About Title V operating permits

 
Overview

Title V of the Clean Air Act was created by the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments. It contains the operating permit program, which applies to specific stationary sources of air pollution. Operating permits combine all applicable requirements for a source into one permit, including but not limited to: construction permit requirements, state regulatory requirements established by Colorado’s Air Quality Control Commission, and federal regulatory requirements established by the Environmental Protection Agency. The intent of the program was to provide the source, regulatory agencies, and citizens with a legally enforceable document designed to improve compliance with all applicable requirements.

Some of the distinguishing features of Title V operating permits include:

  • Owners or operators must certify that the source is in compliance each year.
  • Operating Permits must be renewed every 5 years.
  • Operating Permits must include sufficient monitoring, recordkeeping and reporting that will establish the source’s compliance with all requirements.
  • Each initial and renewed operating permit, as well as significant modifications, are subject to public comment and an opportunity for a hearing before the Air Quality Control Commission.

The division is required by law to recover the costs of the operating permit program by charging applicants a processing fee (for more information, see Emissions and Permitting Fees).

Applicability

Sources that meet the definition of Major Source in Colorado Regulation No. 3, Part A, Section I.B.25 are subject the operating permit program. The following stationary sources are major sources:

  • Sources that directly emit, or have the potential to emit, ten tons per year or more any single hazardous air pollutant or twenty-five tons per year or more of any combination of hazardous air pollutants.
  • Sources that directly emit, or have the potential to emit, one hundred tons per year or more of any pollutant subject to regulation.
  • Sources subject to the Acid Rain Program.
  • Sources that are subject to specific New Source Performance Standards or National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (e.g., landfills that are affected facilities under NSPS Subpart WWW).
  • Sources that meet the definition of Major Stationary Source in Colorado Regulation No. 3, Part D, Section II.A.25.

Note that in the Denver Metro/North Front Range ozone nonattainment area, which was classified as a serious nonattainment area effective January 27, 2020, the major stationary source thresholds are lower than the thresholds for major sources. Specifically, a source that emits or has the potential to emit 50 tons per year or more of Nitrogen Oxides (NOX) or 50 tons per year or more of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) is a major stationary source and is therefore subject to the operating permit program.

Additional resources

Permitting Section Memo 20-01 includes information on the serious reclassification of the Denver Metro/North Front Range Ozone nonattainment area.

Permitting Section Memo 09-01 includes information on operating permit due dates.