Permit Frequently Asked Questions


Air Operating Permit

Air Construction Permit


Who should I contact with questions about my permit?

Please refer to our air permit contact information on the KDHE contact us web page.

How much is the fee for an operating permit application?

Class I and Class II Operating Permit Application Fees

Class I

Class II

Initial

$1,000.00

$200.00

Renewal

$1,000.00

Modification

$100.00

    Minor

$0.00

    Significant

$500.00

General Application

$50.00

Permit by Rule

$50.00

Re-opening

$0.00

$0.00

Administrative Amendment

$0.00

$0.00

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My Responsible Official has changed. Do I need to notify the Bureau of Air?

No, there is no requirement to notify the department of the change in responsible official. A Responsible Official is defined as:

1. For a corporation, a president, secretary, treasurer, or vice-president in charge of a principal business function, or any other person who performs similar policy or decision-making functions for the corporation, or a duly authorized representative of such person if the representative is responsible for the overall operation of one or more manufacturing, production, or operating facilities applying for or subject to permit or other relevant regulatory requirement and if either:

    A. the facilities employ more than 250 persons or have gross annual sales or expenditures exceeding $25 million, in second quarter, 1980 dollars: or
    B. the delegation of authority to such representative is approved in advance by the department;

2. For a partnership or sole proprietorship, a general partner or the proprietor, respectively;

3. For a municipality, or a state, federal, or other public agency, a principal executive officer or ranking elected official. For purposes of this definition, a principal executive officer of a federal agency shall include the chief executive officer having responsibility for the overall operations of a principal geographic unit of the agency; or

4. For affected sources, the designated representative under title IV of the federal clean air act, “acid deposition control.” (K.A.R. 28-19-200(ccc))

How many copies of my operating permit application do I send in?

The original and two copies of the application, including all supporting documentation shall be submitted for Class I Operating permit applications. One copy of the Class II application must be submitted.

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What is included as an exempt activity for a Class I Operating Permit?

Exempt activities are activities, not otherwise triggering any specific applicable requirement, the emissions of which are beyond the scope of the permit program. These activities do not need to be listed in the permit application. Examples include:

Fuel use: production of hot water for on-site personal use and not related to any industrial process; and fuel use related to food preparation for consumption on the premises;

Plant upkeep and maintenance: routine housekeeping or plant upkeep activities such as grounds keeping, general repairs, cleaning, painting, welding, plumbing, retarring roofs, installing insulation, paving parking lots (provided these activities are not conducted as part of a manufacturing process, are not related to the source’s primary business activity, and are not otherwise triggering any applicable requirement), cleaning and painting activities qualify if they are not subject to VOC or HAP control requirements. Asphalt batch plant owners/operators must still get a permit if otherwise required; clerical activities such as operating copy machines and document printers, except when operating the units on a commercial basis; internal combustion engines used for landscaping purposes; repair or maintenance shop activities not related to the source’s primary business activity (not including emissions from surface coating, de-greasing, or solvent metal cleaning activities); batteries and battery charging stations except at battery manufacturing plants;

Production operations: equipment used for the inspection of metal products; equipment used exclusively for forging, pressing, drawing, deburring, spinning, or extruding cold metals; equipment used exclusively to mill or grind coatings and molding compounds where all materials charged are in paste form; and mixers, blenders, roll mills, or calendars for rubber or plastics for which no materials in powder are added and in which no organic solvents, diluents, or thinners are used; brazing, soldering, and welding equipment and cutting torches that do no result in emission of HAP metals; air compressors and pneumatically operated equipment, including hand tools but not including conveying or engine power sources; equipment used to mix and package, soaps, vegetable oil, grease, animal fat, and nonvolatile aqueous salt solutions, provided appropriate lids and covers are utilized; drop hammers or hydraulic presses for forging or metalworking; equipment used exclusively to laughter animals, but not including other equipment at slaughterhouses, such as rendering cookers, boilers, heating plants, incinerators, and electrical power generating equipment; hand held applicator equipment for hot melt adhesives with no VOC in the adhesive formulation; batch loading and unloading of solid phase catalysts; CO2 lasers, used only on metals and other materials which do not emit HAP in the process; paper trimmers/binders; electric or steam-heated drying ovens and autoclaves, but not the emissions from the articles or substances being processed in the oven or autoclaves or the boilers delivering the steam; salt baths using nonvolatile salts that do not result in emissions of any regulated air pollutants; laser trimmers using dust collection to prevent fugitive emissions;

Finishing operations: closed tumblers used for cleaning or deburring metal products without abrasive blasting; and equipment for washing or drying fabricated glass or metal products, if no VOCs are used in the process, and no gas, oil, or solid fuel is burned; hand held equipment for buffing, polishing, cutting, drilling, sawing, grinding, turning or machining wood, metal, or plastic;

