The 1990 Federal Clean Air Act Amendments mandated an operating permit program for the largest sources of air pollution. An Air Operating Permit (AOP) — or Title V Permit — combines all operational and procedural requirements, emission standards and other regulatory requirements into one comprehensive document (NWCAA Regulation Section 322).
About the Program
A facility is required to obtain an Air Operating Permit if it has the potential to emit any of the following:
- More than 100 tons per year of any pollutant
- More than 10 tons per year of any hazardous air pollutant
- More than 25 tons per year of a combination of hazardous air pollutants.
Facilities that have the potential to emit more than these thresholds, but actually emit less, can ask for a legal order from NWCAA that limits emissions to below the thresholds. These sources are considered synthetic minors.
AOP permits reduce violations of air pollution laws and improve enforcement of those laws in the following ways:
- Record all the source’s air pollution control requirements in one document. This gives the public, regulators,
and the source a clear picture of what the facility is required to do to keep its air pollution under the legal
- Require the source to report regularly on how it is tracking its emissions and the controls it is using to limit
- Clarify monitoring, testing, or record keeping requirements where needed, which helps assure compliance with
emission limits or other pollution control requirements.
- Require the source to certify each year whether or not it has met the permit’s air pollution requirements.
- Make the terms of the Title V permit federally enforceable. This means that EPA and the public can enforce the
terms of the permit, along with the NWCAA and the State.
All source reports and certifications provided by the source are public information.