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How to Apply for Air Permits

A permit application is required for each facility that emits air pollution, unless the facility qualifies for a permit exemption. However, some air permit exemptions also require an application. For more information on permit options, visit Air Permit Options.

Application checklists, which contain all information that must be submitted when applying for an air pollution control permit or exemption, including links to application forms, helpful tips and submittal instructions, can be found on the Air Permit and Compliance Forms page.

Construction Permits

Construction permit applications and construction permit exemption determination requests have initial application fees. The application process and payment structure is explained on the construction tab of the Air Permit Options page.

Operation Permits

Operation permit applications and operation permit exemption determination requests do not have initial application fees. There are three types of operation permits: registration operation permits (ROPs), general operation permits (GOPs) and source-specific operation permits.

  • ROPs and GOPs have specific application forms for each permit type available.
  • Source-specific (e.g., exemption, operation permit, construction permit) applications always require the use of Form 4530-100. Depending on what is being applied for, other "source specific" forms may be required. Please read the form-by-form instruction [PDF] for additional information.

Operation permit renewals

An operation permit renewal application is only required for operation permits with an expiration date on the cover page.

Please refer to the renewal page for instructions on how to submit an operation permit renewal application to the department.

Permit exemptions

Some activities and types of facilities or operations are exempt from needing a construction permit or an operation permit. If a facility determines it is exempt, in most cases, a formal exemption application is not required and the facility can simply submit an application to revise their existing operation permit to incorporate the exempt activity and proceed with the project. Because of the complexities of the exemption regulations and the compliance concerns over constructing without a permit, most facilities apply for a formal exemption determination from the department. Use Form 4530-100 to apply for exemptions.

Importantly, there are several types of exemptions where a formal application must be submitted to and determination made by the department before a project can proceed:

  • research and testing exemptions under ch. NR 406.04(1)(i), Wis. Adm. Code;
  • 10-ton exemption from construction permitting under ch. NR 406.04(1q), Wis. Adm. Code;
  • 10-ton exemption from operation permitting under ch. NR 407.03(1m), Wis. Adm. Code, where facility-wide emissions exceed reporting thresholds in ch. NR 438, Wis. Adm. Code and/or the facility has applied for or has been issued a facility-wide operation permit; and
  • natural minor exemption under ch. NR 407.03(1s), Wis. Adm. Code.

Application forms for all types of air pollution control permits are available in Adobe PDF and Microsoft Word on the air permit and compliance forms page.

The air permit options page has application process information for construction permit, operation permit, registration (ROP), general (GOP) and exemption applications.

Submittal instructions

Submit all completed air permit materials to the department using either Option 1 or Option 2 below. Do not submit application materials to a regional office or to any specific permit writer or compliance inspector. Contact Megan Corrado with questions on the air permit application submittal process.

Option 1
Email ONE ELECTRONIC COPY* to [or for registration permits, to]


Mail ONE HARD COPY to the following address:

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Air Program, AM/7
Attn: Construction Permits (and/or Operation Permits, as appropriate)
PO Box 7921
Madison WI 53707-7921

Option 2
Mail TWO HARD COPIES to the following address:

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Air Program, AM/7
Attn: Construction Permits (and/or Operation Permits, as appropriate)
PO Box 7921
Madison WI 53707-7921

*Note: The electronic copy counts as one of the two copies that are required by rule.

Resources for Applying

Additional Information