Interested in processing your air permit application faster? Then consider hiring a Certified Permitting Professional (CPP).
Or even better yet, become a CPP yourself.
A CPP is a professional that has passed the South Coast Air Quality Management District‘s CPP test and is, therefore, familiar with preparing SCAQMD permits and the agency’s overall permitting process.
Preparing a complete SCAQMD permit application can be a challenge. But the CPP program eases this challenge.
SCAQMD CPP Program Overview
The CPP program is a component of a permit-streamlining process that helps businesses obtain air quality construction permits from the SCAQMD in a more “expeditious” manner, which it does by creating a pool of private consultants who are familiar with the permitting process and the preparation of SCAQMD air 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
- The understanding of how enforceable permit conditions are written to ensure that equipment operates in compliance with all applicable rules and regulations
How to Become a Certified Permitting Professional
The only requirement to becoming a CPP is to pass a written test offered by the SCAQMD once per year. You’re not required to take a course or get a certificate, but boning up on the material certainly helps, as the pass rate for the exam is rather low: about 20 percent. You need to score at least 70 percent to pass.
The cost to take the exam is typical $150, which includes the first year of registration (if you pass). The all-day test consists of morning and afternoon sessions, with the earlier session focusing on multiple-choice questions based on SCAQMD rules and regulations and the later session requiring applicants to prepare a permit application for a hypothetical facility.
Renewing a CPP Certification
The CPP certification must be renewed each year, so it’s important you keep your contact information current with the SCAQMD to ensure you receive the renewal bill, which costs $150. It’s important that you continue to pay the $150 renewal fees each year to avoid cancellation of your credential. If the SCAQMD cancels your credential for non-payment, you have to re-take the CPP exam to reinstate it. At present, there are no continuing-education requirements for renewing a CPP credential.
The CPP Guidebook
The SCAQMD has a complete guide for the CPP program, which you can consider a “study guide” for the exam. Regardless of whether you intend to become a full-fledged CPP, if you’re a Southern California air quality professional, Envera highly recommends you read the CPP guide, as it provides an excellent overview of the regulatory structure of air quality regulations in California, and particularly within the SCAQMD.
Preparing for the CPP Exam
The open-book exam allows you to bring a calculator. To prepare for the exam, Envera recommends you:
- Read and understand the CPP manual (see above)
- 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
- Have a solid understanding of the “trio of permit-applicability rules,” i.e., 219, 222, and 301
- Understand how to calculate fees and how to determine if a piece of equipment needs a permit, as well as how to use the SCAQMD’s fee calculator to check your work
- Be familiar with the Title V program
- Understand the content and structure of how SCAQMD rules and regulations are written
- Review our SCAQMD Permitting Resources page
- Read Curt Coleman’s Introduction to California Air Quality Regulations
For more information on the SCAQMD’s CPP program, read our program overview and learn how a CPP can help your business with the permitting process.
Have questions about the CPP exam? Shoot us a message or write it in the comments below.