in interstate or foreign commerce, including:

  • All waters that are subject to the ebb and flow of the tide
  • All interstate waters including interstate wetlands
  • All other waters such as intrastate lakes, rivers, streams (including intermittent streams), mudflats, sandflats, wetlands, sloughs, prairie potholes, wet meadows, playa lakes or natural ponds where the use, degradation or destruction of which would or could affect interstate or foreign commerce
  • Tributaries of waters described above; all impoundments of waters described above
  • The territorial sea
  • Wetlands adjacent to waters described above

See 40 CFR 122.2 for details.

How does ADEQ use public involvement in the permitting process?

The level of public involvement in the permitting process varies depending upon the type of permit requested. The range of public involvement activities includes public notification, holding a public meeting or hearing, and a written comment period. The contacts that are listed for each type of permit can provide information on that permit's public participation requirements and options.