DEQ Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have a question about DEQ's programs and activities or environmental issues?  Look here first. 

SECTIONS

General

Abandoned Mine Land

Asbestos

Air Quality

Air Quality Complaints

Air Quality Monitoring

Burning Permits and Complaints

Coalbed Natural Gas Development

Coal Mining

Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO)

Construction Permits

Drinking Water Standards

Energy Development

Environmental Education

Groundwater

Hazardous Waste

Household Hazardous Waste

Hydraulic Fracturing

Illegal Dumping

Mining Claims

Non-Coal Mining

Odor Complaints

Oil Filters

Oil Space Heaters

Oil (Used Motor)

Operator Certification

Recycling

Regulations

Small Business Assistance

Solid Waste

Spills

Storage Tanks

Tires (waste)

Trash Cleanup

Voluntary Remediation Program

Water Quality

Water Quality Definitions

Water Quality Standards

Wyoming Pollutant Discharge Elimination System

 

 

 

 

 


General

What is the difference between DEQ and EPA? 

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is a federal agency whose mission is to protect human health and the environment through regulation, research, and outreach related to pollutants in the environment.  The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is a state agency, not directly affiliated with the EPA, that answers to the Governor and Legislature of the State of Wyoming.  DEQ develops and implements regulations and policies to meet federal guidelines and in response to direction from the Legislature and the Governor.  Many of DEQ's programs have been designed to meet EPA's requirements, so that DEQ is delegated the authority to enforce most of the EPA's environmental programs.  By maintaining delegation, DEQ keeps the management of environmental programs within the state, allowing the development of regulations and policy to better meet the specific needs of Wyoming.  EPA retains oversight of any DEQ programs that implement federal requirements.  

Where are your offices located?  

The Wyoming DEQ has five offices located throughout the state.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Cheyenne Office

122 W. 25th St., Herschler Bldg., Cheyenne, WY, 82002,  Telephone (307) 777-7937, Fax (307) 777-7682

 

 

Lander Office

510 Meadowview Dr.,  Lander WY, 82520,  Telephone (307) 332-3047, Fax (307) 332-7726

Sheridan Office

2100 West 5th Street, Sheridan, WY, 82801, Telephone (307) 673-9337, Fax (307) 672-2213

Casper Office

152 North Durbin Street Suite 100, Casper, WY, 82601, Telephone (307) 473-3465, Fax (307) 473-3458

Abandoned Mine Land Division-Casper Office

2211 King Blvd., Casper WY, 82604, No main telephone number

What is the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality? 

The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is a state agency whose mission is to prevent, reduce and eliminate pollution; to preserve and enhance the air and water and to reclaim the land of the state; to work with Wyoming citizens to plan the development, use, reclamation, preservation, and enhancement of the state's air, land and water resources; and to retain for the state of Wyoming, control of those resources.  

DEQ recognizes that protecting the environment and quality of life requires a commitment to maintaining resources for the benefit of all citizens as well as an understanding and respect for the challenges encountered by individuals involved in the responsible development of those resources.  With a staff of professionals, the Department of Environmental Quality develops technically sound and achievable standards to prevent, reduce, and, where possible, eliminate pollution, provides assistance to those required to meet those standards, and mitigates social and economic impacts.

DEQ staff also responds quickly to the public's concerns about the environment and fairly considers and respects the wide divergence of interests that are affected by the Department's actions.  As a result of these efforts, all Wyoming citizens and visitors can enjoy a high quality of life in a safe and clean environment.


Abandoned Mine Land

Who pays the cost of reclaiming hazards associated with abandoned mine sites in Wyoming?

Wyoming coal producers pay a reclamation fee of 35 cents per ton on surface mined coal. These fees amount to about $130 million annually.  The money is paid into the Abandoned Mine Land Trust Fund maintained by the U.S. Office of Surface Mining.  Each year, the Abandoned Mine Land Division of the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality receives $25 to $30 million, which is spent on remediated hazards to public health and safety. Coal fees are also assessed to underground coal mines at a different rate and by type of surface coal. 

What happens if my house is damaged by mine subsidence from an abandoned mine.

The AML Division of DEQ operates a mine subsidence insurance program that provides coverage for structures in subsidence-prone areas.  If the home or business owner has subsidence insurance, that program will reimburse the owner for the cost of repairs and will mitigate the abandoned mine to prevent future damage.  If the owner does not have subsidence insurance, AML will mitigate the abandoned mine, but not pay for repairs.

If I know the location of an abandoned mine site, or have a site on my property, how can I find out if it will be reclaimed?

To see if there are mining related features in your area, access the AML public database at  www.deq.state.wy.us in the lower right hand corner under mapping service or you can contact the Abandoned Mine Land Division of DEQ at 307-777-6145. The database can be searched by county, Range, Township and Section, mine name or latitude and longitude.  AML will verify that the features are related to mining and if they are eligible (AML can reclaim only mines abandoned before 1977 on private land), and then let you know if the site is scheduled for reclamation.  With over 3,200 abandoned mine sites on the AML inventory, reclamation in some cases can be delayed for many years.

Is it safe to go inside an abandoned mine?

All abandoned mine sites pose hazards to the public.  Open shafts (vertical openings) and open adits/tunnels (horizontal openings) are subject to sudden collapse.  Both types of mine features may have rotten timbers, unexpected and unmarked falling hazards that can kill instantly, and bad air that can disable a person within a few minutes.  Above ground mine sites may have hidden openings or unstable buildings or machinery.  While the desire to explore old mines is understandable, any mine site can be very dangerous to people unfamiliar with the hazards that may be present.


Asbestos

What is asbestos and why is it harmful?

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral and is known to cause cancer and respiratory problems.

Who can remove asbestos in Wyoming?

Anyone who removes asbestos must be trained in the proper way to remove and handle asbestos.  For more information on this, contact Linda Dewitt at 307-777-7394 linda.dewitt@wyo.gov

How do I determine whether my  siding contains asbestos?

