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Air management - Existing business

Permit Primer

 

1. Existing business

If you operate an existing business and want to make any changes, the procedure will depend on whether you already have an operation permit.

If you don't currently have an operation permit, the first steps in this section of the permit primer will walk you through the process of determining whether your existing business needs any air permits or is covered by exemptions. There are three types of exemptions based on:

  • Specific categories of units being installed;
  • Total actual emissions from the whole operation; or
  • Total maximum theoretical emissions for the operation.

If you are not eligible to use one approach, you will be prompted on to the next exemption. It is only necessary to be exempt under one of these exemptions. If your existing business does not qualify for any of the exemptions, you must apply for a permit.

If you have an operation permit, your next steps will depend on whether your permit is close to its renewal time or instead needs to be revised. The next steps in the Permit Primer will walk you through that process. You may have an existing operation permit on file with the DNR. Check your files for an air permit document with reference to a 9-digit number followed by a suffix that might include –Pxx, –Fxx, –Sxx or –Gxx (see this example of a Final Operation Permit [first 3 pages]).

Do you have an operation permit already?

   

If you have an operation permit, go to 17. Have you had the operation permit for more than 3 years?.

If you do not have an operation permit, go to 2. Exemptions based on categories of units installed.

 

2. Exemptions based on specific categories of sources (Existing business)

The first step to deciding whether you are exempt is to determine if your operations fit into specific categories. Does your existing business include processes from any of the four main categories listed below (combustion, VOCs, material handling or miscellaneous processes)?

From the list below, identify your Process(es) or Source(s) (topics listed with clickable, drop-down definitions). If you experience problems with the drop-down definitions, you can view/print out Direct sources exempt from construction permit requirements. If you have any processes from these categories, you'll answer "Yes" at the bottom of this page to continue working through the Primer.

If your operations do not include anything in these four categories, you'll answer "No" at the bottom of this page and proceed to evaluate whether the second type of exemption applies.

Categories

These categories contain clickable, drop-down definitions for each process listed.

1. Combustion processes

Examples include:

External combustion furnaces

An external combustion furnace is a furnace where the fuel is burned outside of a cylinder. Examples include boilers and process heaters (not internal combustion engines).

Incinerators

An incinerator is a combustion apparatus designed for high temperature operation in which solid, semisolid, liquid, or gaseous combustible wastes are ignited and burned to produce solid and gaseous residues containing little or no combustible material. Equipment designed to incinerate solid wastes that are not pathological wastes, infectious wastes, municipal wastes or hazardous wastes under ch. NR 605, Wis. Adm. Code, at a rate of not more than 500 pounds per hour.

Indirect malt dryers

An indirect malt dryer is a dryer where the malt is dried without direct contact between the heat source and the malt.

Emergency electric generators powered by internal combustion engines

An emergency electric generator powered by internal combustion engine is an electric generator whose purpose is to provide electricity to a facility if normal electric service is interrupted and which is operated no more than 200 hours per year. Emergency electric generators powered by internal combustion engines which are fueled by gaseous fuels, gasoline or distillate fuel oil with an electrical output of less than 3,000 kilowatts.

Equipment that temporarily increases steam electric generation capability

Equipment that temporarily increases steam generation capability at a source.

2. Processes that use and emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other organic compounds

Example of processes include those that use adhesives, coatings, paints, inks, other solvents or solvent containing materials, such as:

Automobile refinishing operations

Automobile refinishing operations, including associated cleaning operations.

Painting or coating operations

Painting or coating operations, including associated quality assurance laboratories and cleaning operations which emit not more than 1,666 pounds of organic compounds per month, which are measured prior to entering and emission control devices.

Graphic arts operation

Graphic arts operation, including associated quality assurance laboratories and cleaning operation which emit or will emit not more than 1,666 pounds of organic compounds per month, which are measured prior to entering any emission control device.

Storage tanks — organic compounds

Storage tanks containing organic compounds with a true vapor pressure in pounds per square inch absolute at 70 degrees Fahrenheit of less than 1.52 with a combined total tankage capacity of not more than 40,000 gallons.

Storage tanks — volatile organic compounds (VOCs)

Volatile organic compound (VOC) storage tanks with a combined total tankage capacity of not more than 10,000 gallons of volatile organic compounds.

Bulk gasoline plants

Bulk gasoline plants which distribute gasoline or other petroleum and which have an average daily throughput of less than 15,000 liters (4,000 gallons), based on a 30-day rolling average.

Cold cleaning equipment

Cold cleaning equipment which meets both of the following requirements: a) the equipment has a total air to solvent interface of 1.0 square meters or less during operation. b) the equipment does not use any halogenated HAP solvent as a cleaning or drying agent.

Batch cold cleaning equipment

Batch cold cleaning equipment which uses halogenated HAP solvent and meets both of the following requirements: 1) the equipment has a total air to solvent interface of 1.0 square meters or less during operation. 2) the equipment is not a major source or located at a major source, as defined for operation permits.

Open top vapor degreasing equipment

Open top vapor degreasing equipment which meets both of the following requirements: a) the equipment has a total air to vapor interface of 1.0 square meters or less during operation. b) the equipment does not use any halogenated HAP solvent as a cleaning or drying agent.

Batch open top vapor degreasing equipment

Batch open top vapor degreasing equipment which uses halogenated HAP solvent and meets both of the following requirements: 1) the equipment has a total air to solvent interface of 1.0 square meters or less during operation. 2) the equipment is not a major source or located at a major source, as defined for operation permits.

Conveyorized non-vapor degreasing and conveyorized vapor degreasing equipment

Conveyorized non-vapor degreasing and conveyorized vapor degreasing equipment which uses halogenated HAP solvent and is not a major source or located at a major source, as defined for operation permits.

Perchloroethylene dry cleaning area sources

Area source for perchloroethylene is one that does not have the potential to emit perc more than 10 tons per year.

Private alcohol fuel production systems

Private alcohol fuel production systems as defined in s. 289.44(1)(c), Wis. Stats.

Soil or water remediation

The following procedures for the remediation of soil or water contaminated with organic compounds: a) landspreading of contaminated soil, including the agricultural landspreading of soil contaminated with pesticide or fertilizer. b) negative pressure venting of contaminated soil or bioremediation, provided the remediation is completed within 18 months or the potential to emit organic compounds from the remediation site is at a rate of not more than 5.7 pounds per hour, considering emission control devices. c) pilot testing of a negative pressure venting system provided the testing is limited to a total withdrawal of not more than 150,000 standard cubic feet (scf) of air. Note: The total withdrawal may be determined by the equation: Total withdrawal (scf) = hours of operation of pilot test (hr) × average flow rate in cubic feet per minute at standard conditions (scfm) × 60 min/hr. An example is: 10 hours of operation × 250 scfm × 60 min/hr = 150,000 scf. When testing at multiple flow rates, determine the withdrawal for each flow rate and sum the withdrawals for a total withdrawal. d) landfilling of contaminated soil. e) installation and use of devices which remove organic compounds from a private or municipal potable water supply. f) Installation and use of crop irrigation systems or dewatering wells to remediate contaminated water. g) installation and use of air strippers for treatment of contaminated water, provided the remediation is completed within 18 months or the potential to emit organic compounds from the remediation site is at a rate of not more than 5.7 pounds per hour, considering emission control devices. h) installation and use of any devices or techniques not listed in this paragraph which are used to remediate soil or water contaminated with organic compounds, if the device or technique is not portable and is not a thermal evaporation unit, and the remediation is completed within 18 months. i) installation and use of any technique or device to remediate soil or water contaminated with organic compounds as part of actions taken by EPA under the authority of the comprehensive environmental response compensation and liability act of 1980 (42 USC 9601 to 9675), by the department under the authority of s. 292.11 or 292.31, Stats., or by a responsible party in compliance with the requirements of an administrative order, consent decree or contract issued pursuant to the comprehensive environmental response compensation and liability act of 1980 or s. 292.11 or 292.31, Stats. Note: Even though these sources are exempt from permit requirements, they are still subject to the notification requirements under s. NR 419.07(2).

Other processes that emit organic vapors

Other processes that emit organic vapors include deep fat fryers, touch up paint with aerosol cans, dry cleaners, ethylene oxide sterilizers, aluminum scrap sweat furnaces, certain processes at primary metal finishing or foundries.

3. Material handling processes

Examples include:

Grain dryers

A grain dryer is equipment designed to remove moisture from grain.

Grain storage facilities

Grain storage facilities are designed to store grain (e.g. a grain elevator).

Grain processing facilities

A grain processing facility receives grain and produces a product using the grain.

Portland concrete batch plants

A Portland concrete batch plants is a batch plant using Portland cement to manufacture concrete.

