The Clean Air Act is a comprehensive federal law that regulates air emissions from both stationary and mobile sources. This law authorizes the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) to protect public health and to regulate emissions of hazardous air pollutants. These responsibilities include protecting and improving the nation’s air quality and the stratospheric ozone layer through air permitting.
An air emissions permit is a legal document that details how a facility is meeting air quality regulations. Facilities that have the potential to emit any regulated pollutant in amounts higher than specific thresholds must obtain an air permit.
This operating permit contains information on all sources of air pollution at that facility such as which pollutants are being released, how much may be released, and what steps the source’s operator is taking to reduce pollution. It also contains legal conditions that are enforced by both state and federal governments.
State or local agencies typically issue permits. Midwest Environmental Consulting Services, Inc. (MEC) is an agency that is designated for air permitting. We simplify the application and permitting process by analyzing your facility and determining which permit best suits your air emissions.
Air pollution consists of nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur dioxide (SO 2), particulate matter (PM), carbon dioxide (CO), volatile organic material (VOM), hazardous air pollutants (HAP), greenhouse gas (GHG), and lead (Pb). Therefore, equipment emitting any of these pollutants needs to be evaluated for purposes of air permits.
“Federal regulations require each major source of air pollutant emissions to obtain an ‘operating permit’ that consolidates all of the air pollution control requirements into a single, comprehensive document covering all aspects of the source’s air pollution activities. Air pollution permits are also required for businesses that build new pollution sources or make significant changes to existing pollution sources.”