Federal Operating Permits

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The Federal Operating Permit program (also known as “Title V” or “Title V Permitting Program”) is a federal program designed to standardize air quality permits and the permitting process for major sources of emissions across the country. The name "Title V" comes from Title V of the 1990 federal Clean Air Act Amendments 42 U.S.C.GG7661-7661F, which requires the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish a national, operating permit program. Accordingly, EPA adopted regulations 40 of the CFR, which require states and local permitting authorities to develop and submit a federally enforceable operating permit program for EPA approval.

The primary intent of the Title V Program is threefold:

  1. Enhance nationwide compliance with the Clean Air Act
  2. Provide the basis for better emission inventories
  3. Provide a standard means to implement the following other programs in the federal Clean Air Act:
    1. Hazardous Air Pollutants (U.S.C Cites 42 U.S.C G7412);
    2. Periodic Monitoring (42 U.S.C. G7414 and G7661c); and
    3. Acid Rain (42 U.S.C. GG7651-76510)

The Title V Program requires local and state air quality agencies to issue comprehensive operating permits to facilities that emit significant amounts of air pollutants. For all implementing agencies in the country, there are standard requirements for permit programs and permit content. Title V operating permits differ from other Air District issued operating permit in that they explicitly include all the federally applicable requirements of all regulations that apply to operations at a Title V facility.

The important features of Title V operating permits include the following:

  • Title V operating permits must include all federally applicable requirements that apply to operations at the facility.
  • Proposed permits undergo public notice and U.S. Environmental Protections Agency (EPA) review - all comments must be addressed prior to permit issuance.
  • EPA has authority to terminate, modify or revoke and re-issue a permit if cause exists.
  • Permits are federally enforceable and may also be enforced via citizen lawsuits.
  • Permits must be renewed every five years with the full public notice and EPA review process.
  • Permits may be modified at the request of the permit holder after notice and review.

Fees, sufficient to administer the program, are required to be paid by the permit holder.

For additional information regarding Facilities subject to the program, the permitting process and opportunities for public participation please see Title V Frequently Asked Questions.