Ledge rock quarries

Ledge rock quarries are any open pit to which the standard industrial classification (SIC) category number 1411, 1422, 1423, or 1429 applies where drilling and blasting is required to extract the nonmetallic mineral. The SIC category for a source is determined by reference to the Standard Industrial Classification Manual, 1987.

Other nonmetallic mineral quarries or mine

Sites that are not ledge rock quarries or sand mines/gravel pits but quarries or mines producing other nonmetallic minerals as rock, stone, limestone and other materials used for industry, construction, road building, agriculture.

Industrial sand mines

Industrial sand mines are any mine, pit or quarry to which the standard industrial classification (SIC) category number 1446 applies. The SIC category for a source is determined by reference to the Standard Industrial Classification Manual, 1987.

Fixed sand and gravel plants

Fixed sand and gravel plants and fixed crushed stone plants: NR 400.02(66) means any nonmetallic mineral processing plant at which the processing equipment is attached or clamped by a cable, chain, turnbuckle, bolt or other means, except electrical connections, to any anchor, slab or structure including bedrock.

Portable sand and gravel plants

NR 400.02(125) means, with reference to any nonmetallic mineral processing plant, any plant that is mounted on any chassis or skids and may be moved by the application of a lifting or pulling force. In addition, there may be no cable, chain, turn-buckle, bolt or other means, except electrical connections, by which any piece of equipment is attached or clamped to any anchor, slab or structure, including bedrock, that would have to be removed prior to the application of a lifting or pulling force for the purpose of transporting the unit.

Replacement of equipment at a nonmetallic mineral processing facility

The addition or replacement of the following equipment at a nonmetallic mineral processing facility which has an operation permit or which has filed a complete application for an operation permit pursuant to ch. NR 407: 1) any crusher other than an initial crusher. 2) any grinding mill other than an initial grinding mill. 3) any screening operation. 4) any bucket elevator. 5) any belt conveyor. 6) any bagging operation. 7) any storage bin. 8) Any grizzly. 9) any pan feeder. 10) any other nonmetallic mineral processing equipment subject to s. NR 440.688 other than an initial crusher or initial grinding mill.

4. Miscellaneous processes

Examples include:

Chromium electroplating and anodizing operations

Chromium electroplating and chromium anodizing operations which are not major sources (one that does not have the potential to emit more than 10 tons per year of chromium) or located at major sources and which are any of the following: a) any decorative chromium electroplating operation or chromium anodizing operation that uses fume suppressants as an emission reduction technology. b) any decorative chromium electroplating operation that uses a trivalent chromium bath that incorporates a wetting agent as a bath ingredient.

Crematories

NR 499.02(6) means a facility that has a combustion device for the purpose of burning exclusively human corpses or animal bodies.

Gasoline dispensing facilities

Gasoline dispensing facilities which dispense gasoline or other petroleum products.

Laboratories emitting air pollutants

Laboratories emitting air pollutants are facilities or portions of a multi-use facility which does not produce a product for regular commercial use or sale and which is used primarily for scientific or technical experimentation or observation of matter for the purpose of research, development, quality assurance, analysis or teaching.

Paper sorting or transporting equipment

Paper sorting or transporting equipment is equipment which may be located at either paper mills or paper recycling facilities which sorts or transports paper.

Municipal drinking water chlorination facilities

Municipal drinking water chlorination facilities are facilities for chlorination of municipal drinking water, the intake of once through industrial process or cooling water, or water for swimming pools, spas or other recreational establishments.

Research and testing equipment

Research and testing equipment used or to be used for the purpose of testing or research provided that all of the following requirements are met: 1) a complete application for exemption is made describing the proposed testing or research and including an operating schedule and the types and quantities of emissions anticipated. 2) the department determines that the equipment to be used and the anticipated emissions from the testing or research will not present a significant hazard to public health, safety or welfare or to the environment and approves the application for exemption. 3) the equipment will be in operation for less than 12 months. 4. the department approves the application for exemption submitted under subd. 1. the department shall approve or deny the application in writing within 45 days of receiving a complete application. The department may provide public notice of an application for research and testing exemption, may provide an opportunity for public comment and an opportunity to request a public hearing and may hold a public hearing on any application under this paragraph. The department shall make all non-confidential information available to the public upon request.

Renovation or demolition operations involving friable asbestos

Renovation or demolition operations involving friable asbestos containing material provided that the provisions of subd. 1. or 2. are met: 1. The amount of asbestos containing material is less than 260 linear feet on pipes or 160 square feet on other facility components. 2. If the amount of asbestos containing material is at least 260 linear feet on pipes or at least 160 square feet on other facility components, all of the following conditions are met: a. Notice of intention is provided under s. NR 447.07. b. The notice indicates that the project will meet all applicable requirements of ch. NR 447. c. The fee required under s. NR 410.05 (2) and (3) is submitted with the notice.

If you are constructing, modifying, reconstructing, replacing or relocating anything not included under the specific categories above, select the "No" button below.

Other processes that emit aerosols, mists, fumes

Other processes that emit aerosols, mists, or fumes include welding, aerosol can filling or crushing, heat treating of metal, etc.

Other processes that emit dusts

Other processes that emit dusts include grinding, sawing, sanding, certain processes at primary metal finishing or foundries, unpaved road dust, etc.

Other processes that emit acid gases

Other processes that emit acid gases include multi-stage parts cleaning with agitated acid baths, etc.

Does the new or expanding portion of your business include any of the processes from the four main categories listed above (combustion, VOCs, material handling or miscellaneous processes)?

   

If your answer is "Yes,” go to 7. Which process do you have at your facility?.

If your answer is "No,” go to 3. Exemptions based on actual emissions.

 

3. Exemptions based on actual emissions (Existing business)

The second type of operation permit exemption is based on your total actual emissions (emission levels below). More information about actual emissions–based exemptions is available from DNR's Air permit options: Exemptions webpage and in the Air Program fact sheet on Exemptions from Operation Permits based on Actual Emissions (AM–388).

You may wish to attempt the calculations on your own (for assistance, see the fact sheets and worksheet below). If you prefer to have assistance with the calculations, contact Small Business Environmental Assistance Program staff for help determining if you are exempt.

Threshold levels for the actual emissions–based operation permit exemption

To qualify for the exemption, you must meet ALL of these levels.

  • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), particulate matter (PM10), sulfur dioxide (SO2), carbon monoxide (CO) or nitrogen oxides (NOx) — do not exceed ten tons per calendar year for each air contaminant
  • Lead — do not exceed 0.5 tons per calendar year
  • State hazardous air pollutants — actual emissions less than thresholds in ch. NR 445 (State HAPs list in ch. NR 445, Wis. Admin. Code)
  • Affected only by a select list of new source performance standards and national emissions standards for hazardous pollutants or solely recordkeeping requirements in one of those standards (refer to a copy of the permit for the allowed NSPS and NESHAP standards)
  • If using a control device to achieve these exemption levels, monitor the device with approved methods (refer to a copy of the permit for the approved monitoring methods)

Calculating your eligibility for the actual emissions–based exemption

Whether you attempt the calculations yourself or prefer to contact Small Business Environmental Assistance Program staff for help, please have the following information ready:

  • Safety data sheets (SDS) (associated with coatings, solvents, cleaners, raw materials, etc.) - Material safety data sheet means the documentation required for hazardous chemicals by the occupational safety and health administration hazard communication standard in 29 CFR part 1910 Subpart Z, incorporated by reference in s. NR 484.03(1), for a solvent, cleaning material, contact adhesive, coating or other material that identifies select reportable hazardous ingredients of the material, safety and health considerations, and handling procedures.
  • Fuel usage for all heating processes (e.g. boilers, furnaces, heating units.) — look at billing statements, purchase records or invoices for amounts of fuels used in gallons (gal), therms, cubic feet (CF), etc.
  • Actual raw material usage (all processes) for previous 12 months (e.g. paint guns, woodworking equipment, printing presses, etc.)

You can use the Fuel Emissions — All Criteria Pollutants [XLSX exit DNR] worksheet for help performing the calculations needed to determine if you are exempt under the actual emissions–based exemption. The file will download onto your computer.

Are you close to the exemption threshold?

If your emissions are close to the threshold level (505 of the threshold or higher) and you want to retain flexibility to grow your business, you may wish to consider a registration permit, a streamlined permit option. Learn about Registration Permits here: Registration permit options.

Exemption status

Is your business exempt based on actual emissions? Once you have determined your status, click on the appropriate button below.

   

If your business is exempt based on actual emissions, go to 22. Recordkeeping and other requirements.

If your business is not exempt based on actual emissions, go to 4. General exemptions.

   
 

4. General exemptions (Existing business)

If your business was not exempt based on either the specific categories of units installed or the total actual emissions, you may still qualify for the General Exemption, which is based on your hourly total maximum theoretical emissions (emission levels below). You may wish to attempt the calculations on your own (see below) or you may prefer to contact Small Business Environmental Assistance Program staff to help you determine if you are exempt.

