The South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD, the air-pollution control agency for Orange County and major portions of Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties) has approved a measure that will re-establish its permit application penalty holiday program to assist businesses and government agencies to get required operating permits without incurring late fees or penalties.
In addition, this year’s program offers a 50-percent discount on permit fees for small businesses that take steps to reduce emissions from their operations.
“Businesses, especially small businesses, are still feeling the impact of the recent economic downturn,” said William A. Burke, chairman of AQMD’s Governing Board. “It’s important we continue to work with businesses to ensure compliance without further financial burden and where feasible, encourage voluntary measures to reduce emissions as well.”
AQMD adopted Rule 310.1, Amnesty for Unpermitted Equipment and Small Business Discount for Control Equipment, on June 3 to provide a six-month period for Southland businesses and government agencies that should have obtained air-quality permits to get them without incurring late fees or violation penalties.
Facilities that take advantage of the temporary program must pay the regular permitting fee with their application and comply with all other applicable air quality rules and regulations, including the requirement that new facilities use the cleanest air pollution control technologies available.
Depending on the type of equipment a facility is permitting, the potential cost savings under the program could range from about $650 for smaller equipment such as a gasoline station fuel dispenser to about $5,300 for a spray booth equipped with air pollution controls.
Very large facilities known as federal Title V sources are eligible to participate only for small equipment operating without a permit.
This year, the program also offers a 50-percent small-business discount on fees for new or modified permits for air pollution control equipment that result in additional emission reductions at a facility. Changes in processes that will result in emission reductions through the use of super-compliant coatings with a volatile organic compound (VOC) content of less than 25 grams per liter of material will also qualify for the discount.
The six-month voluntary amnesty program begins July 1 and ends December 31.