When it comes to the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) permitting process, the most common question we get asked is whether a certain piece of equipment requires a permit.
The answer isn’t always a simple yes or no.
For most, air permitting in our region consists of two rules: AQMD Rule 201, which tells you what types of equipment need to be permitted, and Rule 219, which states which types are exempt from the permitting process.
However, there is a third rule that plays a role in the process: AQMD Rule 222.
Although equipment subject to this rule does not need a “regular” permit (which requires far more paperwork and expense), it is not entirely exempt either.
Rule 222 Basics
Rule 222 was adopted in 1998 in response to the Air Pollution Control Permit Streamlining Act of 1992 that required “[air] districts to review their permit programs and to institute new, efficient procedures which will assist businesses in complying with regional, state, and federal air quality laws in an expedited fashion, without reducing protection of public health and the environment.”
In order to meet the requirements of the permit streamlining act, AQMD Rule 222 was started as a pilot program meant to ease the permitting burden on operators of small emission sources by removing AQMD permitting requirements for equipment that has low emissions, straightforward compliance conditions and recordkeeping, and a minimal risk of emitting air toxins.
In 1998, only two sources of equipment were included in Rule 222’s exclusion list: charbroilers and negative air machines used in asbestos abatement. Today, the rule has expanded to include 23 different types of equipment, including:
- Certain boilers, steam generators, and/or process heaters with a rated heat input capacity from 1,000,000 to 2,000,000 BTU/hr and which have emissions of less than one pound of nitrogen oxide (NOx) per day
- Commercial charbroilers and associated air pollution control equipment
- Asphalt pavement heaters used for new road conduction and maintenance
Registering Equipment Under Rule 222
- A description of the source
- Data needed to estimate emissions from the equipment
- Information needed to determine if the equipment is operating in compliance with all applicable rules
In terms of fees, the Rule 222 program also requires applicants to submit an initial filing fee (currently a mere $198.13, compared to the thousands of dollars required for a “full” permit), as well as an annual renewal fee of the same amount.
Most people approach the permitting process in a simple yes-or-no manner, trying to determine whether a piece of equipment needs a permit. However, to have a fuller understanding of the AQMD permitting process, you also need to ask yourself if a piece of equipment instead requires registration under Rule 222.
Need help determining whether your equipment needs a permit? Contact us and we’ll guide you through the process.