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Short Permit Processes
An Environmental Permitting Fact Sheet


The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) has developed expedited and short processes to facilitate the permitting of minor activities in its major permit programs. These processes include general permits, Certificates of Permission (COP), and temporary and emergency authorizations.

General Permits

DEEP has the authority to issue general permits in most major program areas including the air, water, and waste programs. This authority allows the Commissioner to develop and issue a single permit to cover similar minor activities throughout a prescribed geographic area. A general permit sets terms and conditions for conducting an activity that, when complied with, are protective of the environment. There are three basic types of general permits or ways of authorizing activities using a general permit. Under the first type, a person conducting an activity described in a general permit may initiate the activity without prior registration (some of these permits may require later registration). A second type of general permit requires registration prior to initiation of the activity (this registration frequently requires certification of a professional engineer). The third type of general permit requires DEEP approval prior to initiation of the activity. In some cases, this approval will contain site-specific conditions in addition to those already contained in the general permit. In almost every case, general permits are a quicker and more cost effective way to permit minor activities for both the Department and the applicant.

For a list of activities covered by general permits, see the List of General Permits (DEP-FS-004) fact sheet. If you have any questions regarding the eligibility of an activity, please contact the appropriate program staff or the DEEP Permit Assistance Office (See the Sources of Information (DEP-FS-006) fact sheet for program phone numbers).

Certificates of Permission

COP's are certificates issued for certain minor activities involving dredging, erection of structures, or fill in any tidal, coastal or navigable waters of the state in accordance with sections 22a-359 through 22a-363h of the Connecticut General Statutes (CGS). The specific activities eligible under this program are listed in CGS section 22a-363b and include: substantial maintenance and minor alterations or amendments of authorized or pre-jurisdiction structures, fill, obstructions and encroachments; maintenance dredging of maintained permitted dredged areas; removal of derelict structures and vessels; and other enumerated minor activities. If you have any questions regarding the eligibility of your planned activity, please contact our Office of Long Island Sound Programs at 860-424-3034. The COP process involves the filing of a simplified application form and application fee. Applicants for a COP receive a response from the Commissioner within 45 days of the application submittal date, and a decision on the application no later than 90 days after the date of submission.

Emergency and Temporary Authorizations

CGS section 22a-6k authorizes DEEP to issue emergency and temporary authorizations for certain activities. Additionally, CGS section 22a-363d authorizes DEEP to issue emergency authorizations for activities subject to the Structures, Dredging and Fill Regulatory Program. Emergency authorizations are limited to situations that pose an imminent threat to human health or the environment. These authorizations can be issued quickly and will contain conditions appropriate for the activity. Temporary authorizations are only available for activities for which the Department has been authorized to issue general permits and are relatively short in duration (i.e., less than 30 days). Temporary authorization may only be re-authorized once for a maximum of 30 additional days in any twelve month period.

Contact Information

Permit Assistance Office
Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
79 Elm Street
Hartford, CT 06106-5127

This overview is designed to answer general questions and provide basic information. You should refer to the appropriate statutes and regulations for the specific regulatory criteria of the different permit programs. This document should not be relied upon to determine whether or not an environmental permit is required. It is your responsibility to obtain and comply with all required permits.

Fact Sheet DEP-FS-003

Users Guide to Environmental Permits

Content Last Updated on March 3, 2020