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Regulatory Handbook -> Air Quality Permits

Air Quality Permits

Air pollution control in Washington is based on federal, state and local laws and regulations. The federal Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Ecology (Ecology), and local clean air agencies, all regulate air quality. Ecology implements and enforces air quality regulations in counties without an air pollution control agency. Ecology also has jurisdiction over primary aluminum plants, pulp mills, vehicles, and vehicle-related sources. For contact information about the state's seven local clean air agencies and Ecology's regional offices, addresses, and telephone numbers, see Local Clean Air Agencies.

If you are located in one of the following counties, you have a local clean air agency: Benton, Clallam, Clark, Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, Island, Jefferson, King, Kitsap, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, Pierce, Skagit, Skamania, Snohomish, Spokane, Thurston, Wahkiakum, Whatcom, or Yakima. Please select the local air authorities link for information on air quality permits in your county. Local clean air agencies may implement and enforce most state regulations. All local agencies have their own regulations that may be more restrictive than those of Ecology. These more stringent regulations are not addressed in this guide.

Large new energy related resources, such as thermal/nuclear power plants, oil refineries, pipelines, etc., are under the jurisdiction of the Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (EFSEC).

The list below contains Ecology air quality permit information and applications.


  • Air Operating Permit : The operation of a major source of air contaminants.
  • Air Quality Minor Source Registration Program (Air Quality Registration Program): A source which is listed under the source classification list in Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 173-400-100 and operates within the following counties:     Central Region     Chelan, Douglas, Kittitas, Klickitat, and Okanogan     Eastern Region     Adams, Asotin, Columbia, Ferry, Franklin, Garfield, Grant, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Stevens, Walla Walla, and Whitman     Northwest Region     San Juan. All other counties are under the jurisdiction of local clean air agencies.
  • Air Quality Notice of Construction (NOC) Permit : Releasing pollution to the air from a new or modified business or industrial source, unless the source or activity has been exempted.
  • Asbestos - Air Quality (Demolition / Renovation Notification Form): You must submit an asbestos demolition/renovation notification form any time you:
    1. Want to demolish any structure, including for the purpose of fire training, or
    2. Remove or abate Regulated Asbestos Containing Material (RACM) in an existing structure with at least 260 linear feet of RACM on pipes, 160 square feet of RACM on other facility components, or 35 cubic feet of RACM off of facility components where length or area could not be measured previously.
    Before beginning any work, you must:
    1. Fill out the form.
    2. Have the owner/operator of the structure/facility sign it.
    3. Mail it to the appropriate air quality agency.
    Guidance is available on the EPA Region 10 asbestos web page and at the other links listed below.
  • Bale Burn Permit : Only commercial agricultural operations can apply for this permit to burn baled agricultural residue. The agricultural burning regulation (Chapter 173-430 WAC) defines a commercial agricultural operation as a farmer who is practicing agriculture for commercial purposes and has filed an IRS schedule F form or its corporate equivalent. Baled agricultural residue that may be permitted for burning include broken, mildewed, diseased or otherwise pest ridden bales.
  • Burn Permit (Silvicultural Burning): A permit is required when you plan to burn piled forest material.
  • Burn Permit - Agricultural Field : Burning of vegetative agricultural field (not piled) wastes.
  • Burn Permit - Agricultural Pile : Burning of stacked vegetative agricultural wastes.
  • Burn Permit - Fire Training : Burning a structure for a fire training exercise.
  • Burn Permit - Land Clearing : Burning land clearing debris. NOTE: Land clearing burning is not allowed inside of urban growth areas (UGAs), within city limits of cities with a population of 10,000 or more, or within an area having a general population density of 1,000 or more persons per square mile.
  • Burn Permit - Special : This permit is for situations where burning does not fit into the categories of agricultural, residential, or land clearing.
  • Burn Permit - Spot Burn Permit : Burning in areas that are 1/2 acre or less in size, such as:
    • Small weed patches.
    • Spots of heavy residue.
    • Equipment plugs and dumps.
  • General Order of Approval for Asphalt Plants : Your facility must meet the approval conditions as stated in the General Order Permit. An asphalt plant that meets the approval conditions as determined by Ecology may apply for coverage under this General Order.
  • General Order of Approval for Auto Body Shops : Operating an Auto Body Shop that meets the approval conditions of this General Order as determined by Ecology may apply for the permit.
  • General Order of Approval for Concrete Batch Plants : Operating a concrete batch plant that meets the approval conditions of this General Order as determined by Ecology may apply for the permit.
  • General Order of Approval for Dairy Manure Anaerobic Digesters : Your facility must meet the approval conditions as stated in the General Order Permit. A dairy manure anaerobic digester that meets the approval conditions as determined by Ecology may apply for coverage under this General Order.
  • General Order of Approval for Gas Fired Emergency Electrical Generators : Using a Rich-Burn, Spark Ignition, Gaseous Fossil Fuel Powered Emergency Generator in the counties or facilities that are regulated by Ecology. Your engine must meet the General Order conditions determined by Ecology.
  • General Order of Approval for Perchloroethylene Dry Cleaners : Operating a dry cleaning facility that uses less than 2,100 gallons per year of Perchloroethylene. Your facility must also meet the criteria in the General Order as determined by Ecology.
  • General Order of Approval for Small Boilers Using Natural Gas, Propane, or Diesel Fuel : Operating a small boiler using natural gas, propane, or diesel fuel that meets the approval conditions of this General Order as determined by Ecology may apply for the permit.
  • General Order of Approval for Stationary or Portable Rock Crushers : Operating a rock crusher facility that meets the approval conditions of this General Order as determined by Ecology may apply for the permit.
  • Permit Application to Burn Flood and Storm Debris : This permit is required to burn storm and flood debris resulting from a declared emergency and upon agreement with local fire jurisdictions.
  • Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) Air Quality Permit : A new major source with the potential to emit a pollutant regulated under the Federal Clean Air Act at 100 tons/year for 28 specific emission source types, or 250 tons/year or more for all other emission source types. A modification of an existing major source that increases emissions of a pollutant regulated under the Federal Clean Air Act at or above PSD Significant Emission Rates (SER).
  • Radioactive Air Emission License to Operate New Facility (or Modification of an Existing Source (New Construction or Abatement): Any activity that emits, or has the potential to emit, radionuclides into the air.
  • Radioactive Air Emissions Facility Approval to Construct : Any activity that emits, or has the potential to emit, radionuclides into the air.

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