Interested accelerating the processing of your air permit application?
Think about hiring a South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) Certified Permitting Professional (CPP).
Or even better yet, become a CPP yourself.
A CPP is a professional that has passed the CPP test and is, therefore, familiar with preparing SCAQMD permits and the permitting process.
Preparing a complete SCAQMD permit application can be a challenge.
The CPP Program Eases This Challenge
The goal of the CPP program is to create a group of private consultants/individuals that are familiar with the permitting process and the preparation of SCAQMD air permit applications.
In a nutshell, the SCAQMD’s CPP program is designed to be a component of a permit streamlining process that helps businesses obtain air quality construction permits from the SCAQMD in a more “expeditious” manner.
And the CPP program was created “[to] establish a program to certify private environmental professionals to prepare permit applications.”
To support the CPP, the SCAQMD provides engineers and environmental professionals with:
- The information needed for submitting a complete permit application package to the air district;
- The tools needed for calculating air pollutant emissions based on the design and operating parameters of the equipment or process;
- The knowledge of how to apply SCAQMD rules and regulations; and
- The understanding of how enforceable permit conditions are written to ensure that equipment operates in compliance with all applicable rules and regulations.
How Do You Become A Certified Permitting Professional?
To become a CPP, you must simply pass a written test that is offered by the SCAQMD once per year.
Historically, the pass rate on the CPP exam was approximately 20%, and 70% on the overall test is considered to be a passing score.
The cost to take the exam is typical $150, which included the first year of registration if you passed the exam.
The test was broken up into two sections, a morning and afternoon.
The morning section offered numerous multiple choice questions that were all based on the rules and regulations of the SCAQMD.
The afternoon section of the exam asked folks to prepare a permit application for a hypothetical facility.
Renewal Of The CPP Certification
The CPP certification does expire and must be renewed each year. The cost is $150 as noted in Rule 315.
Also, as a CPP you must keep your contact information current with the SCAQMD, so they can send you the renewal bill each year.
Once you become a CPP, it is important that you continue to pay the CPP renewal fees each year to avoid cancelation of your credential. If the SCAQMD cancels your credential for non-payment, you must take and pass the CPP exam again to reinstate it.
At present, there are to continuing education requirement for renewing a CPP credential.
The CPP Guidebook
The SCAQMD has a complete guide for the CPP program.
As an aspiring CPP, you should understand the program guide to pass the exam (this is the “study guide” for the exam).
It is highly beneficial that all Southern California air quality professionals should read the CPP guide regardless if they want to take the exam or not.
Also, in our experience, the SCAQMD’s CPP guidebook presents you with an excellent overview of the regulatory structure of air quality regulations in California, and particularly within the SCAQMD.
Preparation For the CPP Exam
The exam is open book and notes, and you will need to bring a calculator.
Based on our experience, the best way to prepare for the exam is to:
- Read and understand the CPP manual;
- Study the sample air permit evaluations on the SCAQMD’s website;
- Learn how to do a Tier 1 and Tier 2 Health Risk Assessment pursuant to Rules 212 and 1401;
- Have a general understanding of the Best Available Control Technologies (BACT) Guidelines;
- Read Rules 219, 222 and 301.
- Understand how to calculate fees and how to determine if a piece of Equipment needs a permit. Use the SCAQMD’s fee calculator to check your work regarding fee calculations;
- Be familiar with the Title V program;
- Understand the structure of how SCAQMD rules and regulations are written (i.e., structure and content);
- Check out our SCAQMD Permitting resource page; and
- Read Curt Coleman’s Introduction to California Air Quality Regulations.
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Updated: July 10, 2015
Also published on Medium.