Large Backlog of Air Permit Applications: South Coast Air Quality Management District Discusses Potential Solutions
It takes a long time to get an air permit in the region. On September 16th, 2016, the Board of the South Coast Air Quality Management District’s (SCAQMD) Stationary Source Committee met to discuss two potential action plans to address the current backlog of approximately 7,348 air permits applications. The first plan was laid out as a two-year effort which would increase efficiency measures, enhance support and management, deploy engineering staff from other departments, authorize over-time work at a cost of $4.4 million per year for two-years, plus $1 million per year for five years for the development and implementation of an online application submission software. The second scenario is a one-year effort which includes: hiring additional permanent and temporary staff at a cost of $11.9 million, plus $1 million per year for five years for the online application submission software.
The discussion was headed by Laki Tisopulos, Deputy Executive Officer of the SCAQMD, who pointed out that the lack of an online submission software, the air district’s aging/retiring core of permitting engineers, and a generation gap between the young and senior engineers have been large factors behind the current backlog of permits. Another potential solution proposed by Tisopulos was to create a faster process for smaller and more common equipment (such as certain boilers) so they don’t get stuck in the backlog. The board and public comments on Tisopulos’s plan to reduce the backlog were 100% positive. Obtaining air permits can be a long and complex process. Contact Alta Environmental for additional information on the SCAQMD permit application process at 888-608-3010.