Basic Information about Operating Permits
- Legally-enforceable documents designed to improve compliance by clarifying what facilities (sources) must do to control air pollution.
- Required by Title V of the Clean Air Act.
- Issued to all large sources (“major” sources) and a limited number of smaller sources (called “area” sources, “minor” sources, or “non-major” sources).
- Most are issued by state or local agencies (“Clean Air Act part 70” permits); a small number are issued by the EPA (“Clean Air Act part 71” permits).
- Permits include pollution control requirements from federal or state regulations that apply to a source.
- Other air permits may be required (e.g., “Preconstruction” permits, “PSD” permits, or “NSR” permits), but this web site does not address such permits.
Clean Air Act Part 70 Programs
State and local permitting authorities have primary responsibility for running part 70 permitting programs, including reviewing permit applications and issuing permits.
EPA Regional Offices have oversight responsibilities over state programs, including:
- Review of state program submittals and revisions to state programs,
- Periodic review of state programs,
- Review and comment on draft state permits, and
- Review of monitoring or other reports required by the permit.
EPA’s Headquarters Office:
- Reviews public petitions asking the EPA to object to state-issued part 70 permits, and
- Develops national rulemakings, policy or guidance for parts 70/71.
The Clean Air Act Part 71 Program
The EPA is the permitting authority under part 71, performing functions similar to those a state would do under a part 70 program.