How do I know what environmental permits I need?

Environmental permits depend on the design, activity and size of the project as well as the disturbance that will occur to: soil, air water or spaces and buildings.

Some construction work has environmental compliance elements that are not part of a permitting process, but rather a documentation process involving some due diligence.

Common Environmental Permits

Examples of permits required before performing work are:

Air District Regional Water Board City of Berkeley
  • Cooling towers
  • Emergency generators
  • Boiler installations
  • Building demolition
  • Asbestos removal
  • Fumehoods
  • Chemical exhaust
  • Construction sites
  • Creek or habitat restoration
  • Groundwater cleanups
  • Wells
  • Borings & groundwater extraction or geothermal wells
  • Fuel storage tanks


Other Owner Obligations

Examples of owner obligations that do not require a permit, but are covered under federal law and applicable to any party who may potentially claim protection from Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) liability as an innocent landowner, a bona fide prospective purchaser, or a contiguous property owner:

  • Environmental site assessments
  • Hazardous materials building surveys
  • Excavation & soil off-haul/import
  • Proper characterization of waste

Regulatory Guide for Construction Managers

EH&S created the Regulatory Guide for Construction Managers as a screening tool for building changes and construction that may have environmental, health and safety exposure impacts or agency requirements beyond fire marshal requirements.

Review the Guide and contact the EH&S construction coordinator at (510) 642-3073 or to help you summarize compliance requirements specific to your project needs.