A facility has been sold and the permit needs to be in the new owner's name. What's the procedure?
If the facility is operating under a Title V permit, the following is required to be submitted to the Air Protection Branch as soon as possible after the transfer of ownership:
- Letter signed by new and former owners indicating the effective date of transfer of responsibilities for the facility. Include a statement as to whether or not there will be changes in equipment or processes at the facility.
- If there are no equipment or process changes, the Title V application with a minimum of sections A, B and C completed and the notarized certification signed by the Responsible Official. NOTE: only the software based application will be accepted. Sections A, B & C of the application are the "Facility Information," "Facility Emissions" and "Rule Applicability" sections of the application.
- If there are equipment or process changes, fully completed Title V AND SIP Construction and Operating permit applications are required to be submitted, accompanied by the notarized certification signed by the Responsible Official. Data may be imported from an electronic Title V application for the facility if one was already completed.
Facilities not operating under a Title V permit.
If the facility is operating under a "regular" SIP permit, a letter signed by new and former owners indicating the effective date of transfer of responsibilities for the facility. Include a statement as to whether or not there will be changes in equipment or processes at the facility. If there are changes to equipment or processes, a fully completed SIP Construction and Operating permit application must be completed and submitted with the letter.
Note: Air quality permits are not transferable in Georgia. New permits are issued in the name of the facility's new owner.
- A facility has been permanently shut down, what is the procedure for having the permit revoked?
The company should send the Air Branch - Stationary Source Compliance Program a letter which:
Identifies the facility (name, location, permit number, and AIRS number)
States that the facility has been shut down (specifying the date)
States that the air-emitting equipment has been permanently removed (specifying the date), and
States that the company would like the permit revoked.
A facility will be making modifications that will require a Title V application to be submitted. What parts of the application need to be completed?
Complete and submit sections A, B, and C and any other sections of the application pertaining to the equipment or processes being modified. Depending on the nature of the change, an SIP Construction & Operating permit application may also be required.
Construction of a new facility is planned and it is known that the facility will be subject to part 70 (Title V). When does the Title V application need to be submitted?
A Title V application nees to be submitted to the Air Protection Branch within one year of beginning operation as a major source. An SIP Construction & Operating permit application should be submitted as soon as possible as processing time varies depending on facility location, size and quantity of air pollutants.
How are Title V applications to be submitted?
When the application is fully completed, the software's "Completeness Check" must be done with no "errors" resulting before the application file can be created. A "Create the Submittal File
" button will appear on the Completeness Check form when the software check has deteremined that there are no "errors." Any "warnings" indicated should be examined to verify that correct information has been entered. detailed instructions for submitting will appear on the form that displays after clicking the "Create the Submittal File
" button. To prevent the application package being returned, do not change the name of the file that the software creates.
Please note that before the Division can accept the completed application, each applicant must fill out, sign and have notarized a certification and signature form. The certification and signature form is included in the Title V application. The Title V application instructions require submittal of two separate copies of the application file on a separate and appropriate media (e.g., CD, DVD, or 3.5” floppy disk if it will fit) and one original and one copy of the certification and signature form to the Air Protection Branch. We recommend using certified mail or an alternative tracking method (e.g., FedEx). Faxed copies or emailed attachments will not be accepted.
How are alternate scenarios for equipment handled in the Title V application?
Alternate Scenarios are handled by creating a copy (or copies) of the emission unit with the SAME emission unit ID and, in the description that is prompted for immediately after the ID, indicate the scenario as part of the very brief description. This is included in the help for the "Add an Emission Unit" form (D7i).
A facility's name does not appear in the drop-down list when beginning to complete a Title V application. What do I do?
Send email to
advising EPD that the facility's name does not appear in the Title V software database and that it needs to be added. Provide your telephone number, email address, the name of the facility, facility address and AIRS number, if known. We will let you know, within a very short time, when you may download the "Support Information" update to add the facility's name.
- In the software Title V application, where do I request that a permit conditon be changed or removed?
From the main menu, choose "A - Facility Information" teh nchoose "A6 - Current Facility Permits." Select the permit or amendment on the list of permit numbers and amendment numbers that contains the condition that needs to be changed or removed. After selecting the permit or amendment, click the button ,located at bottom left of the form, that reads "Request a Specific ..." Follow the instructions that appear on ther subsequent forms and dialog boxes.
- Does my planned/proposed activity require an Air Permit?
That can be a tricky question. However, if we take it step by step the answer is usually clearly discernable.
