As part of the Air District’s responsibility to meet state and federal clean air standards, the District adopts rules and issues permits that require compliance with these standards. Permits allow the District to specify operating conditions consistent with our countywide clean air strategy and state air toxics requirements. Some of the businesses required to hold permits are power plants, gas stations (retail and non-retail), dry cleaners, auto body shops, printers, rock crushers, screening operations, portable equipment, electrical generators, and large and medium size boilers.
Permits provide information on the equipment in use and the air pollution devices used to control the air pollution caused through operations. Both large and small businesses need an Air District permit before they construct, change, replace, or operate any equipment and process that could cause air pollution including any equipment designed to reduce air pollution. Permits are also required if an existing business transfers ownership, relocates, or otherwise changes their operation. The District’s Frequently Asked Questions has additional information on permitting. Applications and instructions are available on the Forms, Fees and Facts web page.
The District’s permitting program provides a procedure for the review of new sources of air pollution, and the modification and operation of existing sources, through engineering evaluations and the issuance of permits. For any equipment or process that emits or controls the emission of air contaminants to the atmosphere, permits shall be obtained prior to beginning construction, and prior to a modification, replacement, or relocation of such equipment. (California Health and Safety Code, Ch. 4, Art. 1, 42300)
The permitting requirements / do you need a permit?
A questionnaire was designed to assist in determining if a building/grading permit applicant may be an air pollutant or hazardous air pollutant source, and if a permit from the District may be required. This questionnaire is intended to be given to building/grading permit applicants. The District’s Rules and Regulations are the driving force for the questions listed on the questionnaire. District Rules and Regulations apply to large and small businesses and public agencies whose operations emit, or have the potential to emit, air pollutants. The permitting requirements / do you need a permit? questionnaire also contains links to other permitting resources.
If any question is answered “Yes”, the applicant should contact the District according to the Who to Contact list below. Once you contact the District a determination will be made regarding the applicability of laws and regulations, exemptions, and whether a permit is required. If you are subject to permit requirements you must submit an application for a District permit, which includes an evaluation of compliance and the terms of operation under which continuing compliance can be achieved. District permits are renewable annually.
Exemptions from permitting, or specific District rules, or rule sections, exist for specified situations and/or equipment. An applicant claiming an exemption from the requirement to obtain a permit must have and maintain records to substantiate the qualification for the exemption. Please note that unless exempted entirely from rule requirements, the provisions of some rules may apply to an operation even though a permit is not required.
Information to Have Readily Available
When inquiring about permit applicability, have the following information readily available; full name and contact information of owner/operator, project/business location, type and description of business, projected listing of equipment that will be used in normal operations, projected listings and amounts of materials and chemicals to be used including liquids, solids and gases.
This section is not intended to cover burn permits or dust control. For information regarding burn permits please contact Ann Hobbs at (530) 745-2327. For Naturally-Occurring Asbestos Dust Mitigation Plan and Dust Control Plan approvals please contact Bruce Springsteen at (530) 745-2337.
In addition to Air District permits, there are also several other local, state, regional, and federal permit, licensing, and tax requirements that you may need to be aware of for your business. Click on the icon to search the CalGOLD database for addition permits and requirements.
The Air Resources Board adopted an air toxic control measure (ATCM) for stationary diesel engines. Each local air district implements the ATCM. For more information contact Air District staff at 530-745-2330 or at the Diesel ATCM web page.
Permit fees cover our cost to review applications, issue permits, and ensure compliance. Different fees apply to different types of permits and equipment. The Fee Tables in the District’s Fee Schedule are subject to annual adjustment, July 1st, to reflect increases in the California Consumer Price Index (CPI).
Statewide Portable Equipment Program
Portable Equipment are required to have either a District Permit to Operate or a California Air Resources Board (ARB) Statewide Portable Equipment Registration. Information on District permitting and the ARB Registration program can be found on the District's Portable Equipment webpage.