The goal of the Washoe County Health District, Air Quality Management Division (AQMD) is to keep Washoe County air as clean as possible. Since many industrial activities result in the release of contaminants into the air, air pollution control permits are needed for many businesses. The permit process ensures that with the start-up of a new project, or the modification of an existing project, air contaminants will be kept to a minimum and standards protecting the public health and environment will be maintained. Registration, permitting, and control of industrial sources of air pollution within Washoe County has been conducted by the Air Quality Management Division of the Washoe County Health District. Air Quality Control Regulations require that sources of air pollution emitting more than an average of 2.0 pounds per day of any air contaminant or any amount of hazardous air contaminant (air toxic) must obtain an Authority to Construct prior to construction or installation, and then continue to maintain a Permit to Operate. As the main goal of the Air Quality Management Division is to promote a clean and healthful environment for the citizens of Washoe County, we encourage the cooperative effort of business and industry with the AQMD and other resources. Together, business and government can cooperate to promote both economic viability and healthful conditions in our communities.
Industrial Operations which require registration include, but is not limited to:
- Gas, oil or solid fuel burning boilers, furnaces or ovens greater than 2 million BTU aggregate
- Commercial fuel storage facilities or gas stations
- Paint and surface coating operations
- Degreasers, dry cleaners or other processes using solvents
- Aggregate, concrete or mineral products processing or mining
- Analytical labs, chemical processing operations, essay labs
- Printing press facilities
- Sawing, grinding or sanding operations
- Remediation soil or water treatment operations
- Restaurants with char broilers or large frying operations
- Industrial facilities which emit air pollutants
- Processes which have the potential to emit any of the substances on the District air toxic list
(The District uses the same list as used in the Federal Clean Air Act, [see Sec. 112 (b)], or
please contact AQMD for a copy of that list)
- Marijuana cultivation and processing operations
Applications - Requirements and Review
An Authority to Construct must be obtained prior to any construction of a new air pollution emissions unit or facility. Be sure to allow sufficient time for the time it takes to review and issue a permit, this can be anywhere in the range of 1-4 months typically. The time it takes can vary depending on such things as completeness of the application or the complexity of the facility operations and applicable regulations. Expect this process to take no longer than 180 days to complete. Sources needing PSD, NSR or Title V permits may take six (6) to eighteen (18) months (WCDBOH Regulations Governing AQM – 030.002).
Each application must contain, as a minimum:
- Name and physical address of business and any other identifying information;
- Nature of business, including products produced and processes to be used, including any applicable SIC and NAICS codes;
- Name, phone number and e-mail of Responsible Official, (this person has full scope of responsibilities for the certification of all communications, letters, reports, notifications, invoices, permits, and applications, for the operating permit).
- Site information, including site map, flow diagrams, description of site, and all emission units (EU) in sufficient detail to determine applicability and fees;
- Descriptions and Specifications. Descriptive information about the types of EUs. Include the manufacturer name, model & serial numbers, and Source Classification Codes (SCC) for all EUs.
- Power/Capacity Ratings. The design power or capacity output of all emitting equipment. Manufacturer’s documentation must be included to support these specifications.
- Dates of Manufacture/Installation/Operation. The date an EU is fully constructed/assembled and made available for use; the date an EU is put into place and ready to operate; the date an EU commences normal operation. Dates can be actual or projected.
- Emission Unit Number. A unique identification number corresponding to each EU presented in the flow diagram (as applicable). The number is fictitious for a new EU (e.g., “New 01”), and as listed in the permit for an existing EU.
- Nature and quantity of emissions for all regulated pollutants on an hourly, daily or annual basis, expressed in units as necessary to determine compliance, including notation as to if the proposed modification will be a major source or modification and which pollutants the source will be major for;
- Provide data on the process emissions for all criteria and non-criteria pollutants-- estimate the quantity of each pollutant emitted, i.e., Total Suspended Particulate Matter (TSP), Carbon Monoxide (CO), Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC), Nitrogen Oxides (NOX), Sulfur Oxides (SOX), Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPS) (as per EPA List of Air Toxics). For particulate matter include data on the chemical nature of the emissions.
- Attach a copy of the calculations, test methods, and/or assumptions made in estimating emissions. If outside references are used (such as the EPA reference document Compilation of Air Pollutant Emission Factors, AP-42) be sure to note where in the reference document the information was obtained. If you are not able to provide this information leave this section blank.
- Air Pollution Control. Pollution control devices or measures that reduce the amount of regulated air pollutants emitted to the atmosphere. The following information must be included in an application for all new or modified EUs (as applicable).
- Air Pollution Control Equipment List. Identification and description of each control device that shall include design specifications (including capture and control efficiencies), manufacturer, model & serial number, and associated EUs and processes.
- Air Pollution Control Measure List. Description of each control measure that shall include how/where it is applied, how much control is applied, control efficiency, and associated EUs and processes.
- Operational Information. A list of production rates, fuel types (with consumption rates), raw materials (with throughput rates), and operating schedules, if not included in the required emission unit worksheets. List any inherent limitations on operations (not to include self-imposed limits) or work practice standards affecting emissions.
- Such other information or documentation requested by the Control Officer as necessary to determine compliance with all requirements and standards, A list of the federal performance standards, emission limits, and requirements that apply to the source (i.e., NSPS, NESHAP, and MACT);
- A plan review fee and any other fees as set by the District Board of Health, can be found at top of application;
- An original “wet” signature of a Responsible Official of the firm or business.
Though the county does not have any set maximum pollutant emission rate thresholds beyond
federal limitations, we do require the use of specific emission control devices in many cases.
