Waste Disposal Permits

The following resources will help you develop a winery wastewater management plan to ensure compliance with environmental legislation as well as with our state:

Wastewater Permit Resources  |  Permit Coordinators  |  Process Wastewater Permitting  |  Solid Organic Waste Disposal  |  Water Permitting Issues - Wells  |  Water Permitting Issues-Water Withdrawal  |  Water Permitting Issues-Drinking Water  |  Land Disturbance  |  Wetlands and Waters Impacts  |  Development in a Water Supply Watershed  |  Air Impacts  |  Tax Incentives  |  Agriculture Resources for Assistance

Wastewater Permit Resources

  • Environmental Permit Information-Central Raleigh Office
  • DENR-Regional Offices in North Carolina
  • Mooresville Regional Office, Patrick Grogan (704) 235-2107
  • Wilmington Regional Office, Cameron Weaver (910) 796-7427

 Process Wastewater Permitting

  • If discharging process wastewater to surface water, you will need a NPDES individual process wastewater permit from the N.C. Division of Water Quality (DWQ)'s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program.  The NPDES program was established by the federal government to control point-source discharges of water pollution.  The NPDES Permitting and Compliance Programs of the DWQ are responsible for administering the program for the state. Please call (919) 733-5083 or (877) 623-6748 and ask to speak with a NDPES staff person.
  • Wastewater Discharge to Surface Waters- Authorization to Construct (ATC): After receiving an NDPES permit to operate, one must obtain an ATC prior to beginning construction activities. Facility engineering plans, specifications, etc. for proposed equipment must be reviewed and approved prior to receiving ATC.  For more information on ATCs, click here.  
  • If discharging process wastewater onto the land (i.e., such as spray irrigation), you will need a nondischarge permit from the DWQ - NonDischarge Permitting Unit. Please call the Land Application Unit at (919) 807-6464 or visit DWQ - Land Application Unit (LAU).
  • If discharging process wastewater to a municipal system, you may need a pretreatment permit from the local authority. Please contact the local authority or call (877) 623-6748 for Pretreatment Emergency Response Collection System (PERCS) Unit and/or visit the PERCS Unit section of the N.C. Division of Water Quality website.
  • If discharging process wastewater to a subsurface septic system, you will need a permit from the Division of Environmental Health - Onsite Wastewater section.
  • If disposing of solid organic waste by composting or by land application of residuals, you may need a nondischarge permit from the DWQ - Land Application Unit (LAU). Call (919) 807-6464.
  • If disposing of solid organic waste by composting or by land application of residuals, you may need a permit from the Division of Waste Management. Please call (919) 707-8200.
Water Permitting Issues - Wells

If a facility needs to develop a well, refer to these resources:
  • Every well in North Carolina must be constructed according to certain standards (see 15A NCAC 2C.0100s) and approved by the Division of Water Quality (DWQ) - Groundwater Protection Unit (GPU). To facilitate this effort, DWQ-GPU developed and implements a well driller (and pump installer) certification program that instructs and certifies that well drillers in North Carolina will construct wells according to NC standards. Therefore, 1) every well in NC (independent of size and type) has to be drilled by a certified well driller and 2) after every well is constructed, a GW-1 well construction standard form must be submitted to certify that the well has been properly constructed.
  • In addition to item I above, every water supply well must meet additional DWQ-GPU regulations (Please see 15A NCAC 2C.0107) and if it meets Public Water Supply definition, see additional requirements in 15A NCAC 18C (Division of Environmental Health (DEH) - Public Water Supply Section (PWSS)).
  • In addition to I above, if a well meets one or more of criteria from 15A NCAC 2C.0105), then a DWQ-GPU permit must be obtained from the DEH-PWSS website.
Water Permitting Issues-Water Withdrawal

If your facility will withdraw surface or ground water, refer to these resources:
  • Withdrawal from surface or ground waters: Registration required if the withdrawal is greater than 100,000 gallons per day (GPD, non-agricultural use) and greater than 1 MGD (agricultural use).  Refer to the Division of Water Resources website.
  • Withdrawal from surface or ground waters in a Capacity Use Area: Capacity Use Program requires permits for large-scale users (greater than 100,000 gallons per day) in a capacity use area to protect the ground and surface water supplies from over-pumping and to avoid conflict among users. Permit conditions include monitoring and reporting of pumping rates and water levels in aquifers and surface water bodies.
Water Permitting Issues-Drinking Water

