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C&W DustTech / Resources  / Content  / DustTech Talk  / Air Permitting 101: Understanding Air Quality Compliance

Air Permitting 101: Understanding Air Quality Compliance

Air Permitting 101: Understanding Air Quality Compliance

To comply with increasingly complex air permitting requirements, the need to understand air quality compliance has never been more important.

That’s why at C&W DustTech, we make it easier for you. We equip you with the information you need to fill out questions regarding our dust collection systems on batch plant permits – including model numbers, Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM), discharge elevations and estimated emissions for our custom technologies.

Our dust collection systems are designed with air quality compliance in mind. But before you get started with selecting your next dust collection system, here are just some of the basic concepts you should know about air permitting.


Title V

Under the federal Clean Air Act, Title V is the section that sets the permitting process for air quality compliance. Any major source of pollution (100 tons/year) – as well as certain non-major sources are subject to this process. This includes Portland Cement manufacturing, e.g., the crushing and grinding of raw materials.


Renewable Operating Permit

The name of the game in air quality compliance is the Renewable Operating Permit (ROP). The ROP pulls together all air pollution control requirements into a single document. While the permit process takes several months, including public comment and review time, our team can help customers fill out the appropriate permit fields to ensure the application is correct from the beginning.

The federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) oversees it, but the process is actually run at the state level. For example, in our home state of Texas, Title V permits are administered through the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

Fugitive Dust

Particulates released into the air are called fugitive dust. Specifically, as part of the permitting process, these are considered emissions like dust, fine particles or aerosols that cannot be “reasonably” collected. This happens when the emissions escape a non-specific source, as opposed to a smokestack. For example, quarries and construction sites are the most common sources of fugitive dust.


Opacity Monitoring

This refers to the thickness of the dust, which is measured by how much it obscures the view of the background. While the EPA states that your operation’s opacity limit must be less than 20%, the need to continuously reduce the amount of visible emissions with a dust collection system is critical. You’ll need to demonstrate compliance using one of several approved opacity measurement methods.


National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS)

For companies that need to obtain a Title V permit, these are the emissions numbers you need to comply with. The NAAQS detail the maximum levels of the six most common airborne pollutants: ozone, particulate, lead, carbon monoxide, sulfur oxides and nitrogen oxides.

Quick Hits for Public Health and Environment Compliance

NESHAP – The National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) cover specific chemical pollutants not addressed by the NAAQS.

PM10  This is the size range that matters – particulate matter 10 micrometers and smaller. The NAAQS and NESHAP set maximum allowed pollutant levels based on PM10.

NSPS – Even if your operation isn’t a major source of pollution, you still need an ROP if your industry is identified under the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS). Categories include cement, glass, wool, fiberglass and other production facilities.

CAM plan – To get your permit, you’ll need a detailed Compliance Assurance Monitoring (CAM) plan that describes dust control and collection measures, plans and technologies. With updated IOM Manuals, we can help detail your CAM plan.

Our collectors are designed to exceed today’s increasingly stringent regulatory requirements and help capture fugitive dust. Learn how our clean air technologies can help you simplify your air compliance planning.

What’s Next?

While the above information provides basic grounding for air permitting, truth be told, it merely scratches the surface of air quality compliance complexity. For additional insight and information, you should look for an air permit consultant who can help you navigate the complex world of air quality compliance.

The dedicated team at C&W DustTech is here to help in any way we can. Driven by our singular focus on dust for more than 40 years, our team works with you to stay informed of the evolving ins and outs of air permitting. Let’s work together to tackle your air permitting challenge. Contact Us Today.

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