- New source with emissions between 10 lbs/day and 125 lbs/day (Washoe County Regulation Section 030.750) are required to apply Best Available Control Technology (BACT). A case-by-case review will be made to determine the appropriate BACT requirement.
- New sources with emissions of 125 lbs/day or greater (Washoe County Regulation Section 030.700) are required to apply Lowest Achievable Emission Rate (LAER) control technology. A case-by-case review will be made to determine the LAER control requirements.
- Special requirements for Hazardous Air Pollutants may also be necessary (Washoe County Regulation Section 030.410) The District uses the same list of hazardous air pollutants as does the Federal Environmental Protection agency.
- New large sources (Major) emitting between 70 and 100 tons/yr. or more of a pollutant may fall under the regulations for Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) or New Source Review (NSR). The Washoe County Air Quality Management Division (WC AQMD) has federal designation for PSD and NSR so these types of permits will be processed by AQMD.
- For new Major industrial sources of air pollution, within any non-attainment area, pollutant offsets may be required. Offsets for CO and PM10 are not normally required in the outlying areas beyond the Truckee Meadows Basin. Offsets for Ozone may be required in outlying areas as the entire county is designated as a non-attainment zone for that substance. Additional details on offset rules and requirements for large pollution sources may be obtained by contacting AQMD.
Because of the complexity of the details of some projects, many operators request a preconstruction conference to meet and discuss the details of the proposed project. The AQMD encourages such meetings, especially for more complex sources. Often such a discussion actually speeds up the permit process and results in less confusion for all parties. If you decide to pursue this option further, you should contact one of the WC AQMD staff members under Further Questions and Information.
A Dust Control Permit must be submitted on any new construction which will disturb an area one (1) acre or greater. The form for the Dust Control Permit can be obtained at www.OurCleanAir.com or by calling the WC AQMD at (775) 784-7200. The plan generally describes the methods that will be used by the contractor to control fugitive dust emissions. A Dust Control Permit should only be submitted along with the Authority to Construct application if the soil disturbance from the construction of the proposed project will exceed the one (1) acre or greater criteria.
Before making any payments, please contact our office to determine the actual amount owed at 784-7200. Current fees are listed on the Air Quality Management Fees page.
When the application review has been completed, an Authority to Construct letter from the WC AQMD authorizing construction or installation of your proposed facility will be sent out. The letter will list the operational requirements and emission limitations that will be required as conditions of the Air Quality Permit to Operate. Assuming you have already acquired all other necessary agency authorizations and permits, you may begin construction of your project.
When construction or installation is complete, the operator must contact WC AQMD to arrange for an on-site inspection of the facility in operation to ensure that it meets the conditions set forth in the Authority to Construct letter. If the facility is in compliance, an official Permit to Operate may be issued after the Permit to Operate fee has been paid. This permit must be renewed annually.
General Air Quality Stationary Source Permit to Operate
Any new source not considered major, emitting less than 100 tons per year of any air contaminant.
MACT 6H Certification
If your process includes any surface coating, you must also complete and submit this form with your application.
Fuel Burning Equipment Air Quality Stationary Source Permit to Operate
Any natural gas, propane or waste oil burning equipment which in aggregate has greater than 2 million BTU/hr heat input rating. Fuel Burning Inventory example.
Gasoline Dispensing Facility Air Quality Stationary Source Permit to Operate
Use for new Gasoline Dispensing Facility (GDF) or Major Modifications, as defined in 040.080 Gasoline Transfer and Dispensing Facilities, to existing GDF’s.
Internal Combustion Engine Air Quality Stationary Source Permit to Operate
Use for any new internal combustion engine or additional engine requiring a permit.
Modification to an Existing Air Quality Permit to Operate
Addition of emission units which have an impact on the Potential to Emit for a facility and needs to be re-engineered and potential changes to existing permit conditions.
Owner Change to Existing Air Quality Permit to Operate
Permits are not transferable and a new permit will be issued to the new owner. Only use this form if there will be NO CHANGE to process, materials, and/or emissions currently permitted at this facility. If there are to be changes, please contact the AQMD to determine which application is appropriate.
Movement Notification of Portable/Rented Equipment of an Existing Permit to Operate
Use this form to notify AQMD of each move of portable equipment.
Title V General Permit Application
Contact AQMD if you think you need this application.
Copies of the Washoe County Health District Regulations Governing Air Quality Management are available online or at our office. For those applicants wishing to obtain general information on business space availability, lease or rental information, labor costs and general business climate in the Northern Nevada area, you may contact the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada at (775) 829-3720. If you have any further questions, need additional information or need assistance in completing this application, you may contact Permitting at WC AQMD, AQMDpermitting@washoecounty.gov. Our phone number is (775) 784-7200, our fax number is (775) 784-7225, or you may write to us at 1001 East 9th Street, Suite B171, Reno, NV 89512.
The Business Environmental Program, operated through the University of Nevada, is a free and confidential program designed to help businesses in Nevada minimize waste and comply with State and Federal environmental regulations. This is a service sponsored by the Nevada Small Business Development Center, Bureau of Business and Economic Research, College of Business Administration at the University of Nevada, Reno. This service may be contacted at (775) 784-1717 or (800) 882-3233. The Business Environmental Program may provide information and assistance on a number of topics, including hazardous waste regulatory assistance, air pollution emissions assistance, waste minimization and pollution prevention. They can also provide assistance in making application for permits or reviewing options for emission control equipment.
Last modified on 10/22/2021