Information concerning the proper identification of asbestos can be obtained from Solid Waste Guideline #5 which can be found on our SHWD web page at http://deq.state.wy.us/shwd/SW_Guidelines_z03.pdf.asp  Also, more specific guidance on the proper identification of asbestos containing materials can be obtained from Robert Rodriguez at the above telephone number/email address.

How do I dispose of asbestos wastes?

As a householder, you are allowed to dispose of nonfriable asbestos wastes at your local landfill. Friable asbestos materials can easily release fibers when crushed. Nonfriable asbestos materials have a binder that holds the asbestos fibers within a solid matrix and will not allow asbestos fibers to release easily, unless mishandled, damaged, or badly worn.  However, you need to make prior arrangements with the landfill owner/operator before disposing of the waste. Your local landfill may not be permitted to dispose of friable asbestos wastes and you may have to hire a contractor to have this done at another disposal site. You should also contact your local landfill owner/operator for suggestions on how to properly dispose of friable asbestos waste.


Air Quality

Where can I get information about air quality in my area?

Air quality information for the state of Wyoming can be found online by clicking here The Wyoming DEQ's Air Quality Division has developed the Wyoming Visibility Monitoring Network Website. The Wyoming Visibility Monitoring Network Website features live images and current air quality conditions from monitoring locations throughout the State of Wyoming. Digital images from live sites are updated every 15 minutes. In addition, near real-time air quality data provides current meteorological, air quality and visibility information Additional questions may be directed to the Air Quality Division located in Cheyenne at 307-777-7393. 


Air Quality Complaints

Who do I contact regarding filing an air quality complaint?

Air quality complaints may be directed to compliance personnel on a divisional basis by county. 

District 1 – Albany, Goshen, Laramie, Niobrara, Platte counties

122 W 25th Street, Herschler Bldg. 4W  Cheyenne, WY 82002

Phone:  307-777-7393    Fax:  307-777-5616

District 2 – Carbon, Converse, Natrona counties

152 N Durbin Street, Suite 100  Casper, WY 82601

Phone: 307-473-3455    Fax:  307-473-3458

District 3 – Campbell, Crook, Johnson, Sheridan, Weston counties

1866 S Sheridan Ave.  Sheridan, WY 82801

Phone:  307-673-9337    Fax:  307-672-2213

District 4 – Big Horn, Fremont, Hot Springs, Lincoln, Park, Washakie counties

510 Meadowview Drive  Lander, WY 82520

Phone:  307-332-6755    Fax:  307-332-7726

District 5 – Sublette, Sweetwater, Teton, Uinta counties

510 Meadowview Drive  Lander, WY 82520

Phone:  307-332-6755    Fax:  307-332-7726

Are air quality complaints confidential?

While complaint information is a matter of public record and is not held confidential, the Air Quality Division will keep a complainant’s name and address anonymous upon request.


Burning Permits and Complaints

Where can I get specific information regarding open burning rules in my area?

The air quality regulations pertaining to open burning and smoke management can be found online by clicking here Open burning information and forms can be found online by clicking here.

How would I submit a complaint about open burning in my neighborhood?

Open burning complaints and questions may be directed to compliance personnel on a divisional basis by county. 

District 1 – Albany, Goshen, Laramie, Niobrara, Platte Counties

122 W 25th Street  Herschler Bldg. 4W  Cheyenne, WY 82002

Phone:  307-777-7393    Fax:  307-777-5616

District 2 – Carbon, Converse, Natrona Counties

152 N Durbin Street, Suite 100  Casper, WY 82601

Phone: 307-473-3455   Fax:  307-473-3458

District 3 – Campbell, Crook, Johnson, Sheridan, Weston Counties

1866 S Sheridan Ave  Sheridan, WY 82801

Phone:  307-673-9337    Fax:  307-672-2213

District 4 – Big Horn, Fremont, Hot Springs, Lincoln, Park, Washakie Counties

510 Meadowview Drive  Lander, WY 82520

Phone:  307-332-6755    Fax:  307-332-7726

District 5 – Sublette, Sweetwater, Teton, Uinta Counties

510 Meadowview Drive  Lander, WY 82520

Phone:  307-332-6755    Fax:  307-332-7726

Smoke management questions and complaints may be directed to the state-wide contact is Mark Arn, 122 W 25th Street  Herschler Bldg. 2E  Cheyenne, WY 82002, 307-777-3782 or MArn@state.wy.us


Coal Mining

Are blasting activities regulated at coal mines?

Yes. Doug Emme 307-673-9337 or Doug.Emme@wyo.gov in the Sheridan Office is responsible for our statewide blasting program, including certification of blasters and blasting complaints. Please contact him for details.

Can I graze cattle on my land after the coal mine has planted grass and it starts to come up?

The LQD should be contacted first prior to commencing this activity to confirm the vegetation can support grazing. See LQD Coal R&R Chapter 4 Section 2(d)(xi) at http://soswy.state.wy.us/RULES/6002.pdf

I want to report a non-compliant issue at a coal mine site, but since I live in the area I do not want them to know the complaint came from me.  What is the best way to proceed?

Call a LQD District Supervisor responsible for the mine of concern: Lowell Spackman (307-777-7052) is responsible for the SE quarter of the state , NE quarter of state Mark Rogaczewski (307-673-9337) or west quarter of state Mark Moxley (307-335-6938). 
 


Construction Permits

Are permits required when constructing public water supply systems or wastewater systems?

Yes.  Unless provided otherwise, construction of any part of a public water supply system or wastewater system requires a permit from the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality.  For more information, go to: http://deq.state.wy.us/wqd/www/permit.asp

How much does it cost to get a construction permit?

There are no fees for construction permits.

How long does it take to get a construction permit?

The Environmental Quality Act gives up to 60 days to complete a review.  We review applications as they come in.  It is usually less than 3-4 weeks depending on how many applications are pending.  However, if the application is incomplete additional information will be requested and the process will be delayed.  Applicants should work with their engineer and the Water Quality Division's engineer to insure their application is complete and adequate.

