How Citizens Can Use Title V to Improve Air Quality

Title V Permitting Tutorial

1. Background for Title V Program

Clean Air Act Amendments of 1977

  • Attainment for all pollutants in all areas required by 1982
  • 5-year extension to 1987
  • Requirements for extension:
    • Reasonably available control technology (RACT) for all major sources of volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
    • Inspection/maintenance (I/M, a.k.a. VET) program in urban areas
  • There were a significant number of failures to attain national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS), especially ozone, but also carbon monoxide and PM10
  • Louisville was nonattainment for both ozone and carbon monoxide


Maximize effectiveness of existing requirements to achieve attainment of NAAQS.


  1. Put all applicable requirements in one document so:

    • Companies would know what requirements to meet
    • Regulatory agencies would know what requirements to enforce
    • Citizens would know what to expect
  2. Emission fees to pay for air pollution control programs

2. Construction Permit vs. Operating Permit

Part 70 permits apply to the day-to-day operation of the source after it has been built.

Pre-construction permits must be obtained before a source is built or before it can be modified. In general, they [pre-construction permits] establish emission limits and control equipment requirements.

If a source already has a pre-construction permit issued by the State, the terms of that permit will be incorporated into the part 70 permit if the pre-construction permit program has been approved by EPA.

Emission limits and requirements to install air pollution control equipment are generally not created in the part 70 permit. Unlike pre-construction permits, part 70 permits generally do not create new requirements for the source (but note that there are some important exceptions to this, such as monitoring requirements and requirements to make the permit enforceable as a practical matter).

3. What the Title V Program does NOT Require

  • Detailed emissions information for every pollutant from every emission point
  • "Ratchet down" emission limits every 5 years
  • New substantive requirements (except periodic monitoring and practical enforceability)
  • "Lookback" at acceptability of existing processes
  • Review past construction permit actions:
    • Applicability of requirements, e.g., PSD/NSR/NSPS - Yes
    • Outcome of permit decisions, e.g., BACT/LAER - No

4. Citizen Involvement with Regulations

Better national regulations and policy, better permit programs, and better permits will lead to better compliance with existing laws which will improve air quality. Citizens can get involved at three levels:

  • Help develop and comment on national permit rules and policies
  • Provide input on State/local program level issues, such as content of permit program rules and permit program implementation
  • Individual permits (the focus of this workshop)

5. Citizen Involvement with Individual Permits

Goal: When reviewing permits, your goal is an "understandable" and enforceable permit that includes the right requirements and enough self-monitoring and reporting so that you can tell if the source is in compliance with the permit after the permit is issued.

Title V Permit Process ... Simplified

  1. Application submitted to permitting authority
  2. Permit is developed
  3. Draft permit undergoes 30-day public comment period (and opportunity for public hearing)
  4. Proposed permit undergoes 45-day EPA Regional Office review
  5. Final permit is issued, starts 60-day petition period (to EPA Administrator)

Stages of Citizen Involvement

Before the permit is drafted:

  •  Establish a dialogue between your community or organization and one or more permit applicants, which gives the permitting authority and the facility the benefit of your views in time to influence the first draft of the permit. This is known as "constructive engagement" and is not the focus of this workshop.
  •  Get on the mailing list to receive notice when a new permit is drafted.
  •  Review the relevant files (such as existing State/local operating permits, pre-construction permits, monitoring reports, Title V permit application, and compliance history) at the permitting authority. Talk with agency staff.

After the permit is drafted:

  •  Review and comment on draft permits during the public comment period.
  •  Request a public hearing on the draft permit if you think a public hearing is warranted.
  •  Petition the EPA Administrator to object to the permit if the EPA Region does not object to an unlawful permit. If the Administrator denies your petition, you have the right to appeal that decision. Note, this right to petition can arise after the permit is issued in some cases.

After the permit is issued:

  •  Monitor whether the source is complying with its permit by reviewing reports submitted by the source (such as semi-annual monitoring reports and annual compliance certifications).
  •  Bring enforcement actions in court against facilities that don’t comply with their permits or get the permitting authority or EPA to take an enforcement action.
  •  Challenge inadequate permits in State court.

6. Reviewing and Obtaining Title V Applications, Draft/Proposed/Final Permits

  1. Open Records Request

    • Title V permit application
    • Existing construction and operating permits
    • Emissions inventory reports
    • Monitoring reports
    • Correspondence from and to company

    Process: District Regulation 1.08 sections 6.7 and 6.8 establish the rights and responsibilities regarding the inspection of public records.

