Air Permitting Program
New York State issues air pollution control permits and registrations to sources of air pollution in accordance with its federally-approved permitting program under 6 NYCRR Part 201. The program is administered by the Division of Air Resources (DAR). Air pollution sources range in size from large industrial facilities and power plants to small commercial operations, such as dry cleaners. Most large sources require comprehensive air permits, while smaller sources are covered by air facility registrations.
Before the Clean Air Act of 1970, few limitations were placed on the amount of pollution that could be discharged into the air. After decades of controlling emissions using air facility permits and registrations, New York's air quality has improved significantly. Today, the air quality in most areas of the State meets standards that are much more stringent than those of 1970. By requiring the use of effective pollution control technology and enforcing compliance with permit conditions, DEC's air permitting program has been a vital means of reducing emissions to meet stringent air quality standards that protect human health and the environment.
Permits and Registrations
DEC issues three types of air permits and determines annual fees:
Title V facility permits are issued for a period not to exceed five years to facilities subject to 6 NYCRR Subpart 201-6. These include facilities that are determined to be major sources under DEC's regulations or that are subject to federal acid rain program requirements. Title V permits reduce violations of air pollution laws and improve enforcement of those laws by:
- Recording all air pollution control requirements that apply to the facility in one document. This gives the public, regulators, and facility a clear picture of what they are required to do to keep their air pollution within legal limits.
- Requiring the facility to report how they are tracking emissions of air pollutants and the controls they are using to limit pollution. These reports are public information and can be obtained from DAR. Emission inventories by facility are available on DEC Info Locator and Open Data NY.
- Adding monitoring, testing or record keeping requirements, where needed, to assure that the facility complies with their emission limits or other pollution control requirements.
- Requiring the facility to certify each year that they have met their air pollution requirements in its Title V permit. These certifications are public information.
- Making the terms of the Title V permit federally enforceable. This means that EPA and the public can enforce the terms of the permit, along with the State.
State facility permits are issued for a period not to exceed ten years to facilities that meet the criteria of 6 NYCRR Subpart 201-5. These are generally large facilities with the following characteristics:
- Their annual emissions exceed 50 percent of the level that would make them a major source, but their potential to emit, as defined in 6 NYCRR Part 200, does not place them in the major source category.
- They require the use of enforceable permit conditions to limit emissions below thresholds that would otherwise make them subject to state or federal requirements.
- They have been granted variances under DEC's regulations.
- Their annual emissions of high toxicity air contaminants equal or exceed the applicable thresholds.
Air facility registrations are issued for a period not to exceed ten years to non-major facilities that meet the criteria of 6 NYCRR Subpart 201-4. These are generally smaller facilities with the following characteristics:
- Their annual emissions are less than half of the level that would make them a major source.
- They do not require the use of permit conditions to limit their emissions below the thresholds that would otherwise make them subject to state or federal requirements.
- Their annual emissions of high toxicity air contaminants do not equal or exceed the applicable thresholds.
The Air Permitting Process
To obtain a permit, a facility owner or operator must apply to DEC. Applicants must supply information on the facility's emissions, the processes operating at the facility, the raw materials being used, the height and location of stacks or vents, the requirements that apply to the facility, and the controls being applied. DAR develops air permits based on the information provided in the application.
Permit applications are processed following a number of steps prescribed by 6 NYCRR Part 621. The permit process begins with DEC technical staff reviewing the application to determine if the operation of the facility can be expected to cause any air pollution problems, and to ensure that compliance with air pollution control requirements will be achieved.
Based on the information in the application, a draft permit is developed and proposed. The proposed permit is formally noticed in the Environmental Notice Bulletin (ENB) and made available for public comment before a final permit is issued. Depending on the type of permit, the proposal period may be brief and straightforward or may require more extensive involvement of the public, USEPA, and other states. After all comments have been sufficiently addressed, a final permit is issued to the facility. Both draft and final Air State Facility and Title V Facility permits are available to the public online.
Accessing the Language of Draft & Issued Permits
Interested parties can view and print the language of draft and issued Title V and State Facility permits. Selecting a link will generate a listing of the permits falling into the selected category. Clicking on the DEC ID link for each permit in the generated list will display the language of the permit in PDF format. Note: Before printing lists, please set printer to landscape.
Regulatory Fees for Permitted or Registered Sources
Fees for permitted and registered sources are determined by the type of permit or registration issued for that facility. There are four types: Air Title V permits, Air State Facility permits, Air Facility Registrations, and historic permits issued prior to 1996 when 6 NYCRR Part 201 Permits and Certificates was revised. All fees are due annually.
Title V Fees
Title V sources are billed a per ton fee for their emissions of regulated air contaminants in the prior calendar year. The fee is applied to emissions up to 7,000 tons per contaminant. The regulated contaminants are particulate, oxides of nitrogen, sulfur dioxide, volatile organic compounds and hazardous air pollutants. The annual fee is established under 6 NYCRR Subpart 482-2 and published in the ENB each year by July 1 or 30 days after the New York State executive budget is enacted, whichever is later.
Air State Facility Fees
Air State Facility permits are billed a fee for each emission unit listed in their permit. The emission unit can be made up of several emission points. Definitions of emission unit and emission point can be found in 6 NYCRR Subpart 201-2 and 6 NYCRR Part 200.1, respectively. The type and size of equipment in the emission unit determines the fee. The units can be for process, combustion, incineration, or mixed. In the case of mixed emission units, fees are calculated for each type of equipment and then the larger fee is charged on the facility invoice. The fees are established under ECL 72-0302, which supercedes 6 NYCRR Subpart 482-1.
Air Facility Registration and Historic Permit Fees
Air Facility Registrations and historic permits are billed a fee for each emission point listed in the registration or permit. The type and size of equipment in the emission point determines the fee. The points can be for process, combustion, or incineration. The fees are established under ECL 72-0302, which supercedes 6 NYCRR Subpart 482-1.
ECL 72-0302 - State Air Quality Control Fees
The full text of NY's ECL is found on the New York State Legislative Information System. Select "ENV Environmental Conservation" from the Consolidated Laws list and enter "72-0302" in the search box.
All air guidance and policy documents are available as downloadable PDFs.
DAR‐1: Guidelines for the Evaluation and Control of Ambient Air Contaminants under 6 NYCRR Part 212 provides guidance for the control of toxic ambient air contaminants in the state.
DAR-10: NYSDEC Guidelines on Dispersion Modeling Procedures for Air Quality Impact Analysis sets forth DAR's recommended air dispersion modeling procedures for conducting ambient air quality impact analyses. This document replaces the DAR -10 guidance issued on May 9, 2006 and includes the latest regulatory guidance and compliance methodologies.
DAR-17: Federal Enforceability of Air Pollution Control Permits describes the procedure and requirements for developing federally enforceable permit conditions that must be used by permit writers when implementing DEC's operating permit program.