Individual versus General Permits

Most MDE permits are issued as either individual permits or general permits (see list below). An individual permit is custom crafted to the specific needs of the facility while a general permit is a generic document appropriate for a specific type of activity that has similar environmental impacts. Accordingly, since the general permit has already gone through any required public participation and the conditions have already been developed, to have your activity covered under the applicable general permit takes less time than the equivalent individual permit. In addition, to obtain an individual permit, the applicant must complete a detailed form that described their activity while a general permit can be obtained by simply filling out a simple form called a “Notice of Intent to Comply” (NOI), which is a statement by the operator agreeing to abide by the terms of the permit.

The disadvantage of general permits is the operator must accept the terms of the permit as written. One can obtain a copy of all of our general permits by mail or from the Department’s website (

General Permits Issued by MDE

Air and Radiation Administration

1.01 Air Quality General Permits to Construct

  • Perchloroethylene dry cleaning equipment
  • Charbroilers and Pit barbeques
  • Small fuel burning equipment
  • Small stationary gasoline storage tanks
  • Groundwater air stripper/soil extraction systems
  • Sheetfed non-heatset lithographic printers
  • Vehicle refinishing (autobody)
  • Medium fuel burning equipment
  • Ready mix concrete batch plants

Land and Materials Administration

2.04 Natural Wood Waste Recycling Facility General Permit

2.09 Oil Control Program General Discharge Permits

  • Storm water and hydrostatic test water from oil terminals
  • Treated groundwater from oil contaminated groundwater sources

2.23 General Discharge Permits for Wastewater Discharges from Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) and Maryland Animal Feeding Operations (MAFOs)

2.24 Industrial Wastewater/Stormwater General Discharge Permits from Mining Operations

Water and Science Administration

3.02 General Discharge Permits

  • Surface coal mines
  • Mineral mines, quarries, borrow pits, ready-mix concrete and asphalt plants
  • Seafood processors
  • Hydrostatic testing of tanks and pipelines
  • Marinas
  • Swimming pools

3.03 General Discharge Permit for Stormwater Associated with Industrial Activity

3.23 Permit for Stormwater Associated with Construction Activity

3.24 Municipal Separate Storm Sewer General Permits

  • Local Governments
  • State and federally owned storm drain systems

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