Air Quality Construction Permit

Construction Activities Prior to Permit Issuance

Tennessee Air Pollution Control Rule 1200-03-09-.01(1)(a) states that “…no person shall begin the construction of a new air contaminant source or the modification of an air contaminant source which may result in the discharge of air contaminants without first having applied for and received from the Technical Secretary a construction permit…” The Division is often asked what activities may be conducted prior to receiving a construction permit.  This question is not addressed in the air quality rules, but the Division has frequently provided the following document to new facilities or existing facilities that are undergoing physical modifications.  This document contains non-binding statements by the Air Division that explain an objective of and provides advice regarding the above referenced rule. This document does not create any legal rights or obligations. Agency decisions in any particular case will be made applying applicable laws and regulations to specific facts.  Construction Activities Prior to Permit Issuance Document

Unless specifically exempted, any person wishing to construct an air contaminant source or to modify an existing air contaminant source is required to obtain a construction permit from the Tennessee Division of Air Pollution Control (APC). Examples of air contaminant sources include:

  • Process emission sources such as printing presses, asphalt plants, coating processes (painting of automobiles, office equipment, wood furniture, etc.)
  • Fuel burning equipment such as boilers, gas or oil fired heaters, coal fired steam electric generating plants
  • Incinerators for medical waste, municipal waste, etc.
  • Farming equipment, mobile sources and other exempted air contaminant sources are not required to obtain a construction permit.

Air contaminant sources typically are classified as major or minor sources depending on their potential to emit pollutants. Major sources generally are (1) sources that are in specific source categories listed in part 1200-03-09-.01(4)(b)1 of the Tennessee Air Pollution Control Regulations and have potential total facility emissions greater than 100 tons per year (tpy), and (2) other sources with potential total facility emissions greater than 250 tpy or more of the following criteria pollutants: carbon monoxide, particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, lead and ozone (indirectly determined from emissions of volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides). Examples of major sources are TVA power plants, chemical manufacturers, some secondary metal production facilities and large printing operations.

Minor sources are sources of air contaminants that are not major sources and are not exempt from construction permit requirements. Examples include concrete batch plants and small surface coating and printing operations.

APC Rule Chapter 1200-03-09 contains the general requirements for construction permits. Specific requirements that limit emissions from individual processes are located at various points in the regulations. It is suggested that anyone filing a construction permit application first contact the Division for assistance in identifying all applicable rules.

You are subject to Title V and will need Title V forms if your facility has the potential to emit:

  • 10 tons per year (tpy) of any one hazardous air pollutant (HAP) or
  • 25 tpy of any combination of HAPs, or
  • 100 tpy of any regulated air pollutant

Or if your facility:

  • is subject to acid rain requirements under Title IV of the Clean Air Act.

All other facilities are considered to be non-Title V and should utilize non-Title V forms when possible.

Guidance on Construction Permit Application Requirements Checklist