Threshold levels for general exemptions

To qualify for a general exemption, you must meet ALL of these levels.

  • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), particulate matter (PM) or nitrogen oxides (NOx) — do not exceed 5.7 lbs/hour for each air contaminant
  • Sulfur dioxide (SO2) or carbon monoxide (CO) — do not exceed 9.0 lbs/hour
  • PM10 — do not exceed 3.4 pounds per hour.
  • PM2.5 — do not exceed 2.2 pounds per hour.
  • Lead — do not exceed 0.13 lbs/hour
  • Single federal hazardous air pollutant — 10 tons/year
  • Combination of federal hazardous air pollutants — 25 tons/year (Federal HAPs list in s. 112(b), Clean Air Act, includes 188 compounds)
  • State hazardous air pollutants — MTE < thresholds in ch. NR 445 (State HAPs list in ch. NR 445, Wis. Admin. Code, includes 550 compounds, with some overlap with the federal HAPs)

And not affected by New source performance standards and national emissions standards for hazardous pollutants.

Calculating your eligibility for a general exemption

Whether you attempt the calculations yourself or prefer to contact Small Business Environmental Assistance Program staff, please have the following information ready:

Safety data sheets (SDS) (associated with coatings, solvents, cleaners, raw materials, etc.)

Material safety data sheet means the documentation required for hazardous chemicals by the occupational safety and health administration hazard communication standard in 29 CFR part 1910 Subpart Z, incorporated by reference in s. NR 484.03(1), for a solvent, cleaning material, contact adhesive, coating or other material that identifies select reportable hazardous ingredients of the material, safety and health considerations, and handling procedures.

Heat input rating (in BTUs) (e.g. boilers, furnaces, heating units; rating is usually found on furnace specification sheet or on furnace itself)

Heat input means the total gross calorific value per unit of time of all fuels being burned, where gross calorific value of a fuel is measured by ASTM Method D240–92, D1826–94 or D2015–96, incorporated by reference in s. NR 484.10 (4), (26), and (31). Where the test method gives a higher and a lower heating value, heat input is calculated in Btu per hour using the higher heating value of the fuel.

Maximum raw material usage (all processes) (e.g. paint guns, woodworking equipment, printing presses, etc.)

In determining the maximum raw material usage, the quantity of raw materials used and handled for each process, maximum quantity per hour, and actual quantity per year are usually considered.

Click on each of the categories that fits emissions sources at your facility to help you perform the calculations to determine if you are exempt under the general exemptions.

Which process(es) do you have at your facility?

Click on the appropriate category to get information on how to calculate the emissions:

Combustion

The combustion category of emission sources includes devices such as boilers, furnaces, space heaters, emergency or back–up generators, dryers, or incinerators (when used as control devices, consider the natural gas/propane fuel only). These devices are sources of air pollutants when they burn gaseous (natural gas, propane), liquid (fuel oil) or solid (coal or wood) fuels or incinerate waste materials.

You need to determine if you are exempt

Under the general exemptions, you will need to do detailed calculations for each process to determine if you are exempt. For the fuel burning emissions source types listed below, there are emission factors available from US EPA to calculate the emissions from the combustion sources at your new business or from the combustion sources being added, modified or replaced at your expanding business.

Topics with links to emission factor information for combustion processes

External combustion furnaces including indirect malt dryers, heat treating furnaces, etc.

You will need emission factors for each type of fuel you will use in the furnace(s). Also, the emission factors are organized by size of unit, so if you have two furnaces for example, one less than 10 million BTU/hr and one larger than 10 million BTU/hr, you will need emission factors specific to each sized unit. The emission factors will be in units of either lb/million BTU or lb/volume of fuel burned. US EPA Emission Factors — External Combustion Sources.

Emergency electric generators and other internal combustion engines including engine test stands

You will need emission factors for each fuel you will use in the engines (gasoline or diesel). The emission factors are in units of either power output (lb/hp–hr) or fuel heat input (lb/million BTU). US EPA Emission Factors — Stationary Internal Combustion Sources

Equipment that temporarily increases steam electric generation capability

You will need emission factors for each type of fuel you will use in the furnace(s). Also, the emission factors are organized by size of unit, so if you have two furnaces for example, one less than 10 million BTU/hr and one larger than 10 million BTU/hr, you will need emission factors specific to each sized unit. The emission factors will be in units of either lb/million BTU or lb/volume of fuel burned. US EPA Emission Factors — External Combustion Sources

General information

You can use the MTE calculation examples spreadsheet [XLSX exit DNR] for help with calculating maximum theoretical emissions (MTE) and to see example calculations. The file will download onto your computer.

Calculations fact sheet

To get more details on how to calculate or determine your boiler rating, fuel heating value, fuel throughput and maximum theoretical emissions, please review this fact sheet on Combustion Sources and Air Pollution Construction Permits (AM–427) (while examples provided are for external combustion furnaces, the calculations for internal combustion engines with emission factors are basically the same).

Complete these calculations for all sources being added at your facility for the specified pollutant. Once completed, then you can compare the maximum theoretical emissions rate for that pollutant with the general exemption levels. If the MTEs exceed any of the exemption levels, you do not qualify for the general exemption.

(For example, if you only have one boiler to provide heat and process steam at your plan, and you have no other sources of dusts or fumes that would be considered a source of particulate matter emissions, then you can compare your calculated emission rate for particulate matter from the boiler with the general exemption level of 5.7 lb/hr of particulate matter. If your calculated emission rate is below the exemption level, then proceed. Next, you will need to check the emission for other pollutants before determining if the whole construction project is exempt.)

Hazardous air pollutant guidance

Combustion processes will also have hazardous air pollutant emissions. Please review the following guidance on hazardous air pollutant emission calculations:

  • Air toxics and mercury: Information about hazardous air pollutants and state regulations.
  • Combined chemical table spreadsheet tool for Wisconsin air toxics rule: An interactive Excel spreadsheet that can show you the thresholds in the state rule for each of the HAPs that you emit. Just place an X in the Select column, then choose the X option from the drop–down menu in the top row of that column, and only the information on your HAPs should be shown. Save it to your own computer as soon as the file opens.
Processes that use and emit volatile organic compounds

A VOC or volatile organic compound emissions source is a unit that uses paints, inks, lacquers, adhesives, other coatings, clean up solvents or other solvents or materials that contain VOCs or create emissions of VOCs. Some examples of VOC sources include wood coating, metal part painting, plastic part coating, fabric coating, cabinet/countertop lamination, furniture coating, printing presses, screen printing units, and autobody repair shops.

You need to determine if you are exempt

Under the general exemptions, you will need to do detailed calculations for each process to determine if you are exempt. For the volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions source types listed below, the calculations are similar:

Topics

  • Use adhesives, coatings, paints, inks, other solvents or solvent containing materials
  • Automobile refinishing operations
  • Painting or coating operations
  • Graphic arts operation
  • Storage tanks — Organic Compounds
  • Storage tanks — Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
  • Bulk gasoline plants
  • Cold cleaning equipment
  • Batch cold cleaning equipment
  • Open top vapor degreasing equipment
  • Batch open top vapor degreasing equipment
  • Conveyorized non-vapor degreasing and conveyorized vapor degreasing equipment
  • Perchloroethylene dry cleaning area sources
  • Private alcohol fuel production systems
  • Soil or water remediation

For example, if you have painting/coating or graphic arts (printing) associated with your business, you should gather information about the maximum coating usage rate for your paint/coating applicator, the maximum printing capacity of your press, or the maximum amount of solvent you might use and any applicable Safety Data Sheets (SDS) for the materials.

Some of these processes have information available either from EPA's emission factors site or from state fact sheets. Please review the following fact sheets to assist you in determining if you are exempt:

General

Graphic arts (printing)

Solvent cleaning (cold cleaning, degreasing, etc.)

Hazardous air pollutant guidance

Processes that use and emit VOCs will likely also have hazardous air pollutant emissions. There is a section on SDS that lists the hazardous compound contents — pay attention to those chemicals as well as VOC content of the materials. Please review the following guidance on hazardous air pollutant emission calculations:

  • Air toxics and mercury: Information about hazardous air pollutants and state regulations.
  • Combined chemical table spreadsheet tool for Wisconsin air toxics rule: An interactive Excel spreadsheet that can show you the thresholds in the state rule for each of the HAPs that you emit. Just place an X in the Select column, then choose the X option from the drop–down menu in the top row of that column, and only the information on your HAPs should be shown. Save it to your own computer as soon as the file opens.

