Air quality permits now available on state agency's website

RALEIGH – Air quality permits for more than 2,650 facilities across North Carolina are now available for public viewing on the N.C. Division of Air Quality’s website.

The division has posted copies of air permits for about 300 major sources (Title V) on its website for some time, but citizens needed to visit the division’s offices to view permits for most smaller facilities.

“We hope that citizens will find it more convenient now to obtain key information about permitted sources of air emissions across North Carolina,” said Sheila Holman, director of the state Division of Air Quality. “This information should be useful for businesses, consultants, interest groups, government agencies and researchers as well as the general public.”

Holman informed the state Environmental Management Commission about the improvements to the agency’s website during the commission’s meeting Thursday.

Air quality permits specify the types of pollution control equipment and set emissions limits for facilities that release regulated air pollutants above minimum levels, which vary by pollutant. Permits are one of the primary tools that regulators use for protecting air quality and ensuring that factories and other facilities comply with state and federal air pollution laws. Permitting information can be found at this page on the division’s website: http://www.ncair.org/permits/ .

The permit information now available on the DAQ website includes:

- Alphabetical listings of all permitted facilities as well as major sources, with links to actual permits.

- A database that is searchable by facility names, addresses, counties and source sizes.

- Spreadsheets that users can customize to sort or research permitted facilities.

- A map that can be used to find facilities with air quality permits across the state.

- Active applications for new air permits, modifications and renewals.

- Draft permits for proposed new or modified large facilities.

The Division of Air Quality’s website contains permit information for the 97 counties the state agency regulates. However, three North Carolina counties – Buncombe, Forsyth and Mecklenburg – have local air programs, and citizens will need to contact those agencies to obtain permit information for facilities in those areas. Contact information and links to local air program websites can be found at the following page on the DAQ site: http://www.ncair.org/about/local/ .

Attorneys and others needing official, signed copies of air permits, may still need to visit the division’s offices to obtain copies. The website also does not contain copies of permits for facilities that have closed or terminated their air permits. More information about air quality issues can be found at the Division of Air Quality’s main website: www.ncair.org .

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