California Construction Air Quality Permit Overview (15-CA-a)
Construction Air Quality Permit Overview Process
15-CA-a.1 to 15-CA-a.2 – Is the Developer Applying for an Authority to Construct or a Permit to Operate?
If the developer is seeking an Authority to construct, follow the “Construct” arrow. If the developer is seeking an Operating Permit see:
15-CA-a.3 to 15-CA-a.4 - Does the Local Air District Exempt the Project from an Authority to Construct?
Each local air district determines the specific emission sources and levels that require an Authority to Construct. Consult the local APCD or AQMD regulations for details.
15-CA-a.5 – Application for an Authority to Construct
If the local air district does not exempt the stationary source from an Authority to Construct, the developer must complete the Application for an Authority to Construct and submit it to the appropriate local APCD or AQMD. Each local air district uses its own application form for the Authority to Construct. Generally, the Application for an Authority to Construct includes:
- A description of the business and industrial process, including the types of all material used, the products manufactured, and the waste generated;
- A description of any air pollution control equipment by design, size, or its anticipated degree of control;
- A description of the types of fuels used, the rate of use, and the sulfur and nitrogen contents of the fuel;
- A description of the equipment the developer will use;
- Identification numbers of any existing air district permits;
- The operating schedule for emission sources by hours per day, days per week, and weeks per year; and
- A description of how the developer intends to comply with the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
Note: Most local air districts require air quality construction mitigation plans to monitor and mitigate emissions from construction, including but not limited to asbestos, fugitive dust, and diesel emissions.
15-CA-a.6 to 15-CA-a.7 – Review Application Materials for Completeness
The local APCD or AQMD review the application for completeness and accept the application if complete. Typically a final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) under CEQA is required before the local air district can determine the application is complete. If the application is not complete, the local air district staff will return the application and inform the applicant of the additional information required for a complete application.
15-CA-a.8 – Review Application Materials
The local APCD or AQMD reviews the Application material in order to determine whether the stationary source complies with applicable ambient air quality standards and national and state emissions limitations. Each local air district adopts specific New Source Review Rules to ensure compliance with ambient air quality standards. New Source Review Rules regulate new or modified sources which emit or have the potential to emit any pollutant or precursor to a pollutant, for which a California or national ambient air quality standard exists. The local air district also reviews the application materials to evaluate non-criteria pollutants and to identify toxic air contaminants.
15-CA-a.9 - Preliminary Decision to Approve, Conditionally Approve, or Disapprove an Authority to Construct
After completing the review of application materials the air pollution control officer within the local air district issues a Preliminary Decision to approve, conditionally approve, or disapprove an Authority to Construct.
15-CA-a.10 – Public Notice of Preliminary Decision
The local APCD or AQMD publishes notice of the preliminary decision to approve, conditionally approve, or disapprove an Authority to Construct.
15-CA-a.11 – Comment on Preliminary Decision
The California Air Resources Board (CARB), the EPA, and the public receive a 30 day period to submit written comments on the preliminary decision to approve, conditionally approve, or disapprove the Authority to Construct.
15-CA-a.12 – Review All Comments
The air pollution control officer within the local air district must review and consider all comments about the preliminary decision. The air pollution control officer must make final decision to issue the Authority to Construct within 180 days after accepting a complete Application.
15-CA-a.13 – Authority to Construct
If the air pollution control officer within the local air district decides to issue the applicant (developer) an Authority to Construct, the local APCD or AQMD issues the developer an Authority to Construct. Additionally, the local county may impose its own conditions upon the Authority to Construct in addition to the conditions set by the local APCD or AQMD.
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