How may I obtain a copy of the Rules for the Construction Permit Program?

Rules and regulations are available on at http://soswy.state. wy.us/Rule_Search_Main.asp  or we can send a hard copy by contacting WQD staff or Connie Osborne at Connie.Osborn@wyo.gov or at 307-777-5593.

How may I obtain an application for a construction permit?

Follow the same process as for rules and regulations.

 


Drinking Water Standards

Does DEQ have primacy over drinking water standards in the state of Wyoming?
 
The state of Wyoming does not have primacy (authority) to establish drinking water standards in accordance with the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.  The Environmental Protection Agency is responsible for establishing and enforcing drinking water standards in Wyoming.  The federal program is administered by the Direct Implementation Program, Region VIII, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency located in Denver Colorado.  The contact for this program is Dr. John Gillis who can be reached at (800)227-8917 Extension 6274. 

 


Environmental Education

Do you offer school programs in environmental education?

DEQ provides "guest lecturers" in a number of public education venues as well as a variety of science fairs, exhibits and seminars available to students such as the Wyoming Game and Fish Expo.   Call Brian Lovett at 307-777-5630 or brian.lovett@wyo.gov  
 
The U.S. EPA also offers many types of educational materials at their website www.epa.gov/teachers.  These include curriculum resources, background information, free printed materials, recognition awards, grants, workshops/conferences, community service projects, scholarships, and a list of other educational websites.
 
 

Groundwater

I think my water well is contaminated.  What do I do?

 
Unfortunately, the DEQ does not test private water wells.  In most cases, you can test your well yourself.  Your local county health department or, in some cases, the local University of Wyoming Extension Service or Conservation District office has test kits available for little or no charge.  If not, a local laboratory will be able to provide a test kit and sampling instructions to you for a fee.  Once a water sample is collected from your well you will need to send it to a laboratory for analysis.  These sorts of tests usually only target fecal coliforms and related contaminants.  If you suspect your well has been contaminated by gasoline or some other type of contaminant, a more involved (and expensive) lab analysis will probably be necessary.  This usually requires hiring an environmental consultant to perform this sampling.  DEQ can provide you with contact information on laboratories and consultants in Wyoming.  Contact Jane Francis at JCrame@state.wy.us or call 307-777-9092, Glenn Breed call 307-777-8580 or John Passehl at 307-777-5653  for further information   If lab results show your well is impacted and the source of the contamination can be tracked to a known source, the DEQ can step in and make the responsible party clean up the contamination.  If the source is unknown, or perhaps is originating from your own property (e.g. leaking septic system) the DEQ can provide information on how to fix the problem, or how to protect yourself from this contamination (e.g. filters, or water treatment systems).  Another good resource for information on water wells and septic systems, etc., is the Wyoming Rural Water Association (307-436-8636).  The EPA web site (http://www.epa.gov/region8/) is another good source of information.
 
Who can I talk to about water well supply problems?
 
The Wyoming State Engineer's Office (307-777-6150) has authority for any water "quantity" issues. 
 
I live next to an oil/gas/coal bed methane field and my water is contaminated.  Who do I contact? 

If you believe that oil and gas exploration or production operations have impacted your water well, or surface water on or near your property, you should initially contact the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (307-234-7147) if the operation is on private or "Fee" land, or the nearest U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) office if it is a federal lease.  Please note that a federal lease can be on private land.  They are the agencies responsible for regulating all oil and gas activity in Wyoming.  If a water contamination problem is confirmed by these agencies, they will contact the DEQ and we will then work together to clean up the contamination.

How do I keep my water well clean?  What maintenance should I perform?

It is important to periodically inspect your water well and to clean and/or replace filters and water softener units.  The DEQ web site(http://deq.state. wy.us/wqd/groundwater/pollution.asp) and the other agencies listed above have information on maintaining your well.

What is groundwater?

Groundwater is the water that occurs underground in pore spaces or fractures.

 
How do contaminants get into groundwater?

When a contaminant is spilled or dumped at the ground surface it moves under the force of gravity downward through the unsaturated, or dry, zone to the water table.

 
What is a water table?

The surface between a water bearing zone and the unsaturated (or dry) zone above.

 
What can I do to prevent groundwater contamination?

Avoid disposing of any household cleaners, paints, or oils on the ground surface.  Whatever is spilled on the ground surface will move downward under the force of gravity and eventually penetrate the water table and get into the groundwater.

 
How deep is the water table?

The depth to water depends on the geology of an area and the amount of recharge as rain or snow. In Wyoming, the water may be very shallow or deep or someplace in between, depending on the local conditions.


Hazardous Waste

What is a hazardous waste?

Hazardous waste is any waste material (solid, liquid or contained gas) that is discarded by being disposed, burned, incinerated or recycled, and can be classified in one of two categories:  1) listed – the waste is specifically identified and listed in Chapter 2 of the Wyoming hazardous waste rules and regulations (HWRR); or 2) characteristic – if a waste is not listed, it may be a hazardous waste because it is toxic, corrosive, reactive or ignitable, as defined in Chapter 2 of the HWRR.  In addition to the HWRR, the Solid and Hazardous Waste Division has guidance to help you determine whether you are generating or may generate a hazardous waste; the guidance is available upon request or by visiting the Division’s website.  While the HWRR and guidance documents can help you identify whether your waste material may be hazardous, you should contact the Solid and Hazardous Waste Division if you are uncertain and want surety about a waste determination.

If I am or may be generating a hazardous waste, where can I find information about hazardous waste generator or transporter requirements?

Information on the requirements for hazardous waste generators and transporters is found in Chapters 8 and 9, respectively, of the HWRR.  For hazardous waste generators, waste management requirements are based on the amount of hazardous waste generated in any given month.  If you generate more than 220 pounds of hazardous waste in any month, you are required to obtain an identification number for your facility.  The ‘Notification of Regulated Waste Activity’ form is available from the Solid and Hazardous Waste Division, or can be found at:  http://www.epa.gov/epaoswer/hazwaste/data/form8700/forms.htm.  In addition to the HWRR, the Solid and Hazardous Waste Division has guidance to help you with hazardous waste generator requirements; the guidance is available upon request or by visiting the Division’s website. While the HWRR and guidance can help you identify the hazardous waste generator or transporter requirements, you should contact the Solid and Hazardous Waste Division if you are uncertain and want surety about the requirements.

