Operating Permits The Federal Program

The CAAA requires each major source of air pollutants to obtain a federal operating permit. The renewable permit incorporates all applicable conditions under one federally enforceable permit. Since the federal operating permit program does not create new emissions limits or requirements, it is considered a mechanism by which the EPA can enforce the requirements of the Act and provide the facility management and the public with a single document covering all air regulations and conditions affecting that facility.

The federal operating permit program applies, regardless of whether an area is in attainment or not. It applies to all sources that are major for any criteria pollutant or HAP and sources covered by federally enforceable NSPS or State RACT limitations.

States are responsible for adopting rules to implement this program, EPA approves those rules, and then the state implements the program. Applications for permits must be submitted to the state within one year of EPA approval of the state's program. In addition to EPA and state review, the Act also provides for the opportunity of public participation in the permitting process. All applications and supporting documents must be made available to the public for review. The permitting agency must also provide an opportunity for public comment and a formal hearing to address the application. Once the EPA, the applicable states, and the public have all reviewed the application and the permitting agency has addressed any comments, a final permit may be issued.

States are also required to collect an annual fee of at least $30/ton (1994 dollars) of regulated pollutants, unless a state is able to show that a smaller fee would be adequate for the state to fund its permitting effort. The Act requires that the fees be used to cover the cost of developing and implementing the operating permit program.

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Guide to Alternative Fuels

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