PUB98 - Introduction

Department of Natural Resources fact sheet
Department of Natural Resources Director: Carol S. Comer


Do I need a permit?
If you’re seeking an environmental permit, registration or certification for your business, school, community, or activity, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources’ Pemit Assistant can help! This tool is designed to help users determine what type of environmental permits they need and provide the forms to apply for these permits. This easy-to-use tool will ask you a few simple questions to determine your needs. The Pemit Assistant is available online.

Why are permits important?
Permits help ensure environmental standards are met so Missourians can continue to enjoy healthy air, safe drinking water, clean streams and usable soil. After a permit is issued other tools such as compliance assistance, inspection and enforcement, come into play to protect or enhance Missouri’s environment and to protect the health of the state’s citizens.

If a project involves federal funds or has federal agency involvement, a Section 106 review is needed to protect cultural and historical resources. Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act requires a review of all projects that involve properties or geographical areas presently on or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.

The term permitting includes a variety of activities including permits, certifications, licenses and registrations.

We can help!
Read this publication thoroughly if you are planning an activity that could affect the state’s air, water, land, mineral, or cultural resources. Then contact the Missouri Department of Natural Resources about the permits you may need. Help is available through our offices located throughout Missouri (The phone numbers are listed at the end of this introduction). Staff are available to meet with you before an application is submitted to help ensure a complete application is submitted. A map and list of the department’s regional offices is available online or call 800-361-4827.

How do I apply for a permit?
Most environmental permits require you to submit an application, a filing fee and supporting documentation. The specific requirements and procedures for each type of permit vary depending on the state and federal laws and the related rules. Many applications forms are available online.

Supporting documentation may include engineering reports, plans and specifications prepared by a registered professional engineer, geological evaluations or reclamation plans. Other required supporting materials may include performance bonds, financial assurance instruments, preconstruction modeling or monitoring.

Department staff will review your application after it’s submitted. As a general rule, it takes longer to process complex projects or those that affect several environmental areas, such as permits involving both air and water resources.

How can I help speed up the review process?
Make sure the application is complete. If the department must request additional information, the permit review is suspended, and no further action is taken until the required information is received. Be sure to allow for review time and submit your application well in advance of anticipated work or deadlines.

What about public participation requirements?
At some point in the review process, many permits have a public participation requirement. A public notice is published, and a public hearing may be held to provide citizens an opportunity to comment about a proposed permit. The public comment period varies but is usually 30 to 90 days. After receiving comments from the public, the department may modify a permit or request additional information from an applicant. In addition, commissions associated with the department also must approve some permits.

When you receive your permit...
Each permit issued by the department is a legal document. In applying for and accepting a permit, you agree to abide by its terms and conditions. When you receive a permit read it carefully to look for errors. If you have questions about your permit, call your nearest regional office or the program that issued the permit. After you have read and understand the permit, make sure those who use it most read it and keep it readily available.

What should I do after I receive the permit?
Again, be sure to keep the permit readily available. Department staff will conduct inspections to determine if your business is in compliance with permit conditions. Remember, state and federal environmental laws provide severe penalties for violating the requirements of the law or permit conditions, and for failing to obtain a permit when one is required.

Can I transfer permits?
If you are selling or buying a facility that has environmental permits, sometimes these permits can be easily transferred from seller to buyer without going through the entire permitting process. For information about permit transfers call the department at 800-361-4827 or visit Guide to Missouri Department of Natural Resources Permit Transfers (PUB541).

For further assistance
You may contact any of our offices in the department at the following phone numbers. A map and list of the department’s regional offices is available online or call 800-361-4827. The offices listed below are located in Jefferson City unless otherwise noted.

Division of Environmental Quality
Air Pollution Control, 573-751-4817
Hazardous Waste, 573-751-3176
Solid Waste Management, 573-751-5401
Water Protection Program, Public Drinking Water Branch, 573-751-5331, Water Pollution Control, 573-751-1300

Regional Offices
Kansas City, 816-251-0700
Northeast (Macon), 660-385-8000
St. Louis, 314-416-2960
Southeast (Poplar Bluff), 573-840-9750
Southwest (Springfield), 417-891-4300

Missouri Geological Survey (Rolla)
573-368-2100 or 573-368-2143

Land Reclamation, 573-751-4041
Water Resources Center, 573-751-2867

Dam Safety (Rolla), 573-368-2175

Major Water Users, 573-368-2175

State Parks
State Historic Preservation Office, 573-751-7858

If you have other environmental concerns not described here, or if you believe you will require assistance with a permit application or other compliance issues, call the department toll free at 800-361-4827.