Environmental Permits Handbook
Air Quality State Operating Permit
Persons planning to operate an air contaminant source require a State Operating Permit from the Tennessee Division of Air Pollution Control (APC). New Construction Permit applicants who are non-Title V sources are required to apply for a State Operating Permit within 30 days of startup. The 30-day period may be extended when stack sampling is required as a condition of the Construction Permit. Examples of air contaminant sources that are eligible for a State Operating Permit are small surface coating operations, small printing operations and other minor sources.
Facilities that emit more than 100 tons per year (tpy) of an air pollutant, 10 tpy of a hazardous air pollutant and/or 25 tpy of a combination of hazardous air pollutants are not eligible for a State Operating Permit but must obtain a Title V Operating Permit.
Generally, farming equipment and mobile sources are not required to obtain an operating permit from APC; however, there are provisions for inspection and maintenance of mobile sources in certain nonattainment areas.
Applicants must submit the following items to the Division of APC:
These forms are source specific. They require general information regarding the process and air contaminant source, descriptions of processes and equipment specifications, and quantification of pollutants emitted.
Generally, the complete application packet must be received by the APC Division within 30 days after startup of a new air contaminant source or within 60 days in advance of the expiration of an existing permit.
When the applications are submitted, the Division reviews them to determine compliance with all applicable air pollution control regulations. Generally, an Operating Permit is issued within two (2) to four (4) months. The normal duration of a State Operating Permit is nine (9) to ten (10) years.
Application Fees: None
Annual Emission Fees (2000-2001):
Major Sources (Title V)
Minor Sources (under 100 tons)
Minor source fees are based on the sum of allowable and/or actual emissions of all regulated pollutants at the source. An annual emission fee is not charged for carbon monoxide. All annual emission fees are due by the first day of the month that the fee is due (based on the county in which the source is located).
The air contaminant source must be operated in accordance with the terms of the permit and any other applicable requirements from air pollution control regulations. In the case of a denial, the applicant may appeal to the APC Board. An operating permit is not transferable from one owner to another. Any modification to the source requires a Construction Permit. Permit conditions may be appealed by filing a petition for reconsideration with the Technical Secretary.
Applicants are required to maintain and keep in good working condition any control devices. For renewals, the application must be submitted 60 days prior to expiration of the existing permit.
The Division of APC has the right to conduct inspections as deemed necessary. The Division may suspend or revoke any operating permit if the permit holder fails to comply with the provisions, stipulations or compliance schedules specified in the permit. The Tennessee Air Quality Act provides for civil penalties of up to $25,000 per day for each violation.
The Division of APC is responsible for protecting the air quality of Tennessee. Requiring a source (or a business) to obtain an operating permit ensures that any existing, new, modified, replaced or relocated source complies with all air pollution emissions standards and will not have a detrimental impact on human health or the environment.
For air contaminant sources located in Davidson, Hamilton, or Shelby counties, the applicant must contact and obtain a permit from the applicable county air permit agency. For all other counties, applications and assistance can be obtained from the Division of Air Pollution Control. New applicants who need more than one permit can contact their regional Environmental Coordinator for further assistance.
In addition, applicants may call the following offices for assistance:
Applicants may refer to the following publications for further information: