Jump to main content or area navigation.

Contact Us

Operating Permits

Title V Permitting in Indian Country

Within Indian country, it will generally be the responsibility of EPA Regional Offices or Indian Tribes to issue Title V permits.

How is EPA working with Tribes to improve their capacity to run permit programs?

EPA will provide technical support and assistance to Tribes that have not gotten approval of their permit programs to increase the Tribes' capacity to run a Title V program. One way for EPA to do this is to develop a partnership with a Tribe to run a Part 71 program for its reservation. The details of the partnership would be contained in a delegation agreement signed by the Tribe and EPA. The delegation agreement would discuss which portions of the Part 71 program would be the responsibility of EPA and which would be the responsibility of the Tribe.

How will permits for sources in Indian country be different than those issued by States?

The most important difference is that there will not be emission limits or standards from the State Implementation Plan (SIP) or State air quality rules in Part 71 permits. Since Tribes have generally not yet developed federally enforceable air regulations or Tribal Implementation Plans, there will be fewer requirements to incorporate into permits for Indian country facilities, compared to State-issued permits. In some cases, there will be no air quality rules that apply to a facility. These facilities will get "hollow" permits until the Tribe or EPA develops regulations that apply to the facility.

When can Tribes issue Title V permits?

If Tribes develop their own Title V programs and get them approved by EPA, they can issue Part 70 permits. When EPA approves a Tribal program, it will suspend the issuance of part 71 permits for that area.

EPA can authorize the Tribe to run the Part 71 program and issue Part 71 permits if a Tribe (1) has the authority under Tribal law to accept delegation of the authority to run a Part 71 program, and (2) if the Tribe has established its eligibility under the Tribal Authority Rule to run a program under the Clean Air Act. The procedures for delegation of the Part 71 program are found at 40 CFR 71.10. The procedures for a Tribe to establish eligibility to administer a Clean Air Act program are found at 40 CFR 49.6. For more information on the Tribal Authority Rule, see the discussion at 63 FR 7254 (PDF) (22 pp, 154 KB) (Feb. 12, 1998).

What procedures apply when EPA issues a Title V permit?

The procedures that EPA is required to use are spelled out in 40 CFR part 71.

Before issuing a permit, EPA must publish a newspaper notice and send out individual notices to persons on a mailing list for each draft permit. EPA must advertise in the public press that the public can request to be on the mailing list. The notice must tell you where the permit file is located, when it is available for public inspection, and that all data submitted by the facility are publicly available. Anyone (including the permitee) can make comments on the draft permit during the public comment period and may request a public hearing. Public hearings will be held if there is a significant degree of public interest or at the discretion of EPA. EPA must provide a transcript or tape recording of any public hearing that is held.

Part 71 permits can be appealed to the federal Environmental Appeals Board (EAB). If you are dissatisfied with the decision of the EAB, you can appeal to federal court.

What procedures apply when a Tribe issues Part 71 permits?

When a Tribe runs a Part 71 program, the procedures are very similar to when EPA issues Part 71 permits. However, the most important difference is that if the authority to run the program is delegated to a Tribe, there will be a 45-day review period by EPA. The Tribe will draft a permit, take public comment, and then submit a proposed permit to EPA for its 45-day review.

Jump to main content.