Are there facilities in Wyoming that treat, store or dispose hazardous waste?

There are a number of facilities in Wyoming that have or are currently managing (treating, storing, disposing) hazardous waste.  Primarily these are closed and operating petroleum refineries.  Many of the refineries (closed and operating) have closed hazardous waste disposal facilities (landfills), and some of the operating refineries have storage or treatment units – no facility in Wyoming is currently disposing hazardous waste.  In addition, all of the Wyoming facilities managing hazardous waste are only allowed to manage wastes they generate; they cannot accept wastes from outside their facility for management.  Finally, there are no commercial hazardous waste management facilities in Wyoming.  For more information about these facilities, please contact the Solid and Hazardous Waste Division.

What requirements apply to the hazardous waste management facilities?

The hazardous waste management facilities must have a permit for the unit (treatment, storage or disposal) managing hazardous waste.  The permits contain specific requirements for the operation, maintenance, closure, post-closure, monitoring, and corrective action for the unit managing or, in the case of the closed hazardous waste landfills, that managed hazardous waste.  Hazardous waste management facilities must conduct cleanup for any releases of hazardous wastes from the permitted unit, as well as cleanup of releases from any unit used to manage solid wastes at the site.  For more information on permitting and cleanup requirements, please contact the Solid and Hazardous Waste Division.


Household Hazardous Wastes

I have a garage full of paint, gasoline, pesticides and other hazardous products. How do I dispose of them?

Some communities schedule hazardous household product collections or pick-ups on a regular basis. Generally, they will accept a range of wastes (including used oil and paint, spent automotive fluids and household chemicals, pesticides, solvents, old batteries and even tires.) The following communities in Wyoming have permanent collection facilities that you can bring wastes to with a scheduled appointment: Jackson, Gillette, Casper and Cheyenne. The best way to avoid a disposal problem is to reuse what you have or find a neighbor that can use the product. The local auto dealer should be able to recycle your old batteries and your tires can be disposed at the local landfill.

How can I reduce household hazardous waste?

As stated earlier, by reusing the product/material. You can also prevent and minimize waste generation by only buying what you need. Just because something is on sale does not mean that you really need it.

How can I find out about household hazardous waste (HHW) collection programs in my community?

The department has a historic database listing those towns/communities in Wyoming where there are collection programs and/or have collection day events  Call Tim Link for further information at 307-777-7164.


Hydraulic Fracturing

Niobrara Shale Development


 


Illegal Dumping

Who should I call if I witness illegal dumping or some other activity that is harmful to the environment or to public health

We recommend contacting local code enforcement people to see if it can be handled locally first. If this is not an option, then we recommend you contact SHWD at 307-777-7752 in Cheyenne, 307-332-6924 in Lander, 307-473-3450 in Casper.
 


Mining Claims

Does your agency handle mining claims?

No we don't.  If you have questions regarding mining claims, please contact the U.S. Bureau of Land Management at 307-775-6256.
 


Odor Complaints

Who do I contact with an odor complaint?

Odor complaints and questions may be directed to compliance personnel on a divisional basis by county. 

District 1 – Albany, Goshen, Laramie, Niobrara, Platte counties

122 W 25th Street  Herschler Bldg. 4W  Cheyenne, WY 82002

Phone:  307-777-7393    Fax:  307-777-5616

District 2 – Carbon, Converse, Natrona counties

152 N Durbin Street, Suite 100  Casper, WY 82601

Phone: 307-473-3455    Fax:  307-473-3458

District 3 – Campbell, Crook, Johnson, Sheridan, Weston counties

1866 S Sheridan Ave  Sheridan, WY 82801

Phone:  307-673-9337    Fax:  307-672-2213 

District 4 – Big Horn, Fremont, Hot Springs, Lincoln, Park, Washakie counties

510 Meadowview Drive  Lander, WY 82520

Phone:  307-332-6755    Fax:  307-332-7726

District 5 – Sublette, Sweetwater, Teton, Uinta counties

510 Meadowview Drive  Lander, WY 82520

Phone:  307-332-6755    Fax:  307-332-7726


Oil Filters

Can spent oil filters be placed in the trash?

Yes. There are rules requiring businesses to make sure the filter is drained empty before it is disposed. To prevent potential landfill contamination, we would recommend the same criteria for households although there are no requirements for them.

 


Oil Space Heaters

Where can I get information on oil space heating?

Contact the following DEQ Solid and Hazardous Waste Division staff for information on oil space heating:  Tim Link Cheyenne at 307-777-7752, Charles Plymale in Lander at 307-332-6924, and Linda Fivas in Casper at 307-473-3454.

Are used oil space heaters allowed in Wyoming?

Yes. There are no requirements under the Wyoming Used Oil Regulations if the used oil fired space heater burns only used oil generated onsite, the heater is vented to the outside, and only household do-it-yourselfer used oil is burned along with the used oil that is generated onsite and the heater has a maximum capacity of not more than 0.5 million BTU/hr.
 


Oil (Used Motor)

Can I transport my used motor oil?

There are no requirements under the Wyoming used oil rules if you self-transport your own used oil in quantities up to one (1) 55-gallon drum in your own vehicle.

Where can I recycle used motor oil when I change my own oil?

Locally, used oil can usually be recycled at your local service station or auto vehicle service shop if they accept householder-used oil. If you can’t find anyone in your community, please call 307-777-7752 for potential recycling locations in your area.
 


Operator Certification:

Where can I find the Operator Designation, Individual Training Reports, Change of Address, License Applications, or Reciprocity Applications, etc.?

On the Operator Certification website, http://deq.state.wy.us/opcert.asp, select “Forms” on the left-hand sidebar.  All the forms needed for the operators and facilities are available on this page.

