Air Quality Permitting

The permitting branches in the Bureau of Air Pollution Control issues air quality operating permits to stationary and temporary construction sources that emit regulated pollutants to ensure that these emissions do not harm public health or cause significant deterioration in areas that presently have clean air. This is achieved by stipulating specific permit conditions designed to limit the amount of pollutants that sources may emit into the air as a regular part of their business processes.

Examples of permitted units at air pollution emitting facilities include: incinerators, boilers for space or process heating, stationary diesel engines such as used for generators or compressors, stationary engines used to generate power from landfills or anaerobic digesters, electric utility power plants, bulk gasoline storage (not including most retail gasoline dispensing stations) and industrial processes such as wood furniture manufacturing, spray coating operations, dust generating activities, metal plating operations, plywood and veneer manufacturing, concrete cement batching, hot mix asphalt production, and mineral mining and processing operations such as rock crushing and/or screening operations.

The permit review process is intended to ensure both new and existing emission sources are properly designed and operated with effective emission control measures.  This includes identifying the type of pollution from each emission unit, the composition of the pollution, where in the process it may be emitted, what form it may be emitted (e.g. gaseous or particulate), whether it is directly emitted (e.g. dusts, solvents) or chemically formed or altered (e.g. combustion or reaction intermediaries), evaluating emission control and reduction options, calculating the quantities and concentrations of the pollution emitted, evaluating the impacts of those emissions by conducting air dispersion modeling, and writing effective permits to ensure proper emission control and measurable means of ensuring compliance.

The following thresholds are a guide to the various air quality permit types:

  • Class I – Typically for facilities that emit more than 100 tons per year for any one regulated pollutant or emit more than 25 tons per year total HAP or emit more than 10 tons per year of any one HAP or is a PSD source or major MACT source.
  • Class II– Typically for facilities that emit less than 100 tons per year for any one regulated pollutant and emit less than 25 tons per year total HAP and emit less than 10 tons per year of any one HAP.
  • SAD – Surface Area Disturbance of >5 acres.
  • General / COLA – Temporary portable equipment for road and highway construction at a location < 12 months.

The proper permit documents can be downloaded on NDEP’s website at the following link.