Storage tanks: pressurized storage tanks for anhydrous ammonia, liquid petroleum gas (LPG), liquid natural gas (LNG), or natural gas; storage tanks, vessels, and containers holding or storing liquid substances that will no emit any VOC or HAP; storage tanks, reservoirs, and pumping and handling equipment of any size containing soaps, vegetable oil, grease, animal fat, and nonvolatile aqueous salt solutions, provided appropriate lids and covers are utilized;

Wastewater collection and treatment: stacks or vents to prevent escape of sewer gases through plumbing traps, not including stacks and vents associated with processing at wastewater treatment plants;

Cleaning operations: alkaline/phosphate cleaners and associated cleaners and associated burners; janitorial services and consumer use of janitorial products; laundry activities, except for dry-cleaning and steam boilers;

Residential activities: typical emissions from residential structures, not including:(1) fuel burning equipment with a capacity of 500,000 Btu/hr or greater; and (2) incinerators;

Recreational activities: such as fireplaces, barbeque pits and cookers, and kerosene fuel use;

Health care activities: activities and equipment directly associated with the diagnosis, care, and treatment of patients in medical or veterinary facilities (not including support activities such as power plants, emergency generators, incinerators, or other units affected by any applicable requirement);

Miscellaneous: safety devices (such as fire extinguishers or emergency relief vents); fugitive dust emissions from the operator of a passenger automobile, station wagon, pickup truck, or van at the source; air-conditioning units used for human comfort that do not use a class I or class II ozone depleting substance and do not exhaust air pollutants into the ambient air from any manufacturing or other industrial process; ventilating units used for human comfort that do no exhaust air pollutants into the ambient air from any manufacturing or other industrial process; tobacco smoking rooms and areas; blacksmith forges; portable electrical generators that can be moved by hand from one location to another (moved by hand means that it can be moved without the assistance of any motorized or non-motorized vehicle, conveyance, or device); vents from the continuous emissions monitors and other analyzers; natural gas pressure regulator vents, excluding venting at oil and gas production facilities; bench-scale laboratory equipment used for physical or chemical analysis, but not emissions from lab fume hoods or vents; routine calibration and maintenance of laboratory equipment or other analytical instruments; equipment used for quality control/assurance or inspection purposes, including sampling equipment used to withdraw materials for analysis; hydraulic and hydrostatic testing equipment; environmental chambers not using hazardous air pollutant (HAPs) gases; shock chambers; humidity chambers; solar simulators; process water filtration systems and demineralizers; demineralized water tanks and demineralizer vents; boiler water treatment operations, not including cooling towers; oxygen scavenging (de-aeration) of water; ozone generators; emergency road flares; steam vents; steam leaks; steam cleaning operations, steam sterilizers; and my activity from which no regulated pollutant is emitted or directed to control equipment in quantities greater than 500 pounds per year unless total emissions of the pollutant emitted or directed to control equipment from similar activities at the stationary source exceed 2000 pounds per year.

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My Class I operating permit requires Method 9 testing. What is a Method 9 test?

Many stationary sources discharge visible emissions into the atmosphere; these emissions are usually in the shape of a plume. A Method 9 test involves the determination of plume opacity. Opacity is the amount of light obscured by pollution. A person conducting a Method 9 must be certified. Method 9 can be found in 40 CFR Part 60 Appendix A.

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What is a qualitative assessment? Should a qualitative assessment be six minutes long, like a Method 9?

A qualitative assessment is an observation of visible emissions, or opacity, from a stationary source. The person responsible for making qualitative opacity assessments must be knowledgeable about the effect on visibility of emissions caused by background contrast, ambient lighting, observer position relative to lighting, wind, and the presence of uncombined water in the plume. A qualitative assessment is a brief description of the visible emissions. The qualitative assessment is not required to be six minutes long, and the observer is not required to be certified.

Records usually required for qualitative assessments include: time and date assessment occurred, whether emissions appeared normal, a description of the emission point from which any unusual emissions emanated, steps taken to correct any abnormal emissions, and the name of the person conducting the assessment, and any other information required by the permit.

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What is CAM? Do the requirements include hazardous air pollutants?

CAM is an acronym for Compliance Assurance Monitoring. The Clean Air Act requires compliance assurance monitoring (CAM) for major stationary sources of air pollution that are required to obtain operating permits under Title V . CAM requirements are outlined in 40 CFR Part 64. CAM requires monitoring for each emissions unit that is a major source, and that relies on pollution control equipment to achieve compliance with one or more emission standards. CAM requirements do include sources of hazardous air pollutants and emission standards for hazardous air pollutants.

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What should my semi-annual report look like?

KDHE has developed an example semi-annual report . This format may need to be modified to include requirements that are specific to your facility.

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Do I have to startup an emission unit up for a Method 9 test or qualitative assessment if I normally would not operate it at all during the reporting period?