How many continuing education hours do I have towards renewing a license?

On the Operator Certification website at http://deq.state.wy.us/opcert.asp, click on Check Operator Records on the left-hand sidebar.  Follow the directions on the page and enter your password.  Click on a license link in order to determine how many continuing education hours have been applied to each license.  Remember that one class may appear on multiple licenses.

How many hours do I have towards qualifying for a license?

On the Operator Certification website at http://deq.state.wy.us/opcert.asp, click on Check Operator Records on the left-hand sidebar.  Follow the directions on the page and enter your password.  Find the Lifetime summary of your hours listed right above your training record.

How many training hours and years of experience are needed to qualify for a license? 

On the Operator Certification website, http://deq.state.wy.us/opcert.asp, select “License Application” on the left-hand sidebar.  Click on the link to the “Cheat Sheet” to see a list of license requirements.

What is an Operator-In-Training (OIT)?

An Operator-In-Training (OIT) is an operator that has taken and passed a Level 1 exam, either the Water Systems or Wastewater Systems exam, before meeting the eligibility requirements for a Level 1 license. The operator is NOT CERTIFIED until they have obtained six (6) months of operational experience (1040 hours) and 35 hours of training in water and/or distribution for the Water Systems license or wastewater and/or collection for the Wastewater Systems license.  The operator must then submit a license application when these requirements have been met to achieve certification.

Where can I find training to qualify for a license or continuing education to maintain a license?

On the Operator Certification website, http://deq.state.wy.us/opcert.asp, select “Training Opportunities” on the left-hand sidebar.  Select the type of training, the training provider, and finally the class that you are interested in.  Please also check the grey “Training Calendar”, which lists all trainings scheduled statewide by approved training providers.

What is the deadline to submit continuing education hours for renewing my license?

All licenses expire three years after issuance. The expiration date is always December 31.  Operators have until January 15 to submit all continuing education hours that were completed by midnight December 31 of the expiration year.

How do I get an operator’s license?

1)    On the Operator Certification website, http://deq.state.wy.us/opcert.asp, select “Study Materials” on the left-hand sidebar.  Select the license that you are interested in and click on the link.  Please review the “What will be on the exam” document that is listed for each exam.  The recommended study materials are specific to each exam.

2)       On the Operator Certification website, http://deq.state.wy.us/opcert.asp, select “Schedule an Exam” on the left-hand sidebar.  Follow the directions for scheduling an exam. 

3)    When you have passed your exam, have the required experience and training, go to the Operator Certification website, http://deq.state.wy.us/opcert.asp, and select “License Application” on the left-hand sidebar.  Fill out the license application on line and then print out your application.  Please fax or mail the completed application to the Operator Certification Program office.

Which Rule governs Operator Certification?

On the Operator Certification website, http://deq.state.wy.us/opcert.asp, select “Chap 5 and Policies” on the left-hand sidebar.  Water Quality Division Rules and Regulations, Chapter 5 is the rule that governs Operator Certification.  Policies that govern program details not covered in Chapter 5 are also listed on this page.

If I currently am a licensed operator in another State, can I get a Wyoming operator’s license?

The State of Wyoming will reciprocate to the highest level appropriate based on the training and operational experience information you provide.  Only current (non‑expired) licenses in good standing may be reciprocated.  In order to reciprocate a license:

1)    Submit verification of your high school equivalency (to see options, please go to: http://deq.state.wy.us/wqd/www/opcert/HSE.asp ).

2)    Submit copies of your current (non‑expired) certificates.

3)    Submit proof of all continuing education or training hours completed during the operator's career that will be added to the operator’s record in WY.  This includes, but is not limited to, certificates of completion for any courses taken, copies of conference education tracking sheets, college transcripts, etc.  Each certificate or training document MUST HAVE the date the course was taken AND the number of CEUs earned for the class.

4)    On the Operator Certification website, http://deq.state.wy.us/opcert.asp, select “Forms” on the left-hand sidebar.  Select the appropriate reciprocity application (water or wastewater), fill out the license application on line and then print out your application.  Please fax or mail the completed application and the supporting documentation to the Operator Certification Program office.  You will need one application for each license you wish to reciprocate.

Will another state reciprocate my Wyoming license?

You will need to contact that State’s Operator Certification Program in order to find out whether or not their program does.

How many hours do I need to renew my license? 

Twenty-one continuing education hours must be obtained every three years for all license levels with the exception of a Level 5, Small Consecutive Distribution Systems license.  This license only requires 7 hours every three years to renew.

Please check our website for much more information at http://deq.state.wy.us/opcert.asp  or contact Kim Parker, Certification Officer at 307-777-6128, kparke@wyo.gov, Fax # 307-777-6779.

 


Recycling

I would like to recycle. Where do I get information on recycling programs in my community?

The department has available a publication entitled “Wyoming Recycling Directory, 2005-2006” which we can send to you that describes current recycling programs across the state.  Contact Connie Scranton at CScran@state.wy.us or 307-777-6978 to receive this publication (while supplies last).
 


Regulations

I want to read DEQ’s rules and regulations.  How can I obtain copies of any regulations? 

Go to the Wyoming Secretary of State's public access to rules website at http://soswy.state. wy.us/Rule_Search_Main.asp


Small Business Assistance

Where can I find out about permitting requirements that may affect my small business?
 
The DEQ Office of Outreach and Environmental Assistance can provide permit requirement information and points of contact for additional information.  For more information call Dan Clark 307 777-7388 or dclark@state.wy.us
 
 
Where can I get information about ways to reduce pollution from my small business to reduce or eliminate the need for permits and reduce my cost of operations? 
 
The DEQ Office Outreach and Environmental Assistance can provide information on best management practices and pollution prevention initiatives to reduce pollution, reduce or eliminate permitting requirements and save money for your small business.  For more information call Dan Clark  307 777-7388 or email at dclark@state.wy.us and Steve Roseberry 307-777-6105 or email at sroseb@state.wy.us
 
 
Where can I go for help if I don't understand an environmental regulation that I think may affect my small business?
 