Comparing your maximum theoretical emission rate to the general exemption rate

Complete these calculations for all sources being added at your facility for the specified pollutant. Once completed, then you can compare your total calculated maximum theoretical emission rate for VOCs with the general exemption level of 5.7 lb/hr for VOCs. If the calculated VOC MTEs are greater than the exemption level, you do not qualify for the general exemption. If your calculated maximum theoretical emission rate is below the exemption level, then proceed. You will need to check the emission for other pollutants before determining if the whole construction facility is exempt.

Material handling processes

The material handling category of emission sources includes sand and gravel operations, grain dryers, and wood processing such as sanding and sawing, to name a few.

Some dry material processes

  • grain dryers
  • grain storage facilities
  • grain processing facilities
  • portland concrete batch plants
  • ledge rock quarries
  • industrial sand mines
  • fixed sand and gravel plants
  • portable sand and gravel plants
  • replacement of equipment at a nonmetallic mineral processing facility

You need to determine if you are exempt

To determine whether you are exempt, you will need to calculate the hourly maximum theoretical emissions. For assistance on calculating emissions, refer to the following resource:

For emissions related to the dry material processes listed above, you may want to review the Particulate Matter Emissions and Pollution Requirements (AM–406) fact sheet.

Helpful EPA sites

EPA may have emission factors available for your type of process in their resource AP–42.

Hazardous air pollutant guidance

These material handling processes may also have hazardous air pollutant emissions. Please review the following guidance on hazardous air pollutant emission calculations:

  • Air toxics and mercury: Information about hazardous air pollutants and state regulations.
  • Combined chemical table spreadsheet tool for Wisconsin air toxics rule: An interactive Excel spreadsheet that can show you the thresholds in the state rule for each of the HAPs that you emit. Just place an X in the Select column, then choose the X option from the drop–down menu in the top row of that column, and only the information on your HAPs should be shown. Save it to your own computer as soon as the file opens.

Comparing your emission rate to the general exemption rate

Complete these calculations for all sources being added at your facility for the specified pollutant. Once completed, then you can compare the calculated maximum theoretical emissions rate for that pollutant with the general exemption levels. (For example, if you only have one material handling type emission source at your plant, and have no other sources of dusts or fumes that would be considered particulate matter emissions, then you can compare your calculated emission rate for particulate matter from the material handling with the general exemption level of 5.7 lb/hr of particulate matter. If your calculated maximum theoretical emission rate is above the exemption level, then you do not qualify for the general exemption. If your calculated MTE is below the exemption level, then proceed. You will need to check the emission for other pollutants before determining if the whole construction project is exempt.)

Miscellaneous processes

The miscellaneous process category of emission sources includes a wide variety of processes and sources such as chromium electroplating and anodizing operations, laboratories, research and testing equipment and renovation or demolition projects involving friable asbestos, that do not fit under the process types shown above.

You need to determine if you are exempt

For the miscellaneous emissions source types listed below, there may be emission factors available from US EPA to calculate the emissions from your business. You can search through USEPA's Emissions Factors & AP 42 to find out. If nothing is available there, contact your trade association to see if they can help find information from other sources in your industry.

Topics

  • Chromium electroplating and anodizing operations
  • Laboratories emitting air pollutants
  • Research and testing equipment
  • Renovation or demolition operations involving friable asbestos

Please review the following fact sheets to assist you in determining if you are exempt.

Chromium electroplating and anodizing

Renovation or demolition operations involving friable asbestos

General information

Hazardous air pollutant guidance

Emission from some of these processes may only be considered Hazardous Air Pollutants. Please review the following guidance on the hazardous air pollutant program:

  • Air toxics and mercury: Information about hazardous air pollutants and state regulations.
  • Combined chemical table spreadsheet tool for Wisconsin air toxics rule: An interactive Excel spreadsheet that can show you the thresholds in the state rule for each of the HAPs that you emit. Just place an X in the Select column, then choose the X option from the drop–down menu in the top row of that column, and only the information on your HAPs should be shown. Save it to your own computer as soon as the file opens.

Exemption status

Once you have calculated the maximum theoretical emissions of each air contaminant from each process at your business, then add up the total the maximum theoretical emissions for all processes. Compare the totals of each pollutant to the general exemption levels. If the total maximum theoretical emissions for each air contaminant is less than the corresponding general exemption level, then your business is exempt from operation permits under the general exemption. Please choose the "Exempt" button below to continue.

If the total maximum theoretical emissions for ANY air contaminant is greater than the corresponding general exemption level, then your business is NOT exempt from operation permits under the general exemption. Please choose the "Not Exempt" button below to continue.

   

If your business is exempt, go to 22. Recordkeeping and other requirements.

If your business is not exempt, go to 5. Would you like to review pollution prevention ideas for general sources?.

   
 

5. Would you like to review pollution prevention ideas for general sources? (Pollution prevention: General exemption)

Select "Material substitution/Pollution prevention" below to provide you with many pollution prevention options that may be applicable to your business and may help you avoid the permitting process and possibly save money.

Material substitution/Pollution prevention

There are several ways to save money and minimize permitting paperwork depending on whether your business can substitute a process or material to a more environmentally–friendly alternative. If your business has any of the following operations or uses any of the following materials, please read on.

Other processes that emit aerosols, mists, fumes:

  • welding;
  • aerosol can filling or crushing; and
  • heat treating of metal.

Other processes that emit dusts:

  • grinding, sawing, sanding;
  • certain processes at primary metal finishing or foundries; and
  • unpaved road dust.

Other processes that emit acid gases:

  • multi-stage parts cleaning with agitated acid baths.
   
 

6. Operation permit options

If you have decided that you are not exempt, you will need to apply for an operation air permit. There are several operation permit options available, which include registration operation permits, general operation permits and source-specific operation permits (see the Definitions and FAQ pages or click on the icons below).

Streamlined permit options

Streamlined permits offer eligible facilities the flexibility to make changes without the need for construction permits. These permits are available to specific industries as well as facilities that can cap their emissions below specific threshold levels and meet certain other eligibility criteria.

Obtaining these permits is a fairly simple process, as they have a short list of eligibility criteria. They offer simplified application procedures and can be issued within 15 days of applying. You may want to review your eligibility for the streamlined permits by following the links below.

  • Registration permits (ROPs) are available to facilities with emissions that stay below threshold levels. ROPs offer streamlined application and renewal processes, rapid approval, standardized conditions and flexibility in return for keeping facility-wide emissions below threshold levels. The Registration Permits page contains more information and details about ROPs.
  • General permits are available for rock crushing facilities and asphalt plants. GOPs are intended for facilities that perform similar operations, use similar emission control technologies and can be covered by similar standards and requirements. GOPs offer standardized conditions, rapid approval process and flexibility to install or modify equipment without a construction permit. You can review background information about these permits on DNR's General permits webpage. The DNR's webpage for Air permit and compliance forms contains links to the GOP application forms.

Source–specific permits

If you do not choose a streamlined permit option, you will need to apply for a source–specific air permit. Learn more at the How to apply for air permits webpage.

Operation permits can require a few months to obtain and have fees associated with them as well. To find out more, click on the icons below:

book icon

An air pollution operation permit outlines all the air pollution requirements that apply to an individual facility. It contains emission limitations and operating conditions to ensure that the facility is in compliance with federal and state air pollution rules. Having a single document that outlines applicable requirements gives the facility, the state, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA), and the public a better picture of what is expected of the facility.

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All original operation permit applications for existing sources were due some time ago. For new sources, your operation permit application forms are due within 12-18 months prior to the expiration of your construction permit. Or if you were exempt from construction permit requirements, the operation permit is due prior to beginning construction of your new source. New sources will be issued operation permits as a revision of their existing operation permit. Renewal applications are due within 12-18 months prior to the expiration date of the existing operation permit. If you fail to submit a complete renewal application by the date exactly 12 months prior to your expiration date, you will no longer be authorized to continue operation of your facility when your permit expires. Any continued operation will be a violation of state and/or federal air pollution regulations.

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There is no fee for the operation permit application. However, holders of an Air Pollution Operation Permit must pay an annual fee based on the amount of air pollution they emit as required by s. 285.69, Wis. Statutes. In place of emission fees, for the first year after receiving their permits, holders of Registration Permits and General Permits are charged $400 a year, unless the permit limits their emissions to at least 80% of the major source threshold and then its $4,100 per year.

Application forms

Air Pollution Operation Permits all require the same forms be used for the applications. Refer to How to apply for air permits page for details. The list of forms is found here: Air permits and compliance forms.

Application completeness

After you have filled in all the information and submitted your application, you're not quite done. The Department is responsible for reviewing your permit application and making a "completeness determination." The Department's staff have 20 days from the date your application is received to determine if it is complete. The Department's staff have 20 days from the date your application is received to determine if it is complete. You will be notified of the Department's determination. If your application is incomplete, you will then have 30 days to submit the missing information. Responding in timely fashion is very important. If you submit a timely application and respond to any requests for additional information from the Department, you may continue operating.

