Federal Operating Permits

Permit Applicability

Facilities with the potential to emit (PTE), the maximum capacity of a source to emit a pollutant under its physical and operational design, over the major source thresholds, listed in 9VAC5-80-60, are required to obtain a Title V permit. Air pollution control equipment and restrictions on hours of operation or on the type or amount of fuel combusted, stored or processed, can be treated as part of the facility’s design, limiting the source’s PTE, if the limitation or the effect it would have on emissions is federally enforceable.

A Greenfield facility (newly constructed) will need to apply for a Title V permit within 12 month of commencing operation if the facility has the potential to emit emissions above 100 tons per year (tpy) for criteria pollutants, 10 tpy of a single hazardous pollutant or 25 tpy of combined hazardous pollutants from the source. A Title V permit is also required for some facilities designated as area sources of hazardous pollutants as specified in the applicable Maximum Available Control Technology (MACT) regulations for that source category. A list of area sources either required or exempted from obtaining a Title V permit is maintained by EPA and is located here.

Expiration of Permit

Title V Permits have a maximum permit term of 5 years from the issuance date.

Application Fees

See the Air Permit Application Fee Form for fee amounts.

Public Participation Requirements

Title V permits are required to be noticed to the public, EPA and affected states (states located within 50 miles of the source). Notices are placed in a locally available newspaper which announces the 30 day public comment period and, if necessary, a public hearing. The Title V permit is also reviewed by EPA, which has 45 days to review the draft permit.  The review time is usually concurrent with the 30 day public comment period. However if substantial comments are received by either the public or EPA, the 45 day review period will be restarted after the comments have been addressed.

Time Frames

Title V permit processing times will generally follow the time frames listed below. Permits generating significant public interest may take longer to process to allow for additional public hearings and for the comments received to be addressed.

  • Application completeness review: 60 days
  • Processing of complete application: 18 months

Application Process

A pre-application meeting with the appropriate DEQ regional office for guidance on what information is needed for a complete application can be scheduled if needed. A complete application form (Form 805) should then be submitted to the regional office and a completeness determination will be made within 60 days of receipt. For Title V renewals, a complete application must be submitted no earlier than 18 months and no later than 6 months prior to the permit expiration.

Compliance Assurance Monitoring

The Compliance Assurance Monitoring (CAM) rule was promulgated by EPA in 40 CFR Part 64 on October 22, 1997 to ensure a source's compliance with their emission limits by establishing parameters which can be used to assure the accuracy of add-on control equipment. Operational parameters such as temperature, pressure drop, flow rate and electrical voltage are selected and monitored to determine compliance depending on the control device. An indicator range for the parameter is selected to establish a reasonable assurance of compliance. Documentation of the operation of the add-on controls within the indicator ranges is required from the source. Excursions from the indicator ranges must be reported as well as fixing the cause for the excursion in the process.

CAM Applicability

Large Pollutant Specific Emissions Units (PSEU) with an add-on control device and a pre-control device Potential to Emit (PTE) above major source thresholds are required to have a CAM plan. CAM applicability is made on a pollutant by pollutant basis for each PSEU. The only specifically exempted sources from CAM are backup utility generators which are owned by a municipality. To be an exempt utility generator the source must provide documentation in their Title V permit application documenting the following criteria are met:

  • The utility is exempt from all monitoring requirements in 40 CFR Part 75
  • The utility is operated only for the purpose of peak electrical demand or as an emergency generator
  • The actual emissions, based on the annual emissions average over the last three years of operation, are less than 50%, in tons per year, of the amount required to be a major source   

PSEU's applicable to CAM can be exempted from submitting a CAM plan if the source is applicable to another standard which requires sufficient monitoring. Sources with exempt emission limitations or standards from CAM Applicability are as follows:

  • Emission limitations or standards proposed after November 15, 1990 under Section 111 or 112 of the Clean Air Act (Act) for National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPS)
  • Stratospheric ozone protection requirements under Title VI of the Act
  • Acid Rain Program requirements pursuant to Sections 404, 405, 406(a), 407(b) or 410 of the Act
  • Emissions limitations which apply only under an emissions trading program such as the Acid Rain Program
  • Emissions limitations for which a Title V permit specifies a continuous compliance determination method. A continuous compliance determination method provides data in units of the emissions limitation or standard or is correlated directly with the compliance limit on a continuous basis 

Monitoring requirements for CAM may be satisfied if the PESU is using a certified Continuous Emissions Monitor (CEM), Continuous Opacity Monitor (COM), or Predictive Emission Monitoring System (PEMS) required under another standard such as a NESHAP requirement. The monitoring must provide an indicator range to assure compliance is being maintained. However the PESU is not considered to be exempted from CAM. If in the future the source is no longer applicable to the standard, and the standard’s monitoring requirements which satisfy the CAM requirements, then a CAM plan will be required to be submitted by the facility.

Article 3 (Title IV) Federal Operating Permits (Acid Rain)

The Title IV Federal Operating Permit or Acid Rain Permit program was implemented to reduce the overall emissions of SOx and NOx using a market based approach. The Acid Rain permitting program uses allowances, an authorization to emit one ton of SOx or NOx, to implement a cap on emissions. Sources are allowed to buy, sell, trade or bank allowances using the allowance trading market. The source then has an emissions limit equal to the allowances each unit holds without violating any other emissions limit under the Clean Air Act. The number of allowances a source holds can vary if a source actively participates in the allowances market. Virginia does not maintain its own banking system.

Permit Applicability

A source is required to apply for at Title IV permit if the source has a unit in operation which meets one of the following criteria:

  • Any new utility unit
  • A unit with a nameplate generator capacity of greater than 25 Megawatt electricity (MWe) after November 15, 1990
  • Simple combustion turbines using an auxiliary firing after November 15, 1990.
  • The unit is listed in Table 1, 2 or 3 of 40 CFR 73.10. Units in Virginia which are affected are listed on Table 2 under Part 1 and Part 2

A unit does not have to obtain an Acid Rain permit provided the unit meets one of the following criteria:

  • The unit is a simple combustion turbine in operation before November 15, 1990
  • Any unit with a nameplate capacity of less than 25 MWe
  • Units which have been shutdown and are no longer producing electricity for sale
  • Non-utility power generating units 

Expiration of Permit

Title IV permits have a permit term of 5 years.

Application Fees

Title IV permit application fees are the same as Title V permit application fees. See the Air Permit Application Fee Form for fee amounts.

Public Participation Requirements

Title IV permits are required to undergo the same public participation requirements as Title V permits. These requirements include newspaper notices published in a locally available newspaper, in relation to the source location, announcing the 30 public comment period and, if necessary, a public hearing. 

Time Frames

Initial permit applications for an acid rain source are due 24 months before the source begins operating. Renewal permit applications are due 6 months before the expiration of the current permit. Application and permit processing times are as follows:

  • Application completeness review: 60 days
  • Processing of complete application: 18 months

Application Process

A source is required to register the facility and its affected units with the EPA. The source must then register a designated representative with the EPA, the designated representative must be an actual person named in the application. All correspondence from EPA and DEQ will be addressed to this person. All acid rain sources will be required to submit a Form 805 for the applicable Title V requirements.

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Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000


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