Environmental Permits and Licenses

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What Are Environmental Permits and Licenses?

In order to set up or operate a business, you may need to obtain various permits or licenses. The permits you may need will depend on your industry and how and where you operate a business. Some of these permits function specifically to regulate environment impacts.

Environmental licenses might cover areas such as emissions or the disposal or use of certain materials or substances. In general, these licenses function to regulate the pollution or prevent the destruction of natural resources.

Who Issues Environmental Licenses and Permits?

The city, county, or state that you operate in usually issues environmental licenses. In addition, you may reside in an area with regional agencies or districts that also require a permit. These agencies might regulate air quality, ground water, or other environmental aspects that affect a certain region.

Federal permits may also apply, particularly in regards to navigable waters, federal and tribal lands, transportation.

What Types of Environmental Licenses Are There?

Environmental licenses cover a variety of activities at all levels of government. Whether or not you will need to apply for one depends on your business’ industry and activities. Some common licenses cover the following areas:

What Are the Penalties for Not Having a License?

If you engage in activities that require a license or permit, you may be violating a state, local, or federal law. Such violations may incur severe monetary penalties in addition to criminal prosecution.

Should I Talk to an Attorney?

If you have been charged with a criminal or civil penalty for failing to have an environmental permit, an attorney can help defend you and your case. Alternatively, if you are starting a new business, a business attorney can help you determine which permits you should apply for, ensuring that your business is properly formed.

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Last Modified: 02-12-2014 11:06 AM PST

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