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 or if there are potential impacts to water.

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

Examples of permits required before performing work or are dependent on equipment selection:

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


Examples of owner obligations that are not permitted by any agency, but covered under federal law and applicable to any party who may potentially claim protection from CERCLA liability as an innocent landowner, a bona fide prospective purchaser, or a contiguous property owner:

  • Environmental Site Assessments
  • Excavation & Soil Off-Haul/Import
  • Proper characterization of waste

There are many permits and obligations to maintain when managing construction on campus and it’s not always clear when they apply.

Contact the EH&S Construction Coordinator at (510) 642- 3073 or to help you summarize compliance requirements specific to your project needs.