The DEQ Small Business Environmental Assistance Program has information and staff support to help small businesses understand environmental requirements that may affect their operations. Contact Dan Clark at 307-777-7388 or email at dclark@state.wy.us

 


Solid Waste

What is solid waste?

A waste is defined as garbage and other discarded solid materials, including solid waste materials resulting from industrial, commercial and agricultural operations and from community activities.

What solid waste management activities need a permit from DEQ?
A permit or waste management authorization is generally required in advance for any facility that manages solid waste. Waste management activities include disposal, transfer, treatment, and storage. Please contact the Solid Waste Permitting and Corrective Action program if you have any questions about whether or not you need to obtain a permit.


Spills

If I see an oil or chemical spill, what should I do?

Spills reports are taken by DEQ staff 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 307-777-7781.  During non-working hours this number should ONLY be used for spills and emergencies.  Click here for further information on spills.


Storage Tanks
 
What tanks are regulated by the Storage Tank Program?

 

a)  A regulated underground storage tank (UST) is a tank and the piping that is connected to it that is used to store regulated substances.  To be an UST, at least 10% of the tank must be beneath the ground surface.

The following USTs are exempt: a) farm or residential UST of 1,100 gallons or less used for storing motor fuel for agricultural or non-commercial use; b) a UST used to store heating oil only for consumptive use on the premises; c) septic tanks;  d) pipeline facilities, including gathering lines; e) surface impoundments, pits, ponds or lagoons; f) storm water or wastewater collection systems such as oil water separator at oil production facilities; g) flow through process tanks; h) liquid traps or associated gathering lines directly related to oil or gas production and gathering operations; i) storage tanks situated in an underground area, if the storage tank is situated upon or above the surface of the floor (vaulted); j) USTs with a capacity of 110 gallons or less; k) USTs containing de minimus concentrations of regulated substances, and l) emergency or overflow USTs.  Further information about which tanks are regulated by the Storage Tank Program can be found  in Wyoming Statute (WS) 35-11-1415 (a) (ix) (http://deq.state.wy.us/shwd/STP/STPDownloads/Title35-11article14.pdf). 

 

b)  The definition of a regulated above-ground storage tank (AST) can be found in (WS) 35-11-1415 (a)(xi) ( http://deq.state.wy.us/shwd/STP/STPDownloads/Title35-11article14.pdf ). A regulated AST is a tank that is more than 90% above the ground surface and which is used by a dealer to dispense gasoline or diesel fuels. 

 

I am interested in purchasing a facility that has or had gas tanks on it at one time. Is it registered as a storage tank program contaminated site? 

A list of the unresolved contaminated sites which the Water Quality Division has record of can be found by clicking this link http://deq.state.wy.us/shwd/STP/remediation/Downloads/Contaminated_Sites.pdf.
 

I am interested in purchasing a gas station, and I need to know what kind of tanks are/were at this facility, and what are the State requirements if these tanks are still there? 

A summary of all facilities that have been registered with the storage tank program can be found by clicking the following link (this is a very large excel file)  http://deq.state.wy.us/shwd/STP/Compliance/Downloads/SiteInfo.xls  The regulations for storage tanks can be found in Wyoming Water Quality Rules and Regulations (WWQRR) Chapter 17 (http://deq.state.wy.us/ wqd/WQDrules/Chapter_17.pdf) If these links do not answer your questions please contact:  Oma Gilbreth at 307-777-7097 or via e-mail at ogilbr@wyo.gov;

 

I am a banker or realtor and have a client who is interested in buying a contaminated site that is in the Wyoming Storage Tank Program. Why should this not be as much of concern in Wyoming as it would be in other states?

An explanation can be found by clicking the following link: http://deq.state.wy.us/shwd/STP/STPDownloads/Bankers_and_Realtors.pdf

 

I want to buy a site that has or had regulated tanks but it appears that they were never registered with the tank program. What are the requirements?

(a)  If the tanks are USTs that were in use after May 8, 1986, and they are regulated by the Storage Tank Program, they have to be registered immediately. The owner or operator will be responsible for annual tank fees dating back to 1990, or when the tanks were installed, whichever date is later.  If the tanks are still in use, they have to meet the requirements of Wyoming Water Quality Rules and Regulations, Chapter 17, Storage Tanks.  If the tanks are regulated ASTs that have been used after July 1, 1995 to sell fuel directly to the public, they have to be registered immediately. The owner or operator will be responsible for annual tank fees dating back to 1995, or when the tanks were installed, whichever date is later.  If the tanks are still in use, the tanks have to meet the requirements of Chapter 17 

 

(b) If the tanks are USTs that have not been in use after May 8, 1986, or ASTs that were used to sell fuel directly to the public, and they were not in use after July 1, 1995,  the tanks do not have to be registered.  These tanks are not regulated by the Storage Tank Program.  If you would like to have these tanks registered with the program, you will have to comply with Chapter 17, Section 29 (a)(v).  See rule at http://deq.state. wy.us/wqd/WQDrules/Chapter_17.pdf

 

Why does it take the State so long to begin cleanup at my contaminated storage tank site? 

The Wyoming Legislature allocated about $10 million per calendar year to cleanup leaking storage tank sites.  With this limited annual funding, the State has had to prioritize the 1,557 contaminated storage tank sites and affected third party adjacent locations in Wyoming.  The prioritization ranking system criteria is based on (1) the degree of immediate adverse health exposure and/or safety hazards to people in nearby occupied buildings or to public utilities, (2) groundwater quality protection, (3) potential for contaminant migration, and (4) ecological protection.  The objective of the storage tank remediation program has been to cleanup the worst contaminated sites first.  Certainly it would be nice to begin cleanup at all known contaminated sites when they become known to the department.  State resources do not exist to accomplish that timely schedule.  With present State resources, all currently known contaminated storage tank sites should achieve cleanup by the year 2032. 

