Pre-Application Meetings For Air Quality Construction Permits
This guidance document is advisory in nature but is binding on an agency until amended by such agency. A guidance document does not include internal procedural documents that only affect the internal operations of the agency and does not impose additional requirements or penalties on regulated parties or include confidential information or rules and regulations made in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act. If you believe that this guidance document imposes additional requirements or penalties on regulated parties, you may request a review of the document.

Form #:  05-168
Guidance Documents
Revised: 11/23/16

The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ) recommends pre-application meetings for Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) projects, ethanol plant construction or modification projects, and for any other project that may be complex in nature (i.e., new or specialty industries, PSD netting projects, major ”Greenfield” projects, etc.). The purpose of the meeting is to establish open communication between applicants and the NDEQ. This facilitates the submittal of a complete and accurate application and minimizes the time it takes NDEQ to prepare a permit for public notice. To schedule a pre-application meeting for a proposed project, please call the Construction Permit Hotline at 1-877-834-0474.


The pre-application meeting should occur one to three months prior to the final permit application submittal. It is important that the meeting occur when the application is nearly complete. Having a majority of the application complete before the meeting will provide information needed for the NDEQ to answer more specific and detailed questions.

Meeting Location

The typical meeting location will be at the offices of NDEQ, 1200 ‘N’ Street, in Lincoln. However, for some projects it may be beneficial to have the pre-application meeting at an alternate location or the project site so NDEQ staff can gain additional understanding of the site and/or processes involved.

Meeting Participants

The appropriate people from the NDEQ will attend based on the preliminary agenda provided by the applicant prior to the pre-application meeting. The NDEQ will also coordinate with EPA if their attendance is deemed beneficial. However, it is the applicant's responsibility to make sure all the appropriate people outside the NDEQ attend the meeting.

Recommended participants include:
  • Construction permit supervisor
  • NDEQ permit writer/engineer
  • Applicant's environmental representative, project engineer and consultant, to describe the project and represent the company.
Optional participants:
  • NDEQ Modeling Staff – If the project will need to be modeled (required for PSD projects).
  • NDEQ Compliance Staff – If the facility has historical or outstanding compliance issues.
  • NDEQ Legal Staff – If there is a request or questions about confidentiality.
  • EPA Representative – Including EPA in the pre-application meeting may help avoid unanticipated difficulties later in the application process.
  • NDED Staff – Nebraska Department of Economic Development staff if they have already been involved in planning with the applicant.
Information Needed Prior to Pre-application Meeting

The following information should be submitted to the NDEQ at least one week prior to the meeting (unless otherwise noted) to familiarize NDEQ with the proposed project and schedule attendance of the appropriate staff:
  • Agenda of items applicant wishes to discuss at the meeting. Below is a list of sample agenda topics:
    • Application forms – Which forms are necessary, format of application materials, number of copies required
    • Clarify the permitting process for company and public, discuss project schedule and permit timeline
    • Discuss site-specific issues
    • Discuss control technologies that are anticipated (preliminary Best Available Control Technology (BACT) analysis)
    • Local air quality concerns (ambient air quality, PSD increment, nearby sources)
    • Pre-construction monitoring and dispersion modeling (modeling protocol)
    • Additional PSD-related information (i.e. additional impacts analysis)
    • Identify similar permit/fact sheet examples/templates
    • Establish communication expectations, procedures and responsibilities.
    • Confidentiality if requested
    • Allowable pre-permit activities
  • Expected meeting attendees
  • Summary of proposed construction or modification project
  • Anticipated controls and emission rates
  • Location of the new or modified facility
  • List of nearby facilities that could be considered support facilities or are under common control
  • Applicability of federal and state rules/standards (i.e. MACT, NSPS)
  • Modeling Protocol (not applicable if modeling is not required)
  • Applicant’s plan to address pre-construction monitoring (One year of pre-construction monitoring may be required if existing air quality data does not exist or is not representative.)
  • Whether or not the company wishes for EPA to be involved in the pre-application meeting.
Project Planning Meeting or Conference Call

In some cases, a short “project planning” meeting or conference call BEFORE setting up the pre-application meeting can be helpful as a proposed project is being envisioned by the company. This is especially helpful when the company has not progressed far enough along to have an application that is nearly complete. The following is a sample outline of a project planning meeting that may be held prior to the pre-application meeting:

Produced by: Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality, P.O. Box 98922, Lincoln, NE 68509-8922; phone
(402) 471-2186. To view this, and other information related to our agency, visit our web site at