Louisville's Air Pollution Permitting Process

A source of air pollution in Louisville must apply for and receive an air pollution permit prior to construction and operation. Below is a basic description of the process that must take place when a permit is issued for a major source of air pollution.

 

Permitting Process Flow Chart
Application Submitted
A facility submits an application for an air pollution permit.
Application Review
The APCD reviews the application. If all requirements are met, a draft permit is prepared. If requirements are not met, the application may be denied. The facility may make revisions and resubmit.
Draft Permit
A draft of the permit is written, reviewed internally, and distributed to the public. 
Public Comment Period
Members of the public are given a time period to review and submit formal comments  on the draft permit. A public hearing may be held if there is significant public interest.

Response to Comments 
The APCD responds to all comments on the draft permit in writing and may adjust the permit. If a permit is weakened it will go back through public comment. If it is strengthened or unchanged it will be issued.

Final Permit 
A final permit is issued and the facility can begin construction and operation. All permitting decisions can be appealed.
Permit Compliance
Compliance with permit requirements is verified through a combination of record-keeping, reporting, monitoring, and both regular and random inspections. 

 

Public Participation

Before operating or construction permits for "major" sources are issued, a draft version is made available and a public comment period is designated to allow for members of the public to review the permit and provide formal public comments. 

A public comment is a statement offered during the public comment period for the record about a proposed action. Anyone can offer comments in writing to the APCD and/or orally at a public hearing, if one is held. 

Public comments may impact the final permit by pointing out laws and regulations that may have been misapplied, technical errors, or case-by-case decisions that are not sufficient, like monitoring, record keeping, or emissions testing requirements. The APCD cannot consider comments that request any action outside of its regulatory authority or deny an application that meets air pollution laws and regulations. 

Once the public comment period ends and all comments are considered, the draft permit may be revised, redrafted, or issued as-is. All comments are responded to by the APCD in a “Response to Comments” document shared with the final permit. All APCD permitting decisions can be appealed by the public and/or the applicant.

In addition to record-keeping, testing, and monitoring requirements, the APCD performs regular inspections of permitted facilities. The frequency of inspections depends upon the type of source and permit requirements, but may be performed more frequently at the APCD’s discretion.

Violations of permit conditions and APCD regulations may result in fines and other corrective action up to permit revocation.
 

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