The Department reserves the right to ask for additional information even after the application is initially deemed complete.

If your permit is issued then move on to 7. Which processes do you have at your facility?

   
 

7. Which process do you have at your facility?


         

If your answer is "Combustion,” go to 8. Combustion.

If your answer is "Volatile organic compounds,” go to 9. Volatile organic compounds.

If your answer is "Material handling,” go to 10. Material handling.

If your answer is "Miscellaneous processes,” go to 11. Miscellaneous processes.

   
 

8. Combustion

The combustion category of emission sources includes devices such as boilers, furnaces, space heaters, emergency or back–up generators, dryers, or incinerators. These devices are sources of air pollutants when they burn gaseous (natural gas, propane), liquid (fuel oil) or solid (coal or wood) fuels or incinerate wastes which are not pathological wastes, infectious wastes, municipal wastes or hazardous wastes under ch. NR 661.

You need to determine if you are exempt

The specific categories of exemptions for combustion processes applies to one or more external combustion furnaces which will not burn any hazardous waste and has not been issued a license under ch. NR 670, Wis. Adm. Cod. Each external combustion furnace in the list below has an exemption level (listed in the drop–down definition box that appears when clicking on each one). If your external combustion furnace(s) is not below those levels, and you cannot substitute materials or modify the process to bring it below those levels, then the external combustion furnace is not exempt and will need to apply for a permit.

(Select a drop–down topic below to review the exemption level, then refer to the fact sheets that follow.)

Topics with clickable, drop–down exemption levels

Examples include:

External combustion furnaces

External combustion furnaces that do not burn any hazardous waste identified under ch. NR 661, Wis. Adm. Code or which have been issued a license under ch. NR 670, Wis. Adm. Code, and which are designed at a combined total capacity to burn the following fuels at the maximum rates indicated: a) Coal, coke or other solid fuels, except wood, at a heat input rate of not more than 1.0 million BTU per hour; b) Wood alone or wood in combination with gaseous or other liquid fuels at a heat input rate of not more than 5.0 million BTU per hour; c) Residual or crude oil at a heat input rate of not more than 5.0 million BTU per hour; d) Distillate oil at a heat input rate of not more than 10 million BTU per hour; e) Gaseous fuel at a heat input rate of not more than 25 million BTU per hour.

Incinerators designed to incinerate solid wastes which are not pathological wastes, infectious wastes, municipal wastes or hazardous wastes under ch. NR 661

An incinerator is equipment designed to incinerate solid wastes that are not pathological wastes, infectious wastes, municipal wastes or hazardous wastes under ch. NR 605, Wis. Adm. Code, at a rate of not more than 500 pounds per hour.

Indirect malt dryers

Indirect malt dryers which are designed to burn fuels specified in external combustion furnaces (first topic under Combustion) at a heat input rate less than the rates specified in external combustion furnaces (first topic under Combustion).

Restricted use reciprocating internal combustion engines fueled by gaseous fuels, gasoline, or a clean fuel

Emergency electric generators powered by internal combustion engines which are fueled by gaseous fuels, gasoline or distillate fuel oil with an electrical output of less than 3,000 kilowatts. Check the definition in ch. NR 400.01(136m) Wis. Adm. Code on how to qualify for restricted use RICE.

Calculations fact sheet

To determine how to calculate your boiler rating, fuel heating value, fuel throughput and maximum theoretical emissions and discover whether you need to file an application for an air pollution operation permit, please review Combustion Sources and Air Pollution Construction Permits (AM–427) fact sheet. The thresholds and calculations are similar for construction and operation permits.

If you've determined you are not exempt, select Alternative energy sources to save money and prevent pollution below to learn about pollution prevention options that may be applicable to your business and may help you avoid the permitting process and possibly save money.

Alternative energy sources to save money and prevent pollution

One source of information on wind generation, photovoltaics, solar hot water heating and industrial cogeneration is your local utility company. Your utility company can help you run cost comparisons to determine the source or sources of heating and cooling energy. Using a combination of sources, such as gas, solar and wind generation, may be more economical than relying on a single source.

Another information source is Wisconsin's Focus on Energy, which provides access to energy experts who can help you create a plan to add energy savings to your bottom line. Wisconsin's Focus on Energy provides services designed for the small business owner to help save energy and improve the bottom line. The website includes information about:

  • energy–efficient technologies and techniques;
  • facilitation services with state and national efficiency programs;
  • a variety of financial incentives to help you defray the cost of your energy efficiency plan; and
  • technical training and support services.
   

If your business is exempt, go to 12. Another process?.

If your business is not exempt, go to 3. Exemptions based on actual emissions.

   
 

9. Processes that use or emit Volatile organic compounds

A VOC or volatile organic compound emissions source is a unit that uses paints, inks, lacquers, adhesives, other coatings, clean up solvents or other solvents or materials that contain VOCs or create emissions of VOCs. Some examples of VOC sources include wood coating, metal part painting, plastic part coating, fabric coating, cabinet/countertop lamination, furniture coating, printing presses, screen printing units and autobody repair shops.

You need to determine if you are exempt

Each process in the list below has a certain exemption level (listed in the drop–down definition box that appears when clicking on each one) that your process must be less than to be exempt. If your VOC process is not below those levels, or you cannot substitute materials or modify the process to bring it below those levels, then you are not exempt and will need to apply for a permit.

(Select a drop–down topic below to review the exemption level, then refer to the fact sheets that follow.)

Topics with clickable, drop-down exemption levels

Examples include:

Automobile refinishing operations

Automobile refinishing operations, including associated quality assurance laboratories and cleaning operations, which emit or will emit not more than 1,666 pounds of volatile organic compounds per month, which are measured prior to entering any emission control devices, unless the emissions of any single hazardous air pollutant listed under section 112(b) of the act (42 USC 7412(b)) equal or exceed 10 tons per year or the cumulative emissions of hazardous air pollutants listed under section 112(b) of the act equal or exceed 25 tons per year.

Painting or coating operations

Painting or coating operations, including associated quality assurance laboratories and cleaning operations which emit not more than 1,666 pounds of organic compounds per month, which are measured prior to entering and emission control devices.

Graphic arts operation

Graphic arts operation, including associated quality assurance laboratories and cleaning operation which emit or will emit not more than 1,666 pounds of organic compounds per month, which are measured prior to entering any emission control device.

Storage tanks — organic compounds

Storage tanks containing organic compounds with a true vapor pressure in pounds per square inch absolute at 70 degrees Fahrenheit of less than 1.52 with a combined total tankage capacity of not more than 40,000 gallons,

Storage tanks — volatile organic compounds (VOCs)

Volatile organic compound (VOC) storage tanks with a combined total tankage capacity of not more than 10,000 gallons of volatile organic compounds.

Bulk gasoline plants

Bulk gasoline plants which distribute gasoline or other petroleum and which have an average daily throughput of less than 15,000 liters (4,000 gallons), based on a 30–day rolling average.

Gold cleaning equipment

Cold cleaning equipment which meets both of the following requirements: a) the equipment has a total air to solvent interface of 1.0 square meters or less during operation. b) the equipment does not use any halogenated HAP solvent as a cleaning or drying agent.

Chromium electroplating and anodizing operations

Chromium electroplating and chromium anodizing operations which are not major sources or located at major sources and which are any of the following: a) any decorative chromium electroplating operation or chromium anodizing operation that uses fume suppressants as an emission reduction technology. b) any decorative chromium electroplating operation that uses a trivalent chromium bath that incorporates a wetting agent as a bath ingredient.

Open top vapor degreasing equipment

Open top vapor degreasing equipment which meets both of the following requirements: a) the equipment has a total air to vapor interface of 1.0 square meters or less during operation. b) the equipment does not use any halogenated HAP solvent as a cleaning or drying agent.

Private alcohol fuel production systems

Private alcohol fuel production systems as defined in s. 289.44(1)(c), Wis. Stats.