If your facility needs to construct a public drinking waterline, pump station, etc., you may need:

Authorization to Construct (ATC):
Plans, engineering reports, specifications, etc. for all public water treatment systems and their appurtenances must be approved, reviewed and inspected by Division of Environmental Health - Public Water Supply Section (DEH-PWSS) and an ATC issued, prior to construction. DEH-PWSS website


  • Tony Chen, Senior Review Engineer, Technical Services Branch - Plan Review Unit
    (919) 715-3231, tony.chen@ncmail.net
  • Siraj Chohan, Review Engineer, Technical Services Branch - Plan Review Unit
    (919) 715-3235, siraj.chohan@ncmail.net
  • Doug Newhouse, Review Engineer, Technical Services Branch - Plan Review Unit
    (919) 715-3234, doug.newhouse@ncmail.net
  • Henry Ou, Review Engineer, Technical Services Branch - Plan Review Unit
    (919) 715-3226, heinrich.ou@ncmail.net
Land Disturbance

Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Plan (SESCP) approval is required for all land disturbances of one or more acres. Upon approval of the SESCP, the applicant will also receive coverage under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) --general storm water permit for projects that have land disturbances of five or more acres.

Please note you do not have to apply separately for coverage under the NPDES general storm water permit. An agreement has been reached between the Division of Land Resources and the Division of Water Quality whereby upon approval of the SESCP, the applicant automatically receives coverage under the NPDES general stormwater permit for construction activities.

Contact Information: Prior to submitting your SESCP, please check the DENR's Division of Land Resources local erosion and sediment control ordinances to determine if the county or municipality in which you are locating has been given authority (by the state) to review and approve SESCPs. Contact your land quality regional office for more information. 

If your facility is impacting a wetland or surface water by dredging, filling, etc., a 404/401 permit/water quality certification may be needed.
The 404 permit is a federal permit issued by the US Army Corps of Engineers, but before an applicant can receive a 404 permit, one must also obtain a 401 Water Quality Certification from the Division of Water Quality. The 401 certification is essentially verification by the state that a given project will not degrade Waters of the State or violate water quality standards. There are two main types of 404 permits: individual and nationwide (or general). The Army Corps is the main contact for individual permits (and associated individual water quality certifications), while the Division of Water Quality - Wetlands/401 WQ Certification Unit is the main contact for nationwide permits (and the associated general water quality certification).

Development in a Water Supply Watershed

If your proposed facility is located within a water supply watershed, there may be certain requirements associated with development. Please contact the Water Supply Watershed Protection Program for more information on requirements.
Note: If the project site drains to waters classified as Outstanding Resource Waters or High Quality Waters or Nutrient Sensitive Waters - there may be more site specific requirements.

Air Impacts

If your facility will have an emergency generator associated with its operation, you may need:

Emergency Generator - General Air Permit:
The sole function of these generators is to provide backup power when electric power from the utility is interrupted. This permit can be used for all non-exempt emergency generators whose potential to emit (pte) pollutants is < 100 tons/year.
Contact: Asheville Regional Office (ARO) or Winston-Salem Regional Office (WSRO) and ask to speak with Division of Air Quality staff person.

Tax Incentives

If you implement any sort of pollution abatement, such as wastewater treatment or composting, that improves air or water quality, you may qualify for tax certification. The regional office will issue this certification. The ARO and WSRO cover the western and northwestern portions of North Carolina, respectively.

For general agricultural assistance, please contact the DENR office or North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension local offices' directory.

Other Sources of Information:

  • N. C. Department of Commerce, Business and Industries Division provides assistance to any small business and can be reached at (919) 807-4280 or (800) 228-8443 or through this website.
  • North Carolina office of the Small Business Administration -- (704) 344-6563 
  • RATS is a group of retired engineers and executives who will assist companies with technical and design questions. Contact Waste Reduction Partners in the Asheville office at (828) 251-6622.

end of section