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Knowledge Sharing

Simplifying the BAAQMD Permitting Process for Generators

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), otherwise known as the “Air District,” is tasked with regulating stationary sources of air pollution in the nine counties that surround the San Francisco Bay: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, southwestern Solano, and southern Sonoma counties. The Air District’s mission statement is to, “create a healthy breathing environment for every Bay Area resident while protecting and improving public health, air quality, and the global climate” and strives to achieve these objectives through:

  • Reducing and eliminating health problems caused by air pollution.
  • Achieving and maintaining air quality standards for all criteria pollutants.
  • Creating high-quality, relevant regulatory programs and ensure they comply with federal, state, and local laws.

Most of the equipment that emits to the atmosphere to be installed and operated in the Bay Area will require Air District permits which are documents that authorize the permit holder to install this type of equipment (“Authority to Construct”) and/or operate this type of equipment (“Permit to Operate”).  Air quality permits are required by law and are needed for:

  • Any equipment that may cause air pollution.
  • Modification to existing permitted equipment or their permit conditions.
  • Permitted equipment that is moved to a new location.
  • Transfer of permitted equipment to new owners
  • Installation of equipment used to control emissions.

NOTE: Depending on the type of equipment, its installation or use may also require separate local jurisdictional permits.
(e.g., in the case of an Emergency Standby Diesel Generator Set, a generator permit(s) will be required by the local jurisdiction for the installation of the GenSet and fuel system; a BAAQMD Authority to Construct permit will be required to fuel and commission the generator; and then a BAAQMD Permit to Operate permit will be required to operate the generator.)

We have created a summary flowchart that shows the usual steps to be followed for the Air District permitting of an Emergency Standby Diesel Generator Set (the most common requirement that we have experienced with our clients and the BAAQMD) based on the Air District’s requirements and Skyline’s extensive experience with the installation and commissioning of this type of equipment.  Depending on the other stationary equipment to be permitted, the steps, timing and application deliverables may vary.  Although this infographic is a simplified depiction of the generator permit process, the application documents and process can be quite complicated. I you require assistance, our Skyline team can provide additional clarification to the permit process related to specific equipment installation or operation and can further explain the detailed BAAQMD application requirements (or any additional permit requirements from other parties) including Form P101-B “Authority to Construct/Permit to Operate; Location Map; Facility Map; HRSA Map; Form ICE Internal Combustion Engine; Form HRSA; Specific Generator Specifications based on actual engine to be used.



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