Agricultural Sources

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Environmental Groups Petition EPA to List Ammonia as Criteria Pollutant (April 6, 2011) – The Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) and 20 other environmental groups filed a petition with EPA requesting that the agency list ammonia as a criteria pollutant under the Clean Air Act.  The groups argue that ammonia meets the criteria for listing as a criteria pollutant because ammonia emissions “cause or contribute to air pollution which may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health or welfare.”  The petitioners argue that EPA should regulate emissions of ammonia because unsafe ambient levels of the pollutant currently threaten public health; they highlight ammonia emissions from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) as an issue particular concern.  Specifically, they cite EIP’s analysis of EPA data from its National Air Emissions Monitoring Study of CAFOs that show “most of the monitored CAFOs emit levels of ammonia that exceed [regulatory standards] at the emission vent on certain days during the study.”  The petitioners also note that ammonia is a precursor to fine particulate matter and assert that ammonia emissions endanger public health by contributing to violations of fine particulate NAAQS. 

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Why Do I Need Permits Now

California State Senate Bill 700 (SB700-Florez-D) (SB700 chaptered version (PDF, 47kb) was enacted into California law and became effective on January 1, 2004.  It affected agricultural sources involved in the growing of crops or the raising of fowl or animals (see a detailed definition of an agricultural source. This change in state law eliminated an exemption and now requires permits for various types of equipment that emit air contaminants.

In order to facilitate the implementation of the changes to state law, the following new or amended existing rules were approved at SCAQMD’s December 3, 2004 Governing Board meeting:

  • Rule 102 – Definition Of Terms;

  • Rule 201 – Permit To Construct; Rule 201.1 – Permit Conditions In Federally Issued Permits To Construct;

  • Rule 202 – Temporary Permit To Operate;

  • Rule 203 – Permit To Operate;

  • Rule 219 Equipment Not Requiring A Written Permit Pursuant To Regulation II; and,

  • Rule 312 – Special Permitting Fees for Agricultural Sources.

The documentation for this action can be found at BOARD MEETING DATE: December 3, 2004 AGENDA NO. 42.


The California Health and Safety Code now mandates written permits for certain agricultural sources.  Amendments to Rule 102 added or amended definitions necessary to implement these requirements.  Rules 201, 201.1, 202 and 203 were amended to establish permitting procedures for these sources.  Amended Rule 219 identifies the agricultural sources that are no longer exempt from written permits and when applications are to be submitted. To facilitate the permitting of existing agricultural sources, Rule 312 set the special permitting fees for a transitional period that ended through June 30, 2005.

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Do I Need Permits?

All agricultural operations involved in the growing of crops or the raising of fowl or animals must obtain a permit from the SCAQMD if the emissions from the agricultural source equals or exceeds half of the Clean Air Act Major Source Title V thresholds. The Major Source Thresholds (MST) are pollutant and location dependent. (See Maps to determine the MST for your location.)

For ANY agricultural operation that has gasoline dispensing equipment subject to the requirements of Rule 461 (PDF), an application for a permit to operate this equipment WILL be required.

The SCAQMD has developed a calculator in Excel format that will help you determine whether you need a permit and, if so, what type of permit is required. This spreadsheet has three tabs at the bottom of the spreadsheet titled Intro, Screening Calculator, and Emission Factors. Click on the area in which the agricultural source is located to open the correct calculator for your location and then click on the "open" option and proceed to the "Intro" tab for instructions on completing the calculator. You can also click the area here for the appropriate calculator Area 1, Area 2, or Area 3 (XLS files).


Major Air Basins Map for Major Source Thresholds for Title V

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What Should I Do If the Calculator Says I Need a Title V Permit?

If the calculator results indicate that a Title V permit is required, please call Peter Votlucka [retired] at (909) 396-3130 for assistance as soon as possible. The submittal date for Title V Permit applications was June 29, 2004 and there could be potential compliance issues that need to be resolved quickly.  You can also go to Title V home page for additional information.

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What Should I Do If the Calculator Says I Need SCAQMD Permits?

If the calculator results indicate that SCAQMD permits are required, you will need to get permits for all agricultural permit units.  Agricultural permit units are equipment or operations at an agricultural source which cause or control emission of air contaminants and include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Engine driven irrigation pumps;

  • Emergency generators;

  • Boilers or heaters;

  • Dairies;

  • Conveyorized feed storage and distribution; or,

  • Orchard wind machines driven by engines > 50 hp operated more than 30 hours per year.

Various forms need to be completed and submitted along with associated fees. The date on which equipment was installed or modified affects fees and regulatory requirements. See the following section for information regarding applicable fees and submittal requirements. Or you may call Peter Votlucka [retired] at (909)396-3130 for help.

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Fee Determination

Permit applications submitted after March 5, 2005 are subject to the regular fees based on the equipment being permitted in accordance with Rule 301 – Permit Fees (PDF).  Facility owners/operators will need to complete the standard Permit Application forms.

You may also need to register small heaters, boilers and larger refrigeration units.

All forms are in PDF format.

 Application Submittal Date



After January 1, 2005 - All Equipment, except those listed below in this table.




See Rule 301


Boilers and Heaters
(1,000,000 to 2,000,000 Btu/hr)

Form 222-B (PDF)


Refrigeration units that have 50 pounds or more of any refrigerant

Rule 1415 Registration Form 


* Note:  Fees for boilers, heaters, and refrigeration units are based on the 1 July 2011 through 30 June 2012 fee schedule.  A new fee schedule goes into effect July 1 of each year.

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Additional Regulatory Requirements

As a result of the change in state law, agricultural sources are now also subject to various District rules.  Compliance with applicable rules is required regardless whether or not a permit is required.  It is recommended that records be kept to demonstrate compliance with applicable rules and exemptions. Rules that currently apply are:

It is suggested that you stay apprised of future proposed and amended rules that may apply to your operation. The following section shows rules that may affect agricultural operations. Click on the rule number link to access the most current version of the rule.  Moving over to the rules page, you can click on the link to see the most recent proposed rules and most recently adopted rules.  In addition, each month SCAQMD includes a Rule and Control Measure Forecast report on the Governing Board Agenda

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  • 219 - Equipment Not Requiring a Written Permit Pursuant to Regulation II

  • Regulation III - Fees

  • 401 – Visible Emissions

  • 403 – Fugitive Dust

  • 461 - Gasoline Transfer and Dispensing

  • 1110.2 – Emissions from Gaseous- and Liquid-Fueled Engines

  • >1127.1 

    - Control of Emissions from Hog & Poultry Operations (Pending adoption)

  • 1146.2 – Emissions of Oxides of Nitrogen from Large Water Heaters and Small Boilers

  • 1146.1 – Emissions of Oxides of Nitrogen from Small Industrial, Institutional, and Commercial Boilers, Steam Generators, and Process Heaters

  • Regulation XIII – New Source Review

  • 1470 - Requirements for Stationary Diesel-Fueled Internal Combustion and Other Compression Ignition Engines

  • Best Available Control Technology (BACT)

  • Note: all rules in PDF format

For information on any of these rules please contact Laki Tisopulos at 909-396-3123 or

You can also go to the Proposed Rules and Proposed Amended Rules home page to see what rules are being proposed and/or amended and when.

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Need More Help?

Additional information about obtaining permits can also be found on the Getting Permits page.

More Information
If you have any questions, please contact:

Merrill Hickman
(909) 396-2676


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