 

 

Why does it take the State so long to cleanup my contaminated storage tank site once they begin remedial actions? 

The Wyoming Storage Tank Remediation Program has five phases to cleanup releases from eligible storage tank releases.  These phases include a subsurface investigation to determine the full extent of soil and/or groundwater contamination, engineering design of the technology to cleanup the environment, procurement of remediation equipment and construction/installation of this equipment at the contaminated sites, operation and maintenance of the constructed remediation systems until state soil and/or groundwater standards have been achieved, and finally project closeout.  From start to finish, the average project life is about 7 years. 

 

In Wyoming, the average cost to cleanup soil and/or groundwater contamination is about $270,000 per storage tank site.  This relatively high cost per site results from the requirement that the Storage Tank Remediation Program must treat all groundwater contaminated by storage tank releases until drinking water quality has been achieved, regardless of existing groundwater quality in the area. 

 

Petroleum came out of the ground.  What's the big deal about cleaning up something that came out of the ground and is now back in the ground? 

The answer to this question is not that simple.  Petroleum and its refined products that all of us use in our cars and other internal combustion engines contain many organic compounds that can cause harm to the human body.  During the refining process, these chemical compounds are purified and concentrated with the potential for increased solubility in groundwater and vapor movement through soil into buildings, homes, utility corridors, etc.  Some of these purified chemical compounds can cause cancer or other degenerative diseases in people who might consume groundwater contaminated by petroleum, or who might be exposed to elevated petroleum vapor concentrations in home basements or other below ground locations.  It is not uncommon to have locations in Wyoming that have experienced storage tank releases to have several feet of floating petroleum on the groundwater table.  Because of these situations, it has become a priority in the nation and Wyoming to cleanup refined petroleum product releases from regulated storage tanks. 

 

The magnitude of petroleum contaminated soil and/or groundwater is no different in Wyoming than in other parts of the country.  Where human civilization has developed to provide the services and products that people demand, so has the potential for environmental contamination.  Most of the cities/towns in Wyoming are located along rivers, streams, or other waterways with associated shallow alluvial aquifers; thus, providing an extremely viable subsurface pathway for any contamination released by storage tanks.  These shallow aquifers may also provide a portion of the drinking water for residents.  Petroleum vapors trapped in these porous soil systems can also migrate along preferential pathways (i.e. water line, sewer lines, telephone lines, etc.) into home basements where personal exposures and/or fires/explosions can be experienced. 

 

Removal of floating petroleum product on the groundwater, treatment of partially dissolved petroleum chemical compounds in groundwater and removal of soil petroleum vapors is what the Wyoming Storage Tank Remediation Program accomplishes.  At the same time, it is also extremely important that the Storage Tank Program have an aggressive compliance program to ensure that system owner and/or operators have the knowledge and incentives to reduce future releases to the lowest levels possible. 

What requirements apply to building a new UST system?

Due to the storage tank compliance act of 2007 all regulated new or replacement underground storage tanks and all new or replacement lines must be double walled and have interstitial monitoring.

Steel Tanks.  You will find the construction standards for steel tanks in Section 6(a)(ii).  All new steel tanks shall be Cathodically Protected (CP).  You will find requirements for installing CP in sections 6(a), for testing in section 11, and for record keeping in section 11(d).

Composite Steel/ Fiberglass Tanks. You will find the construction standards for composite tanks in Section 6(a)(iii).  Composite tanks do not require CP.

Fiberglass Tanks.  You will find the construction standards for Fiberglass tanks in Section 6(a)(i).  Fiberglass tanks do not require CP.

Steel piping.  You will find the construction standards for steel piping in Section 6(b).  All steel piping shall be Cathodically Protected.  You will find requirements for installing CP in section 6(b), for testing in section 11, and for record keeping in section 11(d).

Fiberglass, Flexible Plastic, or other non-corrodible piping. You will find the construction standards for this type of piping in Section 6(b).  Non corrodible piping does not require CP.

 Pressurized piping.  You will find the construction standards for pressurized piping in Section 6(b).  Pressurized piping requires that you have an automatic line leak detector (ALLD) and that the piping and line leak detectors be tested annually.  You will find the requirements for installing and testing ALLD’s, and the requirements for installing and testing piping in section 14(g).

U.S. Suction piping.  You will find the requirements for constructing U.S. Suction piping in section 6(b), and the requirements for testing these systems in section 14(g).

Exempt Suction piping.  You will find the requirements for constructing exempt suction piping in section 6(b).  There are no requirements for testing these systems.

See See rule at http://deq.state. wy.us/wqd/WQDrules/Chapter_17.pdf for more information.

What are the annual requirements for my storage tank facility?

You must file an annual registration as detailed in W.S. 35-11-1419 and Section 9(b) of this Chapter.  Annual fees are mandated by W.S. 35-11-1425.

Requirements for annual testing of piping are found in section 14(g) for pressurized systems and tests every three years for U.S. suction systems.  Requirements for testing ALLD’s are also found in section 14(g).  These sections apply whether the tank is a UST or an AST.

Requirements for an annual inspection are found in section 13(e) for USTs and section 36(f) for ASTs.

Requirements for monitoring your UST are found in section 15 for petroleum tanks of less than 2,000 gallons, in section 16 for petroleum tanks over 2,000 gallons, and section 17 for hazardous materials tanks.  Requirements for monitoring ASTs are found in section 37.

What do I have to do if I suspect a leak has occurred or if my monitoring indicates a leak has occurred?

All reporting and response requirements are found in Parts E and F.  You should read and understand both of these parts to limit your liability in the event of a release.

Repairs to your tank system are covered in section 8.

Sections on release reporting and investigation apply equally to both USTs and ASTs.

What do I have to do when the department inspects my facility? 

W.S. 35-11-1422 gives the department the right to inspect.  Section 13(a), (d) and (e) cover your obligations during an inspection.

What requirements apply to buying or selling a storage tank facility? 

Transfer of ownership is covered under W.S. 35-11-1420 and section 9(g) of this chapter.  Contact the department at 307-777-7095 for a change of ownership form for your facility.

