Benton Clean Air Agency

Air Operating Permits

Air Operating Permit Program

The Federal Clean Air Act requires all states to have statewide operating permit programs for businesses and industries that are the largest sources of air pollution. An Air Operating Permit  (AOP) contains all the requirements that apply to an air pollution source. Ecology, the Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (EFSEC), and any of seven local air quality agencies have received United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approval to administer Washington’s air operating permit program.

The Department of Ecology has a fact sheet about the AOP program here.

The AOP Program webpage is here.

Air Operating Permits in Benton County

There are two facilities in Benton County that are subject to the Air Operating Permit (AOP) program. Major emission sources and other sources identified by EPA are required to obtain an AOP. Major sources are defined as facilities with a potential to emit any of the following:

  • 100 tons of any criteria pollutant, or
  • 10 tons of any single hazardous air pollutant (HAP) as listed pursuant to subsection 112(b) of the Federal Clean Air Act, or
  • 25 tons of all HAPS combined.

Each AOP provides a compilation of all existing air quality requirements in a single document.

Some other key differences include:

  • Each AOP contains monitoring , recordkeeping, and reporting requirements developed to reasonably assure compliance with all underlying air quality requirements
  • Sources are required to certify their compliance status with all requirements and self-report any deviations, and
  • Each facility must pay fees adequate to fully fund the AOP program.

Once issued, each AOP is valid for five years. Now that all of the AOPs have been issued, the Benton Clean Air Agency will focus on permit renewals and maintenance of the permits.

Every year an independent auditor reviews the AOP programs in the State of Washington, including the Benton Clean Air Agency’s program. Those reports are found here.

Air Operating Permit Program Sources in Benton County:

Agrium US, Inc

Northwest Pipeline GP