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Apply for an Air Pollutant Permit

The District reviews designs for new pollution sources and design modifications for existing sources. Permits are issued to allow sources to emit limited and specified amounts of pollution as allowed by air quality laws and regulations.

Most stationary sources of air pollution in the District are required to obtain permits from the DDOE Air Quality Division.

Major Source Permits

Major sources in the District include power plants, heating plants and large printing facilities.

The District issues three types of permits to major sources:

  • Pre-construction review permits issued under the authority of Chapter 2 [PDF] – For new construction of new air contaminant emitting equipment or modifications of equipment at existing major sources;
  • "New Source Review” permits issued under the authority of Section 204 of Chapter 2 [PDF] of this regulation. – For construction of new major sources or modifications resulting in increased emissions at existing major sources
  • Operating permits issued under the authority of Chapter 3 [PDF] (“Title V” of the Clean Air Act) – For all sources that have the potential to emit pollutants exceeding the major source pollutant threshold;
  • Acid rain permits (Title IV of the Clean Air Act) – For power plants that participate in the Acid Rain Program; and

These permits include conditions intended to minimize emissions of air pollutants and ensure proper operation of the regulated sources.

Minor Source Permits

Minor sources of air pollution are those that have the potential to emit air pollutants at rates below defined major source thresholds. These sources generally require a Chapter 2 [PDF] pre-construction review permit prior to commencement of construction and a Chapter 2 [PDF] operating permit following completion of construction. In the District, minor sources include gas stations, dry cleaners, auto body shops, sites using generators, and small printing facilities.

Certain categories of minor sources that emit hazardous air pollutants must comply with special federal regulations governing “area sources.” Information about these standards can be found at EPA’s Air Toxics Web Site. You may also want to view EPA's Air Permit Programs.

For more Air Quality Permitting inquiries, please contact Stephen S. Ours, Branch Chief, Air Quality Permitting.

Source Category Permits

Source category permits* are standardized permits that cover a specific air pollutant source type. This standardized permit document is subject to public review at the time of initial issuance and renewal, but each facility applying for coverage under the permit is not subject to a separate public review process.

Currently, the District has issued source category permits for the following types of sources. Please follow the relevant link to apply for the permit.

An owner or operator of a source covered by this source category who is interested in a source category permit must apply through the DDOE Air Quality Division, Permitting Branch.  DDOE will review the application and either approve or deny it. Once an application is approved, the permit goes into effect.  If the applicant does not receive at response from DDOE within the specified timeframe, the application will be automatically approved.

As an alternative to a source category permit, an owner or operator of a source in one of the source categories has the option to apply for a standard facility-specific Chapter 2 permit. See Minor Source Permits (above) for applicable procedures. If the owner or operator chooses this alternative, a facility-specific public comment period will occur before permit issuance.

*In many other jurisdictions, source category permits are known as “general permits”.

Service Contact: 
Stephen S. Ours, Branch Chief, Air Quality Permitting
Contact Phone: 
(202) 535-1747
Contact TTY: 
711