Soil or water remediation

The following procedures for the remediation of soil or water contaminated with organic compounds: a) landspreading of contaminated soil, including the agricultural landspreading of soil contaminated with pesticide or fertilizer. b) negative pressure venting of contaminated soil or bioremediation, provided the remediation is completed within 18 months or the potential to emit organic compounds from the remediation site is at a rate of not more than 5.7 pounds per hour, considering emission control devices. c) pilot testing of a negative pressure venting system provided the testing is limited to a total withdrawal of not more than 150,000 standard cubic feet (scf) of air. Note: The total withdrawal may be determined by the equation: Total withdrawal (scf) = hours of operation of pilot test (hr) × average flow rate in cubic feet per minute at standard conditions (scfm) × 60 min/hr. An example is: 10 hours of operation × 250 scfm × 60 min/hr = 150,000 scf. When testing at multiple flow rates, determine the withdrawal for each flow rate and sum the withdrawals for a total withdrawal. d) landfilling of contaminated soil. e) installation and use of devices which remove organic compounds from a private or municipal potable water supply. f) installation and use of crop irrigation systems or dewatering wells to remediate contaminated water. g) Installation and use of air strippers for treatment of contaminated water, provided the remediation is completed within 18 months or the potential to emit organic compounds from the remediation site is at a rate of not more than 5.7 pounds per hour, considering emission control devices. h) installation and use of any devices or techniques not listed in this paragraph which are used to remediate soil or water contaminated with organic compounds, if the device or technique is not portable and is not a thermal evaporation unit, and the remediation is completed within 18 months. i) installation and use of any technique or device to remediate soil or water contaminated with organic compounds as part of actions taken by EPA under the authority of the comprehensive environmental response compensation and liability act of 1980 (42 USC 9601 to 9675), by the department under the authority of s. 292.11 or 292.31, Stats., or by a responsible party in compliance with the requirements of an administrative order, consent decree or contract issued pursuant to the comprehensive environmental response compensation and liability act of 1980 or s. 292.11 or 292.31, Stats. Note: Even though these sources are exempt from permit requirements, they are still subject to the notification requirements under s. NR 419.07(2).

Other processes that emit organic vapors

Other processes that emit organic vapors include deep fat fryers, touch up paint with aerosol cans, dry cleaners, ethylene oxide sterilizers, aluminum scrap sweat furnaces, certain processes at primary metal finishing or foundries.

To determine whether you need to file an application for an air pollution operation permit, please review the VOC Emissions Sources and Air Pollution Construction Permits (AM–479) fact sheet. Also available to help with calculations of actual emissions for some of these exemptions is the Emissions Calculations Worksheet [XLSX exit DNR]. The file will download onto your computer. The thresholds and calculations are similar for operation and construction permits.

If you've determined you are not exempt, please continue by clicking the "Not Exempt" button below.

Chemical substitution/Pollution prevention

There are several ways to save money and minimize permitting paperwork, depending on whether your business can substitute a process or chemical with a more environmentally friendly alternative. If your business has any of the following operations or uses any of the following materials, please read on.

Dry cleaning

Links to information on currently available alternatives for cleaning fabrics which are normally dry cleaned include:

For more information:

  • Professional Wetcleaning Network, telephone 708–447–0879, is an association of cleaners with wetcleaning skills

Electroplating

Printing and graphic arts

   

If your business is exempt, go to 12. Another process?.

If your business is not exempt, go to 3. Exemptions based on actual emissions.

   
 

10. Material handling

The Material Handling category of emission sources includes sand and gravel operations, grain dryers, incinerators, and certain storage tanks, to name a few.

You need to determine if you are exempt

Most of the exemption levels for the material handling operations require you to determine your maximum raw material usage for any one of the operations listed below. Some use actual production rates. The following methods are normally used to determine the throughput, however if you demonstrate the throughput with a different method you may be required to provide the documentation to DNR for approval.

1. Actual material throughput
  1. quantity of raw materials used and handled for each process — which can be found using purchase records, inventory tracking or similar recordkeeping procedures you might have; and
  2. hours of operation for the year.
2. Maximum capacity throughput
  1. manufacturer's specifications on the process equipment (in units like "tons per hour") to document the full operating capacity (100%); and
  2. 2. maximum hours you can operate in a year — some processes may need specific periods of down time for maintenance, or some industries only operate during certain times of the year (asphalt plants assume 6600 hours per year for the construction season, and grain operations may be allowed similar restrictions for the growing season); if you have no restrictions like that, it will be 8760 hours per year.

Any information used to show a restriction on the operating capacity (at less than 100%) or hours (such as for required downtime) must be documented for DNR.

Each process in the list below has a certain exemption level (listed in the drop–down definition box that appears when clicking on each one) that your process must be less than to be exempt. If your process is not below those levels, or you cannot substitute materials or modify the process to bring it below those levels, then you are not exempt and will need to apply for a construction permit.

(Click on the drop–down topic below to review the exemption level, then refer to the fact sheets that follow.)

Topics with clickable, drop-down exemption levels

Examples include:

Grain dryers

A grain dryer is equipment designed to dry grain at a rate of not more than 1,500 bushels per hour at a 5% moisture extraction and which is not subject to s. NR 440.47, Wis. Adm. Code.

Grain storage facilities

Grain storage facilities with an average tonnage of grain received of less than 5500 tons per month, which are not subject to s. NR 440.47, and which are not part 70 sources. The average monthly tonnage of grain received shall be calculated by dividing the cumulative tonnage of grain received since January 1 of each year by 12. The average monthly tonnage of grain received does not include product that the facility sells, acting as a broker, which is never actually received at the grain storage facility.

Grain processing facilities

Grain processing facilities with an average tonnage of grain received of less than 4500 tons per month, which are not subject to s. NR 440.47, and which are not part 70 sources. The average monthly tonnage of grain received shall be calculated by dividing the cumulative tonnage of grain received since January 1 of each year by 12. The average monthly tonnage of grain received does not include product that the facility receives that is packaged when received and remains packaged.

Portland concrete batch plants

Portland concrete batch plants that produce less than 20,000 cubic yards per month averaged over any 12 consecutive month period.

Ledge rock quarries

Ledge rock quarries with actual production of less than 25,000 tons per month on a rolling 12 month average, or with actual operation of less than 365 days per five year period.

Industrial sand mines

Industrial sand mines with actual production of less than 25,000 tons per month on a rolling 12 month average.

Fixed sand and gravel plants

Fixed sand and gravel plants and fixed crushed stone plants with capacities of 25 tons per hour or less.

Portable sand and gravel plants

Portable sand and gravel plants and portable crushed stone plants with capacities of 150 tons per hour or less.

Help with the calculations

To determine whether you are exempt, you will need to calculate the hourly maximum emissions. For assistance on calculating emissions, refer to the following resources:

For emissions related to the dry material processes listed above, you may want to review the Particulate Matter Emissions and Pollution Requirements (AM–406) fact sheet.

Help from EPA

EPA may have emission factors available for your type of process in their resource AP–42.

Hazardous air pollutant guidance

These material handling processes may also have hazardous air pollutant emissions. Please review the following guidance on hazardous air pollutant emission calculations:

  • Air toxics and mercury: Information about hazardous air pollutants and state regulations.
  • Combined chemical table spreadsheet tool for Wisconsin air toxics rule: An interactive Excel spreadsheet that can show you the thresholds in the state rule for each of the HAPs that you emit. Just place an X in the Select column, then choose the X option from the drop–down menu in the top row of that column, and only the information on your HAPs should be shown. Save it to your own computer as soon as the file opens.

If you've determined you are not exempt, please continue by clicking the "Not Exempt" button below.

Material substitution/Pollution prevention

By their nature, it is not likely that your material handling operations would have viable material substitution options to prevent pollution. The most likely way to prevent pollution from these types of processes is to ensure that any capture or control measures in place are as efficient as possible.

Dust sources (grain, concrete, rock, sand and gravel, storage piles, roads and parking lots)

  • Minimize the ability of the material to become released into the air by using water or other liquids to keep the material wet, provide walls or similar structures to block wind, etc.

Organic compound evaporation (storage tanks)

  • Performing proper maintenance to minimize leaks will reduce emissions.

Incinerators

  • Performing proper maintenance and optimizing operating conditions will minimize the emissions that result from incomplete combustion.
   

If your business is exempt, go to 12. Another process?.

If your business is not exempt, go to 3. Exemptions based on actual emissions.

   
 

11. Miscellaneous processes

Please review the following lists again, and select the processes that you have at your business. It is important to look at all topics in both lists. Click on the applicable list to proceed to the next step in the permit primer.

Exempt operations

The following operations are exempt from operation permits. Select the "My process is exempt" option below to continue.

  • Coin–operated dry–cleaning machines
  • Crematories
  • Paper sorting or transporting equipment
  • Municipal drinking water chlorination facilities
  • Gasoline dispensing facilities
  • Renovation or demolition involving friable asbestos containing materials

Exempt operations — some calculations needed

The following operations may also be exempt from operation permitting, depending on emissions. elect the "My process is exempt with some calculations needed" option below to continue.

  • Chromium electroplating and anodizing operations
  • Indirect sources — existing sources, road and highway projects, parking
  • Laboratories emitting air pollutants
  • Other processes that emit aerosols, mists, fumes
  • Other processes that emit dusts
  • Other processes that emit acid gases
   

If your process is exempt, go to 12. Another process?.

If your process is exempt with some calculations needed, go to 13. Miscellaneous processes.

