Operating Permits State Programs

Prior to the CAAA, there was no federally enforceable operating permit program. If a source was required to obtain an operating permit, it was pursuant to a state program. Some states require facilities to obtain a state operating permit, separate from any pre-construction permit. State operating permit programs differ from state to state, although in general the requirements of the program are limited. Often, no additional operating requirements, other than those contained in the pre-construction permit, are set.

State operating permits have not tended to be a critical element of the permitting process and were established in the past as a means to accomplish the following:

• Verification of pre-construction limits, used as a confirmation that the conditions agreed upon in the construction permit have been met.

• Generation of revenue, used by some states that require annual fees to be submitted at the time of an annual state operating permit renewal.

• Inventory of sources, enables states to perform an annual inventory of the type of sources and equipment in operation.

• Annual emissions report, used as a means to review the annual emissions of a source.

While states may use the information gathered by their operating permit programs for other uses, the scope and purpose of the state operating permit program are limited when compared to the federally enforceable operating permit program required by the Act.

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