Permit Requirements and Application Submittal Procedures

Here you will find answers to the following questions:

When is a permit required?

Any equipment that emits or controls air contaminants (such as nitrogen oxides or reactive organic gases) requires a permit from South Coast AQMD prior to construction, installation, or operation unless it is specifically exempted from the permit requirement by South Coast AQMD Rule 219 (PDF) (Equipment Not Requiring a Written Permit). It is good practice to apply for and receive a permit before purchasing new equipment in order to know exactly what the permit conditions and other requirements will be before construction, installation, and operation begin.

Although each piece of equipment required to be permitted has received an individual permit in the past, South Coast AQMD's RECLAIM program enables all equipment at some facilities to be covered by a single facility permit.

Permits are also required when a business using such equipment changes ownership or when such equipment is moved from one location to another.

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How do I obtain a permit?

To obtain a permit from South Coast AQMD, you need to complete a general application form for a Permit to Operate or a Permit to Construct (Form 400-A (PDF)) and the California Environmental Quality Act (Form 400-CEQA (PDF)). In addition, you will need to complete the appropriate Form 400-E-XX for each piece of equipment that requires a permit.

To avoid delay in processing, please be certain to fill out these application forms completely. The information you provide will be used to evaluate the environmental impact, if any, of your equipment.

By state law, a health risk analysis may be required if toxic chemicals are involved.

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Fee and submittal information

Applications and fee checks can be submitted by mail or in person. Fee information can be obtained by calling Permit Service Information at 909-396-3385 or by writing to:

Permit Services
South Coast Air Quality Management District
P. O. Box 4944
Diamond Bar CA 91765-0944

Please keep a copy of your application and your check as well as any other correspondence with South Coast AQMD. You can expect staff to contact you by letter or by phone after you have submitted your completed application.

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How long does it take to receive a permit?

For more efficient processing, permit applications are classified by source as minor, moderate, and major:

Minor sources generally receive their permits within seven days of filing. Typical minor sources are those which have just one or two pieces of equipment that are operated in a standardized fashion and do not emit toxic pollutants.

Moderate sources are usually issued permits within 30 days of filing. Moderate sources have equipment and processes that are not easily standardized, such as asphalt batching plants and medium-sized boilers used in food processing plants.

Major sources, such as oil refineries, chemical plants, sewage treatment works, and other businesses that emit air toxics or use complicated equipment, typically require a longer period of time for permit processing, partly due to state laws requiring public comment periods and/or health risk assessments.

South Coast AQMD engineers process permits for multi-permit facilities on a consolidated basis. One engineer will be your contact for a given project.

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