   
 

12. Another process?

Do you have another process from one of the four categories at your facility?

   

If you do have another process, go to 7. Which process do you have at your facility?.

If you do not have another process, go to 14. How many processes did you have at your facility?.

 

13. Miscellaneous processes

Calculations for exemptions

The miscellaneous process category of emission sources includes a wide variety of processes and sources such as laboratories, research and testing equipment, renovation or demolition operations.

You need to determine if you are exempt

Each process in the list below has a certain exemption level (listed in the drop–down definition box that appears when clicking on each one) that your process must be less than to be exempt. If your process is not below those levels, or you cannot substitute materials or modify the process to bring it below those levels then you are not exempt and will need to apply for a construction permit.

(Select the topic below to review the exemption level, then refer to the fact sheets that follow.)

Topics with clickable, drop–down exemption levels
Chromium electroplating and anodizing operations

Chromium electroplating and chromium anodizing operations which are not major sources (one that does not have the potential to emit more than 10 tons per year of chromium) or located at major sources and which are any of the following: a) any decorative chromium electroplating operation or chromium anodizing operation that uses fume suppressants as an emission reduction technology. b) any decorative chromium electroplating operation that uses a trivalent chromium bath that incorporates a wetting agent as a bath ingredient. Note: All chromium electroplating area sources and chromium anodizing area sources must be combined when comparing to the exemption level of more than 10 tons per year of chromium for the project to be exempt from a construction permit.

Indirect sources — existing sources, road and highway projects, parking

You do not need to submit a permit application if your facility consists solely of one of the following indirect sources of air pollution: a) existing sources. All indirect sources on which construction or modification commenced on or prior to November 15, 1992. b) road and highway projects. All indirect sources which are road or highway projects. c) Indirect sources with associated parking. If the indirect source will not be a road or highway project, an operation permit is not required if the source will be: i) an indirect source located in a metropolitan county with a parking capacity of less than 1000 cars in its associated parking areas. ii) an indirect source located in a metropolitan county with a parking capacity increase of less than 1000 cars in its associated parking areas. iii) an indirect source located outside the metropolitan counties with a parking capacity of less than 1500 cars in its associated parking areas. iv) an indirect source located outside the metropolitan counties with a parking capacity increase of less than 1500 cars in its associated parking areas

Laboratories emitting air pollutants

A laboratory which emits organic compounds, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides or particulate matter or a combination thereof at a rate of less than 5.7 pounds per hour unless the emissions of any single hazardous air pollutant as defined by sec. 112(b) of the act (42 USC) 7412(b) 1 equals or exceeds 10 tons per year or the cumulative emissions of all the hazardous air pollutants equals or exceeds 25 tons per year. Hourly emissions shall be determined based on the quantitative estimate of air contaminants before they enter any emission control devices, by dividing the total uncontrolled emissions which would have occurred during a calendar month by the total hours of operation of the laboratory during that calendar month. A laboratory is in operation if laboratory apparatus or equipment is in use. Note: Operations from all laboratories must be combined when comparing to the exemption level for the project to be exempt from a construction permit.

Research and testing equipment

Equipment used or to be used for the purpose of testing or research provided that all of the following requirements are met: 1) a complete application for exemption is made describing the proposed testing or research and including an operating schedule and the types and quantities of emissions anticipated. 2) the department determines that the equipment to be used and the anticipated emissions from the testing or research will not present a significant hazard to public health, safety or welfare or to the environment and approves the application for exemption. 3) the equipment will be in operation for less than 12 months. 4) the department approves the application for exemption submitted under subd. 1. The department shall approve or deny the application in writing within 45 days of receiving a complete application. The department may provide public notice of an application for research and testing exemption, may provide an opportunity for public comment and an opportunity to request a public hearing and may hold a public hearing on any application under this paragraph. The department shall make all non-confidential information available to the public upon request. Note: Operations from all research and testing equipment must be combined when comparing to the exemption level for the project to be exempt from a construction permit.

Renovation or demolition operations involving friable asbestos

Renovation or demolition operations involving friable asbestos containing material provided that the provisions of subd. 1. or 2. are met: 1. The amount of asbestos containing material is less than 260 linear feet on pipes or 160 square feet on other facility components. 2. If the amount of asbestos containing material is at least 260 linear feet on pipes or at least 160 square feet on other facility components, all of the following conditions are met: a) notice of intention is provided under s. NR 447.07. b) notice indicates that the project will meet all applicable requirements of ch. NR 447. c) fee required under s. NR 410.05 (2) and (3) is submitted with the notice. Note: All renovation or demolition operations must be combined when comparing to the exemption level for the project to be exempt from a construction permit.

Please review the following fact sheets to assist you in determining if you are exempt.

Select "Material substitution/Pollution prevention" below to provide you with many pollution prevention options that may be applicable to your business and may help you avoid the permitting process and possibly save money.

Material substitution/Pollution prevention

There are several ways to save money and minimize permitting paperwork depending on whether your business can substitute a process or material to a more environmentally–friendly alternative. If your business has any of the following operations or uses any of the following materials, please read on.

Chromium electroplating

The Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP), the environmental science and technology program in the Department of Defense, also has information available on chromium alternatives. The SERDP Green Manufacturing and Maintenance — Hexavalent Chromium webpage contains links to a report from a Department of Defense Metal Finishing Workshop — Chromate Alternatives for Metal Treatment and Sealing and information about Electroformed Nanocrystalline Coatings: an Advanced Alternative to Hard Chrome Electroplating (WP–1152; final report available).

Laboratories

Microscaling is a technique used in graduate and undergraduate chemistry laboratories that significantly reduces the amount of air pollution and hazardous waste generated. It is, by definition, a source reduction program. This means that hazardous waste is reduced by avoiding and minimizing its generation. Microscaling is a process that uses smaller (micro) amounts of chemicals where much larger amounts were previously used. See Pollution Prevention in Laboratories: the "How to" Guide.

   

If your business is exempt, go to 12. Another process?.

If your business is not exempt, go to 3. Exemptions based on actual emissions.

   
 

14. How many processes did you have ("one" or "more than one") at your facility?

 

   

If you have one process at your facility, go to 22. Recordkeeping and other requirements.

If you have more than one process at your facility, go to 15. Do you have "no more than one of each" or "more than one in any one category" of these five items?.

   
 

15. Do you have "no more than one of each" or "more than one in any one category" of the following five items?

Please click on the paragraph letter (in parentheses) to read exemption levels. When you have reviewed the entire list, click on the answer at the page bottom.

Fuel burning equipment otherwise exempt under paragraph (a)

External combustion furnaces that do not burn any hazardous waste identified under ch. NR 605, Wis. Adm. Code or which have been issued a license under ch. NR 680, Wis. Adm. Code, and which are designed at a combined total capacity to burn the following fuels at the maximum rates indicated: a) Coal, coke or other solid fuels, except wood, at a heat input rate of not more than 1.0 million BTU per hour; b) Wood alone or wood in combination with gaseous or other liquid fuels at a heat input rate of not more than 5.0 million BTU per hour; c) Residual or crude oil at a heat input rate of not more than 5.0 million BTU per hour; d) Distillate oil at a heat input rate of not more than 5.0 million BTU per hour; e) Gaseous fuel at a heat input rate of not more than 40 million BTU per hour.

Fuel burning equipment otherwise exempt under paragraph (u)

Emergency electric generators powered by internal combustion engines which are fueled by gaseous fuels, gasoline or distillate fuel oil with an electric output of less than 3,000 watts.

Equipment designed to incinerate solid wastes otherwise exempt under paragraph (b)

Equipment designed to incinerate solid wastes, which are not pathological wastes, infectious wastes, municipal wastes or hazardous wastes under ch. NR 605, at a rate of not more than 500 pounds per hour.

Storage tanks of organic compounds

Storage tanks of organic compounds with a combined total tankage capacity of not more than 40,000 gallons if not more than 10,000 gallons of the storage tanks' capacity is used for storage of volatile organic compounds.

Grain storage facilities otherwise exempt under paragraph (ce)

Grain storage facilities with an average tonnage of grain received of less than 5500 tons per month, which are not subject to s. NR 440.47, and which are not part 70 sources. The average monthly tonnage of grain received shall be calculated by dividing the cumulative tonnage of grain received since January 1 of each year by 12. The average monthly tonnage of grain received does not include product that the facility sells, acting as a broker, which is never actually received at the grain storage facility.

Grain processing facilities otherwise exempt under paragraph (cm)

Grain processing facilities with an average tonnage of grain received of less than 4500 tons per month, which are not subject to s. NR 440.47, and which are not part 70 sources. The average monthly tonnage of grain received shall be calculated by dividing the cumulative tonnage of grain received since January 1 of each year by 12. The average monthly tonnage of grain received does not include product that the facility receives that is packaged when received and remains packaged.

