Permits are required by state and federal law for any operation or equipment that has the potential to pollute the air. Permits are required of both small and large businesses. They are generally required:
View a questionnaire (PDF) which can be used to determine if a permit is required.
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Air Quality Permits, like building and other business permits are a part of doing business in California. In Placer County, these permits are issued by the Placer County Air Pollution Control District, a local governmental agency responsible for protecting the air quality in our area. Information on Outdoor Burning can be found under Burning Information and Requirements page.
The District issues permits to ensure owners and operators of all equipment and processes that causes or controls the discharge of air contaminants are aware of and follow federal, state, and District rules. View Placer’s air quality attainment status (PDF). Before anyone builds, alters, replaces, operates, or uses machinery or equipment which may cause the issuance of air contaminants, the person must obtain a permit to do so from the Air Pollution Control Officer of the District (California Health and Safety Code, Chapter 4, Article 1, 42300). The permits include administrative requirements and limitations on operation (i.e. “Conditions”) that if violated would result in non-compliance with District, State, or federal emission limitations.
Since Placer County does not meet some of the air quality standards of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or the California Air Resources Board, the District must have a strategic plan to improve air quality. Air Quality Planning requires a thorough knowledge of the current emission inventory as well knowing where additional reductions can or cannot be achieved. Issuing permits allows the District to do better air quality planning, to improve compliance with established control measures, and to work with businesses to assure that their operations follow federal, state and local regulations and are coordinated with the District's air quality strategy.
The District issues two permits for a stationary source. The first - issued before construction begins - is an Authority to Construct. When construction is completed and Authority to Construct permit requirements are met, the District issues a Permit to Operate.
The A/C permit allows construction of a new facility or the installation or the modification of equipment at an existing facility.
Following construction, installation, or modification, District staff inspects the facility to ensure proper installation of all equipment. A temporary operating period is allowed for testing, calibration, and demonstration of compliance with conditions of the A/C.
The P/O allows continued operation in accordance with all permit conditions and local, state, and federal air pollution requirements.
The P/O is re-evaluated every year and is updated as necessary to ensure compliance and to reflect any changes to local, state, or federal requirements.
The Authority to Construct (A/C) is the first permit issued. A facility owner must file for the permit before construction begins to ensure compliance with all applicable District rules and regulations. This permit does allow changes during the planning stage, if it's necessary to alter the design to comply with the District's rules. A District engineer evaluates the project based on the information supplied in the permit application and any other equipment or process information made available.
Applicants must demonstrate that they can operate in compliance with the District rules and regulations. When the District engineer is satisfied that the project will comply, an Authority to Construct/Temporary Permit to Operate is issued.
After construction is completed, operation begins to demonstrate compliance with the authority to construct conditions. District staff inspects the facility to ensure that all the necessary equipment has been installed in accordance with the Authority to Construct. When the District is satisfied that the operating facility does not violate District rules and regulations, a Permit to Operate will be issued. The Permit to Operate contains the parameters within which the facility may operate. This permit must be renewed annually and may be reviewed and modified as needed.
Contact the District to receive a Permit Application Package. The application form and instructions are also available online. Applicants must submit:
View a fact sheet (PDF) which provides assistance in submitting a complete and accurate permit application.
The District charges permit fees (PDF) to cover the cost for reviewing applications, issuing permits and ensuring compliance. Different fees apply to different types of permits and equipment.
Permits are renewed annually. An invoice for annual fees will be mailed to the company approximately 45 days in advance of the expiration date for existing permits, with 30 days for payment. Once the invoice is paid, the permits will be renewed. The District’s intention is that the renewal permit will be issued prior to the expiration of the existing permits.
If there are no changes to a permit, only a one page coupon indicating payment and renewal will be provided. Companies should keep copies of the original permits and all coupons on file.
If you are concerned that you may have missed the receipt of the renewal invoice or the new permit, you are welcome to contact the District to inquire concerning the status of your permit.