Types of Permits
The Louisville Metro Air Pollution Control District (APCD) issues several different types of permits. Use the list of links below to learn more about each of the types of permits the APCD issues.
If you have additional questions please contact the APCD at (502) 574-6000.
The APCD permits industrial and commercial facilities based on their potential to emit (PTE) or agreed-upon emissions of air pollution. PTE is calculated using the maximum capacity of a source to emit an air pollutant under its physical and operational design. A physical or operational limitation on the capacity of a source to emit an air pollutant will be treated as part of its design if the limitation is enforceable under the Clean Air Act. These limitations may include:
- Air pollution control equipment
- Restriction on hours of operation
- Restriction on the type or amount of material combusted, stored, or processed
The APCD has provided PTE calculation templates to assist companies in determining emissions. The following types of permits may be issued based on a facility’s PTE or agreed-upon emissions limit.
Title V refers to a section of the Clean Air Act (CAA) that addresses the largest sources of air pollution. Title V permits combine all of the applicable federal, state, and local air requirements at a Title V facility into one permit. The EPA has given APCD authority to implement the Title V permit program as described in APCD Regulation 2.16. To determine whether your business is subject to the Title V permit requirements, you will need to determine your PTE.
- Major sources as defined in APCD Regulation 2.16 have a PTE of:
- 100 tons per year or more of any criteria air pollutant.
- 10 tons per year or more of any one of the 186 Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAP) listed in section 112(b) of the Clean Air Act.
- 25 tons per year or more of any combination of HAPs.
- Sources subject to the requirements under New Source Performance Standards or National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants, if specifically required by EPA.
- Coal-fired electric utilities subject to the acid rain program.
The Title V permit application process is detailed and complex and may require professional assistance. An opportunity for public comment and an opportunity for a public hearing are required. There is also a requirement that EPA and affected states review proposed permits. EPA has the authority to object to permit issuance.
Title V permits are issued for a period of 5 years. A complete Title V permit renewal application must be submitted to the APCD prior to the end of the permit term for continued operation.
The Title V permits are public documents and are available on this website in one of two versions:
- Draft Permits – released by the APCD for public and state review and comment.
- Final Permits – issued by the APCD after completion of public, state, and EPA review and comment.
FEDOOPs, as described in APCD Regulation 2.17, are issued to major sources willing to accept federally enforceable emissions limitations below those that require a Title V permit. This is a good option for companies wishing to avoid the requirements associated with a Title V permit.
Typically, a FEDOOP contains limits on the operations of the plant, like:
- Material used
- Hours of operation
- Associated monitoring requirements.
For the limitations to be federally enforceable, they must be enforceable as a practical matter. This means the limitation must allow for verification of the source's compliance with federally enforceable requirements. Generally, a practically enforceable limitation should:
- Include a technically accurate limitation and identify the portions of the source subject to the limitation;
- Define the time period for the limitation (e.g., hourly, daily, monthly); and
- Describe the method to determine compliance, including appropriate monitoring, record keeping and reporting to document compliance.
An opportunity for public comment and an opportunity for a public hearing are required. There is also a requirement that EPA and affected states review proposed permits. EPA has the authority to object to permit issuance.
FEDOOPs are issued for a period of 5 years. A complete FEDOOP renewal application must be submitted to the APCD prior to the end of the permit term for continued operation.
The majority of stationary air pollution sources in Louisville do not emit at the same levels as Title V sources or FEDOOP sources. The scale of operations is usually the determining factor in a source’s emission levels. For example, a large auto body shop with many bays is likely a FEDOOP source while a small shop with a single bay is likely a minor source. If a company is unsure of its emissions levels, it is likely a minor source. However, companies are encouraged to email the APCD at airpermits[at]louisvilleky.gov with any questions about the process.
Minor sources have a combined permit to construct and operate. No application is necessary to convert a construction permit into an operating permit. Minor source operating/construction permits do not have an expiration date. There is no formal renewal application for minor sources.
APCD Regulation 2.08 allows for the transfer of existing operating permits to a new owner or operator. However, if you purchase a business with an operating permit, it is your responsibility to submit the date of transfer in writing to the APCD. Staff may review the permit at this time to determine that no other changes to the permit are necessary.
The APCD permits other sources of air pollution based on the type of activity being undertaken or the type of equipment being used. Unlike emissions based permits, companies and individuals applying for non-emissions based permits are NOT required to calculate a potential to emit (PTE) for the permitted activity/equipment.
Gasoline belongs to a category of chemicals known as volatile organic compounds (VOC), which are the main precursor of ozone formation. As part of a strategy to reduce ground level ozone, the APCD permits wholesale, retail, and commercial distribution points for gasoline. Emissions from delivery of and dispensing of gasoline are controlled by Stage I and Stage II systems.
