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.

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. Donald Toensing
Air, RCRA, and Toxics Division
United States Environmental Protection Agency, Region 7
901 5th Street
Kansas City, KS 66101

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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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 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. 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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