Air permitting requirements can be triggered when constructing a new facility, expanding an existing one, or making a modification to equipment or raw materials. Determining which actions require a permit can be a complicated task and there is often more than meets the eye when it comes to calculating increases in air pollution emissions.
Access can help you determine the sources of air emissions, identify the expected pollutants, and calculate the potential emissions using our repository of emissions data and estimating techniques.
Since almost all air permits have to be in place before beginning construction, neglecting a thorough evaluation of air permitting requirements can lead to costly and inconvenient delays for a construction project. This can mean the difference in being first to the market or lagging behind your competitors.
Congress established the New Source Review (NSR) permitting program as part of the 1977 Clean Air Act Amendments. NSR is a preconstruction permitting program that serves two important purposes.
First, it ensures that air quality is not significantly degraded from the addition of new and modified factories, industrial boilers and power plants. In areas with unhealthy air, NSR assures that new emissions do not slow progress toward cleaner air. In areas with clean air, especially pristine areas like national parks, NSR assures that new emissions do not significantly worsen air quality.
Second, the NSR program assures people that any large new or modified industrial source in their neighborhoods will be as clean as possible, and that advances in pollution control occur concurrently with industrial expansion.
NSR permits are legal documents that the facility owners/operators must abide by. The permit specifies what construction is allowed, what emission limits must be met, and often how the emissions source must be operated.
Operating permits are legally enforceable documents that permitting authorities issue to air pollution sources after the source has begun to operate. Most large sources and some smaller sources of air pollution are required to obtain a Title V Operating Permit. This requirement comes from Title V of the Clean Air Act, as amended in 1990.
Most title V permits are issued by state and local permitting authorities. These permits are often called part 70 permits because the regulations that establish minimum standards for state permit programs are found in the Code of Federal Regulations at 40 CFR part 70. However, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also issues title V permits to sources in Indian country and in other situations, as needed. EPA-issued permits are called part 71 permits.