California Stationary Sources Permitting - Background

This page last reviewed April 20, 2010

The Federal Clean Air Act (FCAA) is the federal law passed in 1970, and last amended in 1990, which forms the basis for the national air pollution control effort. Basic elements of the act include  stationary source emissions standards and permits.  The ARB does not have authority to issue permits directly to stationary sources of air pollution. Primary responsibility for permitting all sources, except vehicular sources, rests with the local and regional air pollution control authorities known as Air Pollution Control Districts (APCD) or Air Quality Management Districts (AQMD).
Local air district permitting activity falls into two broad categories:

Authority to Construct Anyone proposing to construct, modify, or operate a facility or equipment that may emit pollutants from a stationary source into the atmosphere must first obtain an Authority to Construct from the local air district.
Operating Permits Anyone operating a facility that emits air pollution must obtain an operating permit from the local air district.
The District Rules Database is the best source for identifying the stationary source permitting requirements in any specific area of California. You might be interested in our directory of local air district contacts or if you do not know the applicable district name, but you know the city or ZIP code, you can try our District Look-up by City or Zip Code feature.

If you have further questions on any of this, please contact our Ombudsman staff at (916) 323-6791or our Helpline at (800) 242-4450 .