ADEQ: Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, Arizona's Official Web Site
Our mission is to protect and enhance public health and the environment
Air Quality Division: Permits: Permits Assistance

Who Needs a Permit?

Stationary sources such as businesses, utilities, government agencies and universities that meet certain conditions need an air quality permit before constructing, changing, replacing or operating any equipment or process that may cause air pollution. This includes equipment designed to reduce air pollution. Permits are also required if an existing business that causes air pollution transfers ownership, relocates, or otherwise changes operations.

The most important consideration is how much air pollution a facility has the potential to cause, or emit, if it was to operate at its maximum design capacity 24 hours a day for a full year. This calculation of maximum air pollution emissions is referred to as the facility's "potential to emit." To determine whether a facility's potential to emit requires a permit, see Arizona Administrative Code Title 18, Chapter 2, Article 3 .

Permits are also required for open burning of material. Permits for normal open outdoor fires may be approved only for weed abatement, prevention of a fire hazard, or instruction in the methods of fighting fires. Permits for fires set for the disposal of dangerous materials may be approved only when there is no safe alternative method of disposal and when the burning of the materials does not result in the emission of hazardous or toxic substances in amounts that will endanger health or safety.

For more information, please visit Open Burn Permits.

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ADEQ is not the only agency in Arizona that issues permits to air emission sources.

Maricopa, Pima and Pinal counties, which have their own air pollution control agencies, have jurisdiction over stationary sources of air pollutants within their counties, except for refineries, copper smelters, coal-fired power plants, and Portland cement plants. These counties also have jurisdiction over portable sources of air pollutants that operate solely within their respective boundaries.

Sources that will operate in multiple counties, or outside of the jurisdictions listed above, even for a short amount of time, must obtain permits from ADEQ.

Facilities located on Indian lands in Arizona are under the jurisdiction of U.S. EPA.

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Permitting Rules

The Arizona laws and rules pertaining to Air Quality Control Permits are found in:

The U.S. EPA conducts and reviews studies to determine the health and welfare effects from exposure to air pollutants. U.S. EPA has designated six pollutants as Criteria Pollutants:

See Also:

Some areas in Arizona are designated as nonattainment for the following pollutants and locations: 8-hour ozone (Greater Phoenix area), PM10 (Ajo, Douglas-Paul Spur, Greater Phoenix area, Hayden, Miami, Nogales, Rillito, and Yuma), and sulfur dioxide (Hayden). Nonattainment areas in Arizona that have been redesignated to attainment and are under maintenance plans are: 1-hour ozone, carbon monoxide (Phoenix and Tucson), sulfur dioxide (Ajo, Douglas, Miami, Morenci, and San Manuel), and lead.

For information on specific nonattainment areas in Arizona, please visit Air Quality Division: Plans.

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Processing Time

Time frames have been established to limit the amount of time that the Air Quality Permit Section can take to process a permit application. The Time Frames Table is a list of the maximum time allowed to process a permit application that has been submitted after August 13, 1999. Often the time it takes to issue a permit is much less than the maximum. Permits submitted prior to August 13, 1999 are not subject to these time frames.

The listed times frames are in working days. The time frame period begins when the permit application is submitted, and ends when a licensing decision is reached. The time frame clock can be stopped for various reasons. The most common reason for stopping the time frame clock is that the permit application is incomplete. If the clock is stopped, a letter will be sent to the applicant explaining the reason for which the clock was stopped. Once the issue is resolved, the clock is restarted.

Check the status of a permit application currently being processed at AZURITE License Application Query Utility Database.

ADEQ and the applicant may enter into an agreement to extend the time frames under certain conditions and/or ADEQ and the applicant may also enter into an agreement to restart or create a new set of time frames under certain circumstances. ADEQ offers Accelerated Permit Processing for applicants who are willing to pay an additional processing fee.


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