- Unless Exempt, You Must Get an Air Permit. The Georgia Rules for Air Quality Control require facilities to obtain an Air Permit prior to beginning the construction or modification of any project that may result in air pollution unless that project is exempt from obtaining a permit as specified in the Rules (see Georgia Rule 391-3-1-.03(1), (2), and (6)).
- The Rules give the Director some discretionary authority to require permits. Even if the remainder of the regulations state that the activity is exempt from permitting, the rules give the Director of EPD the authority to require a permit if circumstances warrant.
a. See Georgia Rule 391-3-1-.03(6): “Unless otherwise required by the Director, SIP permits shall not be required for the following source activities...”
b. Nevertheless, this discretion is rarely used, so you should proceed as if this discretion will not be utilized.
- SIP Permit Exemptions – Gatekeeper Language. The first thing to look at is the general gatekeeper language at the beginning of the SIP Exemption Section in the rulebook (391-3-1-.03(6) Exemptions). That section includes the following language:
a. These exemptions may not be used to avoid any emission limitations or standards of the Rules for Air Quality Control Chapter 391-3-1-.02, lower the potential to emit below “major source” thresholds or to avoid any “applicable requirement” (i.e., NSPS, NESHAP, etc.) as defined in 40 CFR Part 70.2.
b. There are two key purposes to this gatekeeper language. One purpose is to explain that the permit exemptions may not be used to avoid being classified as a major source. For example, if a SIP minor source or SIP synthetic minor source has potential emissions of sulfur dioxide from existing equipment of 95 tons/yr and plans to add additional equipment with potential emissions of 9 tons/yr, the facility must get a permit before it constructs the planned equipment. In this particular example there are two likely permitting options (there may be additional options, however the two discussed options are by far the most likely). If the Permittee is able to accept additional permit restrictions such that the potential to emit for the facility stays below 100 tons/yr including the additional equipment, then the facility can obtain a new/revised synthetic minor permit from EPD. If the Permittee is unable to accept additional permit restrictions for sulfur dioxide emissions, the facility can obtain a SIP major source transitional permit from EPD. This transitional permit will require the Permittee to apply for, and obtain, a Title V permit.
The other purpose of this language is to make clear that rule applicability is independent from the permitting exemptions. The permitting exemptions have no effect on the applicability of any Georgia SIP standard in 391-3-1-.02(2), any Federal NSPS standard (adopted by reference in 391-3-1-.02(8)) in 40 CFR 60, or any Federal NESHAP or MACT standard (adopted by reference in 391-3-1-.02(9)) in 40 CFR 61 or 63. Applicability of these standards is governed by the standards themselves. It is possible to be subject to one or more of these rules and still be exempt from permitting. However, the Permittee may elect to include the equipment, and associated applicable requirements, in the permit to help assure that this equipment stays in compliance.
While not included in the introductory language for the SIP Permit Exemptions, another issue that the Permittee must consider is whether or not the proposed change would violate an existing permit condition (as discussed later, this issue is specifically addressed by the rules for Title V sources). If the proposed change would violate an existing condition of the permit, the permit must be amended to address the proposed change.
- SIP Permit Exemptions – Equipment Specific First, Then Catch-All Emission Thresholds. If a project passes all of the gatekeeper language issues raised above, the next step is to look at the permit exemptions themselves. If a piece of equipment satisfies the criteria for one of the specific permit exemptions, then it is exempt from permitting. Note that some of the specific permit exemptions include size and/or throughput thresholds as part of the exemption (examples include stationary engines, boilers, storage tanks, and concrete plants), while some do not.
a. For equipment not addressed by a specific equipment exemption, there are general, emission threshold based, exemptions. For unpermitted facilities, there are facility-wide emission based thresholds. And for existing permitted facilities undergoing a modification, there are emission based thresholds for “cumulative modifications.” In either case, if a piece of equipment is addressed by a specific equipment permit exemption and it exceeds the applicable size and/or throughput threshold (for example a boiler that is greater than 10 mmBtu/hr heat input), then that equipment must be permitted, regardless of its emissions.
b. Facilities using the “cumulative modifications” exemption must consider a couple of additional factors. First, when comparing the emissions changes to the permitting exemption emission thresholds, facilities may not include any emission reductions. Second, facilities must keep track of all emission increases covered under the “cumulative modifications” exemption. If the emission increases from multiple unpermitted projects ever exceed the applicable emission thresholds, even if spread out over many years, then all of the equipment must be permitted.
