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    Complying with the Clean Air Act

Under the Clean Air Act (CAA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets limits on how much of a pollutant can be in the air anywhere in the United States. This ensures that all Americans have the same basic health and environmental protections.

The law allows individual states to have stronger pollution controls , but states are not allowed to have weaker pollution controls than those set for the whole country.

One of the major breakthroughs in the 1990 Clean Air Act is a permit program for larger sources that release pollutants into the air. A permit includes information on which pollutants are being released, how much may be released and what kind of steps the source's owner or operator is taking to reduce pollution.

Who needs to get an air permit?

There are two types of permits: construction permits and operating permits. Construction permits are required for all new stationary sources and all existing sources that are adding new emissions units or modifying existing emissions units. Operating permits (also known as Title V permits) are required for all major stationary sources. Some local agencies also require operating permits for minor sources.

What's in a permit?

Air quality permits are legally binding documents that include enforceable conditions with which the source owner/operator must comply. The permit conditions establish limits on the types and amounts of air pollution allowed, operating requirements for pollution control devices or pollution prevention activities and monitoring and record keeping requirements.

Who issues the permits?

The permit is issued by the state or local air pollution control agency responsible for the area where the source is located. In some cases, EPA is the permitting authority.

What are the costs involved in obtaining a permit?

For Title V permits, the law requires that permitting authorities charge sources annual fees that are sufficient to cover the permit program costs. Fees are structured so that sources that emit more air pollution pay more for their Title V permits than sources that emit less.

How often do permits need to be renewed?

Title V permits must be renewed every five years.

If laws change, do permits need to be revised?

If laws change and additional requirements under the Clean Air Act become applicable to a source with a Title V permit, the permit must be revised. If three or more years remain prior to the expiration of the Title V permit, the permit must be reopened and revised. If two years or less remain, the changes can be made when the permit is renewed, at the end of its five year term.

Many states require accounting of VOC/HAP’s whether you have a permit or not.

MACT Standards are the most common additional requirements are under this program and in addition to permits. There are growing at an alarming rate. The standards started at alphabet "A" and are not at "7H" (covered H, seven times). This standards are for many manufacturing activities and how they handle air emissions from these activities. The most common MACT standards are related to painting of materials and metal fabrication.

MTCS can help with any permitting process that you may find needs attention.

We have experience with all phases of the permitting process.
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