No. If the emission unit isn't operating during the reporting period, a test is not required.

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I have Method 9 requirements in my permit for several emission units. I operate the equipment in June, July, and August only. The permit requires that Method 9 tests be conducted twice per year with no less than 6 months between readings. What should I do to stay in compliance?

If the facility operates only 3 months per year, conduct a Method 9 during that time period. If the emission units do not operate during the remaining 9 months, a second Method 9 is not required. Municipal power plants sometimes start units up for a very short time to perform maintenance checks and operator training. Fire pumps and emergency generators are also occasionally started up for maintenance checks. Such startup is not considered operating time, if units are not used for generating power or pumping water. Therefore, Method 9 tests and qualitative assessments would not be required unless the emission unit operates.

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I have applied for a Class I operating permit, but have not received the new permit. Now a new MACT standard has been finalized, and my facility will be subject. The first compliance date is almost 3 years away. What should I do?

Update your Class I permit application to include the new MACT standard. If you know how the facility will comply with the new rules, you can include this in the permit application. Review the new rules carefully, and submit required notifications. 40 CFR 63.9(b) requires an initial notification within 120 days after the effective (promulgation) date of the standard. The notification should be submitted to:

Mr. Mark Smith
Chief, Air Permitting and Compliance Branch
U.S. EPA Region 7
11201 Renner Blvd.
Lenexa, KS 66219

KDHE requests that a copy of the initial MACT notification be submitted to the Bureau of Air. The copy should be submitted to:

KDHE Bureau of Air
Air Compliance and Enforcement Section
1000 SW Jackson, Suite 310
Topeka, KS 66612-1366

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I am filling out an application for a Class I permit, and will include a generator. It's my understanding that the potential-to-emit for emergency generators is based on 500 hours per year of operation or less. How can I find out if my generator is an "emergency" generator?

KDHE relies on EPA's 9/6/95 Guidance on Calculating Potential to Emit (PTE) for Emergency Generators , which describes the parameters within which the generator must operate to be considered an emergency generator for these purposes. The intent and usage of the generator must be consistent with the guidance.

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How long does it usually take to get a permit or an approval?

KDHE has developed information about permit / approval application review timelines. This information has been summarized in the Air Construction Permit Application Timeline Informational Sheet .

KDHE is currently working on permit streamlining to reduce time required for permit / approval review and issuance.

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Do I have to submit a fee for an approval?

No.

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I am applying for a construction permit and a fee is required. Who should the check be made out to?

The check should be made out to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE).

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How many copies of my notification of construction or modification should I send in?

We request facilities submit one (1) copy.

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How many copies of my PSD permit application do I need to send in?

KDHE requests the original and two copies of the application, including all supporting documentation shall be submitted for PSD permit applications.

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Who is qualified to sign a notification of construction or modification for a facility?

The application for a notification of construction or modification of a stationary source or emissions unit shall be made by the owner or operator. An owner or operator is defined as "any person who owns, leases, operates, controls, or supervises an affected facility, emissions unit or stationary source subject to any standard or requirement of the Kansas air quality act, K.S.A. 65-3001 et seq., or any rule and regulation promulgated thereunder."

Do emergency generators require permitting?

Yes. KDHE has prepared expedited applications for both spark ignition and compression ignition emergency generators.

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There has been a change of ownership at my facility. How do I notify the KDHE of the ownership change?

KDHE has prepared a Change of Ownership form.

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My permit requires a Method 9 test. Can I conduct my own test, and do I have to get my certification in Kansas?

You can conduct your own test if you are currently a certified Method 9 observer. You do not have to be certified specifically in Kansas.

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How can I request that information in my permit application be kept confidential?

KDHE has developed an Informational Sheet on Confidential Information , which includes procedures for requesting that information be kept confidential and what information can be kept confidential.

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I need a construction permit or approval for the equipment I want to install. Can I go ahead and order the equipment or begin foundation work prior to getting the permit?

K.A.R. 28-19-300 requires a construction permit or approval to be issued before "commencing" construction or modification if the increase in potential-to-emit resulting from the project exceeds certain levels. Purchasing equipment may be done prior to issuance, but foundation work is considered to be "commencing" construction and must wait until after issuance. KDHE has prepared an Informational Sheet on Commencing Construction to help facilities understand what is considered commencing construction.

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I have applied for and received a permit for some new equipment. What are some common compliance problems that occur with new permit holders?