- SIP Permit Exemptions – Conclusion. If a facility goes through all the criteria described above and concludes that no permit is required, the facility does not have to submit anything to Georgia EPD and Georgia EPD does not need to make a case-specific determination that no permit is required. The rules stand on their own. However, the facility should maintain records to support the determination that no permit is required, including any relevant dates, any change in emissions, pollutants emitted, and any relevant applicable requirements.
a. If a facility is unsure if a permit is required or not, it may submit a request for a determination to Georgia EPD. The request for determination must include all necessary information for Georgia EPD to make the determination.
Requests for determination under Georgia Rule 391-3-1-.03(6)(i)3. should be submitted using the NPR form available on the Air Branch web page at: http://www.georgiaair.org/airpermit/, the click on the ‘Permitting’ tab and then click on ‘SIP No Permit Required Forms.’ Follow the instructions on the web page.
- Title V Sources. The State of Georgia implements a combined SIP construction and Title V operating permits program. This means that facilities that are subject to Title V permitting are still subject to the same SIP construction permit requirements as non-Title V sources. Therefore, in regard to permit exemptions, facilities subject to Title V permitting are subject to slightly different requirements than SIP minor sources or SIP synthetic minor sources. In order for a modification (that is not already addressed by the permit) to a Title V source to be exempt from permitting, it must qualify as an Off-Permit Change. The Georgia Rules for Air Quality Control define Off-Permit Changes in 391-3-1-.03(10)(b)(6):
a. Any Part 70 source may make changes that are not addressed or prohibited by the permit, other than those described in paragraph 7., without a Part 70 permit revision, provided the following requirements are met:
(i) Each such change shall meet all applicable requirements and shall not violate any existing permit term or condition.
(ii) Sources must provide contemporaneous written notice to the Director and EPA Administrator of each such change, except for changes that qualify as insignificant under the provisions adopted pursuant to 40 CFR 70.5(c). Such written notice shall describe each such change, including the date, any change in emissions, pollutants emitted, and any applicable requirement that would apply as a result of the change.
(iii) The change shall not qualify for the shield under paragraph (10)(d)6.
(iv) The permittee shall keep a record describing changes made at the source that result in emissions of a regulated air pollutant subject to an applicable requirement, but not otherwise regulated under the permit, and the emissions resulting from those changes.
b.The Off-Permit Change language is self-explanatory, therefore this response does not address every single subparagraph. In regard to subparagraph (v), it is worth noting that all of the SIP Permit Exemption criteria described earlier apply to Title V Off-Permit Changes as well. In regard to subparagraph (ii), if the change is exempt from permitting under 391-3-1-.03(6), but is not on the insignificant activities or trivial list, the company must notify both EPD and EPA of the change. Note that the exemptions list in 391-3-1-.03(6) and the insignificant activities list in 391-3-1-.03(10)(g) are very similar. The main (but not only) differences are that "Combustion Equipment" under (6)(b)1, 2, and 3 and the "Cumulative modifications" under (6)(i)3 of the exemptions list are not part of the insignificant activities list.
7. Some Rules Specifically Require Permitting. Finally, I want to point out that some rules specifically require the facility to obtain a permit. Two notable examples of this requirement are Georgia Rule 391-3-1-.02(2)(tt) - VOC RACT, and Georgia Rule 391-3-1-.02(2)(yy) - NOx RACT. Projects subject to these rules, regardless of emissions, must always be permitted, including a draft permit that goes through public notice and comment.
- How long does it take to get an Air Permit?
Actual timeframes are affected by factors such as the complexity of the action being requested and the current workload of the permit writer assigned to the application. In addition, it is common for EPD to ask questions during the review process, so prompt and complete responses are helpful at keeping things on track. With those caveats, the Air Branch Permitting Program has the following permitting timeframe goals after receipt of a substantially complete application:
- Non-PSD construction permits – 120 days or less.
a. 502(b)(10) change to Title V permit – 90 days or less
b. Biodiesel and Ethanol production plant permits – 90 days or less
- Non-PSD Significant Modifications to Title V permits:
a. Construction permit (if needed) – 120 days or less
b. Final Part 70 amendment:
i.No comments – 6 months
Comments – 9 month
- Minor Modifications to Title V permits:
a. Construction permit (if needed) – 120 days or less
b. Final Part 70 amendment: Note that the source may begin operation of the modification under the provisions of rule 391-3-1-.03(10)(e)5(i)(V)I and does not have to wait until the final permit is issued.
- Routine changes to existing synthetic minor (SM) or minor (B) sources – 90 days or less
- Administrative changes only (name change, ownership change, typos, etc.) – 60 days or less
- PSD/112(g) construction permits for major sources or major modifications to existing major sources - 6 months +
Significant public or EPA comments may add 60 or more days.