Operating Permits

Smoke stacks with sunset between buildings

Air Quality & Climate Division Permits to "Operate"

An air pollution control Permit to Operate is required for any new or existing facility that has the potential to emit 10 or more tons per year of air pollution in total.  Subject air contaminant sources are broadly defined in §5-401 of the Vermont Air Pollution Control Regulations.  The Permit to Operate is intended to incorporate all the existing air pollution related requirements, both state and federal, a facility is subject to into one permit document.  The Permit to Operate is subject to renewal every five (5) years, at which point any new regulations or requirements that were adopted in the interim period may be incorporated into the new permit.  Such applicable air pollution related requirements would include both state and federal regulations as well as those stemming from any Permit to Construct the facility is subject to.  Since Vermont has been delegated by the U.S. EPA to implement the federal Clean Air Act Permit to Operate program applicable to larger sources, referred to as the Title V Permit to Operate, the state issued permit is the only Permit to Operate a facility need obtain.  In Vermont, most facilities operate under a single combined Permit to Construct and Operate.

While the Permit to Operate has limited authority on its own to develop and impose new substantive requirements outside those already applicable, the Permit to Operate may establish and incorporate new reasonable measures to ensure compliance with any of those existing requirements.  Such measures could include new recordkeeping requirements, process monitoring requirements or emission monitoring requirements.  The state Permit to Operate authority also provides the Secretary with discretion to impose reasonably available control technology to further limit emissions.  This measure may be used to ensure facilities are, at a minimum, meeting accepted industry standard practices and taking further reasonable measures for control of air pollution emissions.  In addition, the Permit to Operate is the most common vehicle used by the AQCD for the re-evaluation of any hazardous most stringent emission rate determinations for the facility for the control of hazardous air contaminants.  Pursuant to §5-261 of the Vermont Air Pollution Control Regulations, the hazardous most stringent emission rate is subject to re-evaluation every five years consistent with the five-year renewal of the Permit to Operate.


 Further information:

Issued Operating Permits for Title V Subject Sources and/or Major NSR Construction Permits