When a tanker truck delivers gasoline to a station, the new fuel entering the underground tank forces accumulated gasoline vapors out of the tank into the air. With a properly-functioning Stage I vapor recovery system, these vapors are returned to the tanker truck through a vapor recovery line, instead of into the air. APCD Regulation 6.15 requires gasoline dispensing facilities to use a Stage I vapor recovery system.
Stage II vapor recovery systems recover vapors that would escape while refueling a vehicle at the pump. Specially-designed nozzles and hoses prevent the escape of vapors as gasoline is pumped into the vehicle by returning vapors to the underground storage tank or an incinerator. APCD Regulation 6.40 requires most gasoline-dispensing facilities to use Stage II systems. See this regulation for applicability requirements.
For more information, e-mail us, call (502) 574-6000 and ask for the Stage II office, or send a fax to (502) 574-5607 ATTN: Stage II.
Asbestos is a general term for a group of fibrous minerals that were used as fireproof insulation and as a strengthener in pipe insulation, roofing tiles, floor tiles, wall coverings and other materials. Studies have shown that inhaling high concentrations of asbestos fibers can cause serious health problems, including cancer. In an effort to minimize this risk, the APCD regulates renovation, demolition, or building clean-up activity that involves the disturbance of asbestos-containing materials (ACM).
Special training and equipment are required to remove ACM safely. For this reason, federal and local regulations require specific work practices and the use of a licensed contractor for removal of ACM from any structure other than a private residence with four or fewer units. In accordance with APCD Regulations 5.04 and 5.13, the APCD's asbestos team issues permits, inspects asbestos removal sites and investigates reports of illegal asbestos removal. For more information, e-mail us, call (502) 574-6000 and ask for the asbestos program, or send a fax to (502) 574-5607 ATTN: Asbestos.
While burning a pile of leaves or having a bonfire for a party may seem harmless, any fire releases harmful materials. Emissions from fires include:
- Coarse and fine particulate matter
- Ground-level ozone forming pollutants
- Carbon monoxide
- Toxic chemicals
- Carbon dioxide (a greenhouse gas)
In a large metropolitan area like Louisville, unregulated outdoor fires would cause significant amounts of air pollution. That’s why open burning is generally prohibited in Louisville Metro. The rules for open burning in Louisville Metro can be found in APCD Regulation 1.11. The following types of open burning are allowed in Louisville with advance notice and an open burning permit.
- Recreational and ceremonial fires:
- Includes bonfires, other recreational fires, and ceremonial fires that are on the ground and not contained in a fire place or in an acceptable fire pit.
- Only clean, dry firewood is allowed to be burned.
- Fire can be no larger than 5 ft. by 5 ft. by 5 ft.
- The applicant is responsible for conducting, controlling and extinguishing the fire.
- For more information including what is an acceptable fire pit or fire place, see Recreational Fires FAQs.
- Agricultural fires for weed, disease, or pest control and controlled burns for forest, orchard, range, native grassland or wildlife management
- The materials to be burned are limited to brush, timber, wood, grasses, and other plant materials.
- Requires approval of the local fire protection district and, in some cases, the Soil & Water Conservation District.
- A burn plan is required for controlled burns that do not qualify as agricultural burns.
- No fire shall be held when the average wind speed is greater than 15 miles per hour.
- Fire-fighting training:
- This includes structures to be burned for training purposes.
- Permits available only for bona fide fire instruction and training of public and industrial employees.
- All asbestos-containing material and roofing material must be removed prior to structure fire training.
Even with approval, a fire cannot be held on a day on which an Air Quality Alert has been issued. Please call 574-6000 to verify the air quality status prior to burning. Other laws and regulations may also apply, depending on the circumstances.
The following types of fires are allowed without a permit:
- Fires in fire pits and chimeneas that meet certain specifications in APCD Regulation 1.11
- Fire pits must be made of non-combustible materials.
- Fires can be no larger than 3 ft. by 3 ft. by 3 ft.
- Only clean, dry firewood is allowed to be burned.
- To cook food for a non-commercial purpose (please read Regulation 1.11 for details)
- This includes fires for grilling or cooking food for non-commercial purposes
- The fire must be an appropriate size for the food being cooked.
- If you are cooking food for a commercial purpose, you must enclose and properly ventilate the cooking fire with a chimney or similar device. You may also be subject to Louisville Metro Health Department regulations.
For more information, e-mail us, call (502) 574-6000 and ask for Community Compliance, or send a fax to (502) 574-5607 ATTN: Community Compliance. For information on alternatives to open burning, please visit our open burning page.