    • Inspect: Contact Colette McConville at (502) 574-6000 to inspect public records.
    • Obtain: Send written request to Colette McConville, fax (502) 574-7239, describing the public records for which you would like a copy. The charge is $0.10 per page. The District will produce the copies and send a bill with the copies.
  2. Public Comment Period

    • Draft Title V permits
    • Proposed Title V permits
    • Final Title V permits

    Process: Details are in the Legal Notice, but in general, to inspect the Title V permit application and the draft Title V permit, you can e-mail us or contact the Engineering Supervisors, either Eva Addison or Matt King at (502) 574-6000.  There is no charge to obtain a copy of the draft Title V permit; a copy of the Title V permit application is subject to the Open Records procedures.  There is no charge to obtain a copy of a proposed Title V permit or final Title V permit if the person making the request had made comments during the public comment period or the public hearing, if held.

  3. Check Out Our Web Site

    You can go directly to the Title V permit page.

    From this page, you can view or download the most recent copy of a Title V draft/proposed/final permit as well as a permit summary.

    Legal notices can be found under News.

  4. Confidential Information

    Even though all records held by the District are defined as public records, some of these public records are exempt from inspection. In general, the public records related to the Title V program that are exempt from inspection are those that contain Confidential Business Information (CBI). Regulation 1.08 sections 6.3 to 6.6 address exemption issues.

    Title V permit applications may contain CBI.

    Title V permits are NOT allowed to contain CBI.

    "Emission data" means measured or calculated concentrations or weights of air contaminants emitted into the ambient air. Raw data used to calculate emission data are not emission data. Emission data are NOT allowed to be exempt from inspection.


Pop Quiz (with answers at the end)

  1. A Title V permit should:
    1. Include the air quality requirements that apply to the facility,
    2. Be at least 50 pages long,
    3. Add a new, more stringent emission limit, or
    4. All of the above.
  2. The reason to get on the State’s/local’s mailing list is:
    1. To make appointments to see the files you need,
    2. To make sure that you actually see a notice about when the public comment period starts on the permits in which you are interested,
    3. To establish a relationship with the permitting authority, or
    4. All of the above.
  3. After the permitting authority publishes a legal notice for a draft Title V permit, you can:
    1. Review the draft permit to make sure that it includes the correct requirements and provides for periodic monitoring,
    2. Make comments on the draft permit,
    3. Ask for a public hearing, or
    4. All of the above.
  4. After the permit has been issued, members of the public can:
    1. Review the monitoring reports that the facility submits to the permitting authority,
    2. Consider enforcement options if the facility does not comply with the permit, or
    3. Both of the above.
  5. If the permitting authority does not change the draft permit based on your comments, you can:
    1. Ask the EPA Regional Office to object to the permit during its 45-day review period,
    2. Challenge the permit in State court,
    3. Petition the EPA Administrator if the EPA Regional Office failed to object to an unlawful permit, or
    4. All of the above.
  6. True or False: Sources do not have to comply with applicable requirements until the requirements are included in the Title V permit.


[Answers:  1. a., 2. b., 3. d., 4. c., 5. d., and 6. False]


7. Compliance Features of Title V Permits

  1. Title V permits contain all applicable requirements
  2. Title V permits may add monitoring requirements
  3. Increased public visibility due to reporting requirements
  4. Certification by responsible official


  1. Title V permits contain all applicable requirements

    Applicable requirements include:

    • State Implementation Plan (SIP) requirements
    • Prior permit conditions
    • Permit conditions from federally-approved programs
    • Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD)
    • Nonattainment New Source Review/Offset Permits (NSR)
    • Federal Regulations
    • See Regulation 2.16 section 2.7

      "Applicable requirement" means a federally enforceable standard or other requirement, or District origin requirement or standard, including all of the following: ...

    What is a SIP?
    • a SIP is a plan that provides for implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of a the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS).
    • There are NAAQS for:

      • Ozone
      • Carbon monoxide
      • Particulate matter
      • Nitrogen dioxide
      • Sulfur dioxide
      • Lead
    • SIPs do not directly regulate toxic or hazardous pollutants

    Benefit: Requirements are clear and enforceable

    Enforcement before the Title V permit program:

    Regulatory agency must prove that the requirement applies

    Fairness issue - lack of notice

    Enforcement after the Title V permit program:

    No issue as to whether a requirement applies

    No fair notice issue


  2. Title V permits may add monitoring requirements

    Permit must add monitoring where needed to assure the source is complying with its applicable requirement (periodic monitoring)

  3. Increased public visibility due to reporting requirements

    Reports that are added by the Title v permit:

    • Semi-annual monitoring report
    • Prompt reporting of deviations from permit requirements
    • Annual compliance certification
    • Semi-annual progress reports (if source is in violation when permit is issued)

    Remember, all applications, reports, permits, and inspection reports are public information, except CBI.

  4. Certification by responsible official

    Certification of Truth, Accuracy, and Completeness signed by responsible official

    Regulation 2.16 section 3.5.11

    Based on information and belief formed after reasonable inquiry, I certify that the statements and information in this document are true, accurate and complete.


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