What requirements apply if the substance stored is not petroleum? 

If the tank is installed to store any substance listed in Appendix A it is a hazardous substance tank and must meet the requirements found in Section 17.  If the tank contains a substance which is not petroleum and is not listed in Appendix A it is not regulated by this program.

Is there a place I can get more information on the World Wide Web? 

The Water Quality Division maintains a website at http://deq.state.wy.us  A wide variety of information is available on this website, including all forms, lists of facilities, lists of contaminated sites, and various policies.

What do I need to do if I install above ground storage tanks?

Above ground storage tanks for fuel are subject to the International Fire Code, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rules on Spill Containment Countermeasures and Control, rules in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Part I of the Chapter. 

For ASTs, the Chapter only applies to fuel dealers who dispense gasoline and diesel directly to the public from an above ground storage tank.  There are many varied requirements in the rules published by other agencies.  Full compliance with this chapter does not necessarily guarantee that you are in full compliance with all other agencies.


Tires (waste)

What can I do with the waste tires that I have accumulated?

You can dispose of them at the local landfill or have them recycled. There are a few recycling facilities in the state but your best bet would be to have them disposed. The Solid Waste Rules and Regulations (SWRR) allow retail business facilities to store up to 1,000 scrap tires before they are regulated.

How many waste tires can a person have before they are regulated?

See the previous response. If the tires are determined to be part of the household waste stream, there are no requirements on quantity provided if they are stored in such a manner that does not create a health hazard nor poses a public/private nuisance or detriment to the environment. There are no quantity limitations on scrap tires generated by a farmer and rancher provided they are the result of only their own operation.

Can I burn waste tires or use them to burn brush?

Burning of wastes is not an option. We recommend disposal at the local landfill or recycling.
 


Trash Cleanup

Can DEQ require me/my neighbor to clean up the trash on my/his property?

There are several factors to this question that only an inspector may be able to determine during a field inspection.  However, Chapter 1, Section 1(l)(iv) of the Wyoming Solid Waste Rules and Regulations exempts the following from the solid waste permitting or waste management authorization: "The collection, storage and disposal of household wastes generated by a single family unit or household on their own property in such a manner that does not create a health hazard, public or private nuisance, or detriment to the environment."   Please contact Tim Link in Cheyenne at 307-777-7164, Bob Doctor in Casper at 307-473-3468, or Bob Breuer in Casper at 307-473-3454 for assistance.


Voluntary Remediation Program

What is the Voluntary Remediation Program (VRP)?

In the 2000 session, the Wyoming Legislature created opportunities, procedures, and standards for the voluntary remediation of contaminated sites, enacted as Articles 16, 17 and 18 of the Wyoming Environmental Quality Act.  The VRP provides a process to streamline cleanups and to provide incentives to put contaminated, underutilized lands back into productive reuse and redevelopment.  Incentives are available as liability assurances to give volunteers certainty about environmental liability.  In addition, subsequent to the passage of the VRP legislation, the Solid and Hazardous Waste Division developed a number of guidance documents, as fact sheets, to assist volunteers in managing their cleanup activities.

Where can I get more information on the VRP?

WDEQ’s website has information, including fact sheets, on the VRP at http://deq.state.wy.us/volremedi/index.asp?pageid=29  In addition, you can contact the Solid and Hazardous Waste Division for more information at 307-777-7753.

 


Wyoming Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (general or non CBM)

What is the WYPDES program?

The Wyoming Pollutant Discharge Elimination System regulates the discharge of pollutants through a point source to surface waters of the state.  The discharge of process or waste waters is regulated under WYPDES wastewater permits, while the discharge of storm water from industrial, mining and construction (one acre or larger) is regulated under one of several general storm water permits.  Questions regarding discharge of process or wastewaters should be directed to Leah Krafft 307-777-7093 or email at LKraff@state.wy.us   Storm water discharge questions may be directed to Barb Sahl 307-777-7570 or email at BSahl@state.wy.us

How long does it take to get a permit to discharge wastewater under the WYPDES program?

Most wastewater discharges are covered under individual permits which must be individually drafted for each facility.  The proposed permit must then be published for a minimum of 30 days to provide the public an opportunity to comment on the requirements of the permit.  On average it takes around 140 days from the submission of a complete application to the issuance of an individual permit.  The complexity of your situation and the completeness of the application will affect the time necessary to issue a permit.

What are general permits?

A general permit is a single permit issued to cover a large number of similar discharges.  Operators who qualify for and wish to be covered under a general permit submit an application called a Notice of Intent (NOI).  The general permit goes to public comment when it is written and not for each subsequent application under the permit.  Because of this the DEQ is able to process applications must faster, often issuing authorizations under the permit in a month or less. 

Some wastewater discharges are covered under general permits such as short-term hydrostatic test waters, pumping tests and construction dewatering.  Contact Roland Peterson for more information.  Most storm water discharges are covered under general permits.  For information contact Barb Sahl at 307-777-7570 or email at BSahl@state.wy.us

What kind of activities need coverage under a storm water permit?

There are two broad categories that require storm water permit coverage.  The first is construction; any construction project that disturbs one or more acres needs coverage under a construction general permit for construction.

Storm water discharges from many industrial activities also require coverage under a storm water permit.  Mineral mines are covered under a mineral mining general permit.  The industrial general permit covers most manufacturing activities as well as some transportation and waste processing facilities.  Waste processing activities include, but are not limited to, auto salvage, scrap and recycling, most landfills, and wastewater treatment plants with a design capacity of at least 1 mgd.  A list of regulated industrial categories can be found at http://deq.state.wy.us/wqd/npdesprogram/Storm/downloads/ISTEA_attachmentA.pdf  For a more comprehensive list contact Barb Sahl at 307-777-7570 or email at BSahl@state.wy.us .

How can I find out what facilities have WYPDES permits?

The WYPDES public access database allows users to query information on several parameters including permit number, facility name, facility category, company name, various tracking dates and receiving waters. Click here to find this database.