Do you have "no more than one of each" or "more than one in any one category" of the above five items?

   

If you have no more than one from each category, go to 16. Do you have "one" or "more than one" of these items?.

If you have more than one in any one category, go to 3. Exemptions based on actual emissions.

   
 

16. Do you have "one" or "more than one" of the following items?

Please review the entire list (with clickable, drop–down exemption levels) and click on the answer at the page bottom.

Grain drying

(c) Equipment which is designed to dry grain at a rate of not more than 1,000 bushels per hour at 5%moisture extraction and which is not subject to s. NR 440.47.

Portland concrete batch plants

(d) Portland concrete batch plants which produce less than 20,000 cubic yards of concrete per month averaged over any 12 consecutive month period.

Painting or coating operations, including associated quality assurance laboratories

(g) Painting or coating operations, including associated quality assurance laboratories and cleaning operations which emit not more than 1,666 pounds of volatile organic compounds per month, which are measured prior to entering any emission control devices.

Automobile refinishing operations

(gm) Automobile refinishing operations, including associated quality assurance laboratories and cleaning operations, which emit or will emit not more than 1,666 pounds of volatile organic compounds per month, which are measured prior to entering any emission control device.

Graphic arts operation, including associated quality assurance laboratories

(h) Graphic arts operation, including associated quality assurance laboratories and cleaning operation which emit or will emit not more than 1,666 pounds of organic compounds per month, which are measured prior to entering any emission control device.

Cold cleaning equipment

(i) Cold cleaning equipment - means the batch process of cleaning and removing soils from metal surfaces by spraying, brushing, flushing or immersion while maintaining the solvent below its boiling point. Wipe cleaning is not included in this definition.

Open top vapor degreasing

(j) Open top vapor degreasing — means the batch process of cleaning and removing soils from metal surfaces by condensing hot solvent vapor on the colder metal parts.

Coin–operated dry cleaning machines

(k) Coin–operated dry cleaning machines.

Private alcohol fuel production systems

(l) Private alcohol fuel production systems

Crematories

(m) Crematories

Indirect malt dryers designed to burn fuels

(n) Indirect malt dryers which are designed to burn fuels specified in paragraph (a) at a heat input rate less than the rates specified in paragraph (a).

Laboratories

(o) A laboratory which emits organic compounds, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides or particulate matter or a combination thereof at a rate of less than 5.7 pounds per hour. Hourly emissions shall be determined based on the quantitative estimate of air contaminants before they enter any emission control devices, by dividing the total uncontrolled emissions which would have occurred during a calendar month by the total hours of operation of the laboratory during that calendar month. A laboratory is in operation if laboratory apparatus or equipment is in use.

Paper sorting equipment

(p) Equipment the primary purpose of which is to transport or sort paper.

Facilities for chlorination of water

(q) Facilities for the chlorination of water.

Gasoline dispensing facilities

(r) Gasoline dispensing facilities which dispense gasoline or other petroleum products.

Bulk gasoline plants

(s) Bulk gasoline plants which distribute gasoline or other petroleum and which have an average daily throughput of less than 15,000 liters (4,000 gallons), based on a 30-day rolling average.

Nonmetallic mineral extraction

(v) Any quarry, mine or other facility where nonmetallic minerals are extracted that is not a ledge rock quarry or industrial sand mine.

Ledge rock quarries

(w) Ledge rock quarries with actual production of less than 25,000 tons per month on a rolling 12 month average, or with actual operation of less than 365 days per 5 year period.

Industrial sand mines

(x) Industrial sand mines with actual production of less than 2,000 tons per month on a rolling twelve month average.

Fixed sand and gravel plants and fixed crushed stone plants

(y) Fixed sand and gravel plants and fixed crushed stone plants with capacities of 25 tons per hour or less.

Portable sand and gravel plants and portable crushed stone plants

(z) Portable sand and gravel plants and portable crushed stone plants with capacities of 150 tons per hour or less.

   

If you have one of the above items, go to 22. Recordkeeping and other requirements.

If you have more than one of the above items, go to 3. Exemptions based on actual emissions.

   
 

17. Have you had the operation permit for more than 3 years? (Air permits: Existing business)


   

If you have had the operation permit for more than 3 years, go to 18. Next steps for expiring permits.

If you have not had the operation permit for more than 3 years, go to 19. Does the permit accurately reflect how your business is run?.

 

18. Next steps for expiring permits

If you were issued an air pollution operation permit at least 3 years ago, it will expire soon. (The original permit is valid for a maximum of 5 years.) It's time to evaluate your eligibility for permit options.

  • You may now be exempt from needing an operation permit.
  • You may wish to apply for one of the streamlined permits (ROP, GOP).
  • You may prefer to maintain your source–specific permit if you have not made any changes at your facility.
  • You may wish to change the type of source-specific permit because your facility's operations have changed.

Potential alternatives to source–specific permits

Whether or not you have made changes at your facility, the air permitting options have changed. You may be eligible for a different type of permit, or you may meet new exemption criteria.

  • If your operations have very low actual emissions, you may be exempt from the requirement for an air permit. For more information about exemptions, review the Exemptions webpage.
  • Air permits Registration permits for eligible businesses are available to smaller emitting facilities that can cap their emissions and meet other eligibility criteria. Review the criteria and application information for Registration permits.
  • General permits are available for rock crushing facilities and asphalt plants. These permits are written with standardized terms and will not include requirements specific to your facility's operations.

Obtaining these permits, or the exemption, is a fairly simple process, as they have a short list of eligibility criteria. Review the information on the Air Permit Options page for more information on the permit alternatives available.

Maintaining your source–specific permit

You may prefer to maintain your source-specific permit. In that case, if the facility's operation permit expires (has an expiration date on the permit cover page) then follow the instructions contained on the operation permit renewal website.

If you plan to keep your source–specific permit, then go to the How to apply for an air permit webpage.

If you are ready for the final step, go to go to 22. Recordkeeping and other requirements.

   
 

19. Does the permit accurately reflect how your business is run? (Air permits: Existing business)

Is your business process the same as when you applied for the original permit?

   
   
 

20. Revising an existing operation permit (Air permits: Existing business)

If you find that your operation permit no longer reflects how your business is run, you may request a revision to your existing permit. If you plan to revise your operation permit, this is a good time to review your possible eligibility for a Registration Operation Permit, General Operation Permit, or new exemptions.

Review streamlined permit eligibility at:

If not eligible for one of the streamlined options, then simply revise the permit through the renewal application to better fit the current operations. Follow instructions at the How to apply for an air permit or the Air permit renewals FAQ webpage.

Need to backtrack? Return to:

 

21. Compliance responsibilities with a permit

Even if your small business has been issued an operation air permit, there are several other compliance–related issues you need to be aware of. You may need to complete periodic compliance certification forms, perform stack testing, regularly inspect your facility, and maintain records on specified activities or materials, to name a few.

We've designed this page to simplify the process by providing various helpful resources in the sections below. Click on "General compliance information" below to open the drop-down lists of information.

General compliance information
Industry–specific information

The DNR's Small Business Environmental Assistance Program (SBEAP) assists businesses and communities with preventing pollution and minimizing waste. Among other things, SBEAP has business sector specialists who are trained to provide industry–specific information. The Small Business Environmental Assistance Program (SBEAP)provides non–regulatory assistance to small businesses. The SBEAP's page on Process-specific regulations provides specialized information and assistance to the following business sectors:

Auto body shops

Chrome plating

General painting/coating

Printers

Rock crushing

The end; Completed permit primer.

Congratulations! You have reached the end of the permit primer.

Thank you for using the permit primer, and we hope the information has been useful to you

 

22. Recordkeeping and other requirements

If your business is exempt from permit requirements based on actual emissions, notify the Department that you intend to operate under this exemption. Complete form 4530–100 and specifically item #21.D by selecting the first option, Actual Emissions–based Exemption. The Department will send you a letter confirming your exemption, and you should keep the letter on file at your facility.

Even if your business is currently exempt from air pollution permitting requirements, you will need to keep records to document your exempt status. Please refer to the following fact sheets and spreadsheets to help you keep monthly records on your status.

All air pollution regulations and requirements apply even if a permit is not required for your particular business or activity that creates air pollution. The links on this page will give you more information about regulations that might affect your business. You can also contact Small Business Environmental Assistance Program staff for help, to make sure you are aware of all the rules that could affect you.

The sections below contain links to many helpful resources. Click on the title to open the drop–down lists of information.

General compliance information
Industry-specific information

Auto body shops

Chrome plating

General painting/coating

Printers

Rock crushing

The end; Completed permit primer

Congratulations! You have reached the end of the permit primer.

Thank you for using the permit primer, and we hope the information has been useful to you.