Engineering

The engineering section prepares and issues permits to stationary and portable sources of air pollution including foundries, mulch grinders, manufacturing plants, incinerators, dry cleaners and other fixed and portable sources of air pollution within Summit, Medina and Portage counties. In addition to permitting, the engineers are also responsible for determining the compliance of these facilities with state and federal air pollution laws and rules.

Permitting

Sources of air pollution in Ohio require a permit to install prior to commencing construction of the pollution source, unless exempted per Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) 3745-31-03 or OAC 3745-15-05. Minor facilities may receive a permit to install and operate with a single application. Major Title-V facilities require a permit-to-install before construction and an application for separate permit-to-operate must be received within 12 months of commencing operation. ARAQMD permit engineers receive and review facility permit applications in an effort to ensure all applicable Federal, State and Local air pollution control regulations are included in the permit.

Major, Minor, and Area Sources

Different permit classifications are created through the determination of whether the given air pollutant source is a major or minor source of air pollutants. A major source of air pollutants is determined by the emissions from one or more stationary sources of the same type at the same facility. The emission thresholds set for air pollutant sources, to be classified as major or minor sources, vary depending on the type of emission of air pollutants. If any of the following emissions thresholds are exceeded a source is classified as a major source:

  • 25 TPY or more of any combination of HAPs
  • 100 TPY of any other regulated pollutant

A minor source is any source of air pollutants which emits less than all of the major source thresholds.

An area source is any stationary source of HAPs that is not a major source as defined in the Code of Federal Regulations National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (40 CFR part 63).

Stationary and Portable Sources

A stationary source is any building, structure, facility, or installation that emits or may emit any regulated air pollutant.

A portable source is an air pollutant source that is specifically designed to
be transferred to a new site as needs warrant and thus cannot become permanently fixed to a location. Some portable sources include grinders, asphalt plants, and rock crushers. Ohio EPA’s Engineering Guide #44 has answers to frequently asked questions pertaining to exemptions, definitions, time limits, and permitting for portable sources.

Facility Permit Classifications

If a facility has sources of air pollutants, permits to install and operate an air pollution source may be required. These facilities are assigned differing categorizations dependent on the size, location, products, emission types, and amounts of air pollutants released, and or created, from their air pollution source(s). This classification is based off of pre-defined criteria. The classifications are:

  • Title V — facility meets any of the following conditions
    • any major source is present
    • any source, including an area source, is subject to a standard or requirement under sec. 111 and 112 of the Clean Air Act (HAPs Standards)
    • any affected acid rain source, as defined within Title IV of the Clean Air Act.
  • Synthetic Minor — additional operational restrictions are placed on air pollutant sources to reduce emissions to below major source thresholds. These restrictions often allow a facility to avoid the requirements for a Title V permit.
  • Non-Title V — a facility which does not meet any of the Title-V conditions without additional restrictions on operations

Compliance and Enforcement

Once the permit is issued, ARAQMD engineers track compliance and conduct periodic inspections to ensure facilities are operating in compliance with their air pollution control permit and state and federal laws. Compliance tracking includes monitoring operational restrictions, reviewing recordkeeping, and reviewing emission reports and annual compliance reports and certifications. On occasions when companies are found to be operating in violation of applicable law or outside the parameters of the air permit terms and conditions, ARAQMD engineers will pursue enforcement in an effort to bring the facility back into compliance with all requirements.