We encourage you to read the construction permit or approval carefully, since these documents obligate each facility to certain requirements. The following is a list of requirements that are sometimes overlooked:

  • Permits and approvals for equipment subject to 40 CFR Part 60 New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) or Part 63 Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) may contain performance testing requirements within 180 days after startup or rule applicability. Refer to the permit or approval for details.  
  • Permits and approvals for equipment subject to 40 CFR Part 60 NSPS contain requirements for notifications. Notification forms are provided at http://www.kdheks.gov/air-permit/download.html .
  • Permits and approvals may also require notifications for Part 63 MACT.
  • Most permits and approvals contain a requirement to notify the local inspector when installation of the new equipment is complete, so that an evaluation may be conducted.
  • Permits and approvals for portable equipment usually require a notification when equipment is moved, as required by K.A.R. 28-19-9(c). The relocation notification form is located at http://www.kdheks.gov/air-permit/download.html .

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I have a Class II permit that contains limits. If I apply for a construction permit, how does this affect my Class II permit?

If you are still able to operate within the limits of your Class II permit, then a new construction permit or approval does not affect your Class II permit. If you exceed the operational limits of the Class II permit, then you are required to file the appropriate application for permit modification or for a Class I permit within 180 days after exceeding the operating permit operational restriction, as required by K.A.R. 28-19-501(c)(2)(C).

If the new construction permit or approval allows new pollutants that would make the facility a major source, or if potential emissions are increased above major source thresholds, then you will be required to add new restrictions in the existing Class II permit or apply for a Class I permit within one year as required by K.A.R. 28-19-541(a) and 510(e).

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I am subject to a Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT) rule that applies only in Johnson and Wyandotte Counties. The rule says that it only applies to facilities that are located "... in an area which has been identified as not meeting the national primary ambient air quality standard for ozone in the manner prescribed by the provisions of the federal clean air act, 42 U.S.C. 7407 as promulgated at 40 CFR Part 81, as in effect July 1, 1989." Johnson and Wyandotte Counties are in attainment for the ozone standard; so why am I still subject to this RACT rule?

Johnson and Wyandotte Counties have achieved attainment status, but the area is in maintenance status and is very close to exceeding the ozone standard currently. EPA requires that a maintenance area retain existing control measures- including RACT rules - to assure continued maintenance of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards.

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40 CFR Part 60 reporting requirements have changed from quarterly to semi-annual for most facilities. My permit quotes the old Part 60 requirements. Can I change reporting to semi-annual?

KDHE will evaluate requests on a case-by-case basis. Please send your request to:

KDHE Bureau of Air
Air Compliance and Enforcement Section
1000 SW Jackson, Suite 310
Topeka, KS 66612-1366

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My permit requires a performance test within a specified time period because the equipment is subject to 40 CFR Part 60 requirements. Can I have an extension?

KDHE cannot grant extensions for performance test time frames in federal rules, including Parts 60 and 63.

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How does KDHE permit the venting of casinghead gas at gas well facilities?

The facility is subject to certain NSPS OOOO requirements for drilling and well head completions for gas wells, including a green completion or a combustion control device [40 CFR 60.5375(a)]. KDHE has prepared a Gas Well Notification Form that must be submitted to EPA Region 7 and KDHE for initial drilling. If this is an activity other than initial drilling, a construction permit/approval may be required.

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What is a non-road mobile engine and how does KDHE regulate them?

While KDHE does not regulate non-road mobile engines, the USEPA has mandated the Clean Air Non-road Diesel Rule, which aimed to lower all non-road diesel fuel to ultra-low sulfur diesel (15 ppm) after 2014. All non-road engines and equipment must use this fuel. A non-road engine is an internal combustion engine that meets any of the following criteria:

    1. It is (or will be) used in or on a piece of equipment that is self-propelled or serves a dual purpose by both propelling itself and performing another function (such as garden tractors, off-highway mobile cranes and bulldozers).

    2. It is (or will be) used in or on a piece of equipment that is intended to be propelled while performing its function (such as lawnmowers and string trimmers).

    3. By itself or in or on a piece of equipment, it portable or transportable, meaning designed to be and capable of being carried or moved from one location to another. Indicia of transportability include, but are not limited to, wheels, skids, carrying handles, dolly, trailer, or platform.

An internal combustion engine is not a non-road engine if it meets any of the following criteria:

    1. The engine is used to propel a motor vehicle, an aircraft, or equipment used solely for competition.

    2. The engine is regulated under 40 CFR Part 60, (or otherwise regulated by a federal New Source Performance Standard promulgated under section 111 of the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7411)).

    3. The engine is otherwise included in paragraph (1)(iii) of this definition remains or will remain at a location for more than 12 consecutive months or a shorter period of time for an engine located at a seasonal source. A location is any single site at a building, structure, facility, or installation. Any engine (or engines) that replaces an engine at a location and that is intended to perform the same or similar function as the engine replaced will be included in calculated the consecutive time period. An engine located at a seasonal source is an engine that remains at a seasonal source during the full annual operating period of the seasonal source. A seasonal source that remains in a single location on a permanent basis (i.e., at least two years) and that operates at that single location approximately three months (or more) each year. See 40 CFR 1068.31 for provisions that apply if the engine is removed from the location.

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