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Colorado Construction Air Quality Permit (15-CO-a)

In Colorado, a hydropower developer may need a Construction Air Quality Permit during the construction of the facility. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) Air Pollution Control Division (APCD) oversees the process for construction air permits. All sources of air emissions must obtain a construction air permit, unless specifically exempted under Air Quality Control Commission Colorado Code of Regulations 5 CCR 1001-5, Regulation Number 3 Stationary Source Permitting and Air Pollutant Emission Notice Requirements.5 CCR 1001-5 Part A (I)(A), Applicability, Colorado – C.R.S. 25-7-114.2, Construction Air Permits. Construction air permits are issued to commercial and industrial air pollution sources to ensure compliance with all relevant air quality regulations.


Construction Air Quality Permit Process

15-CO-a.1 to 15-CO-a.2 — Is the Air Pollution Emission Source Exempt from Filing an Air Pollution Emission Notice (APEN) or Permit Application?

5 CCR 1001-5 (II)(D) lists exemptions from construction permit requirements. Exemptions from construction permit requirements do not apply if the emission source is subject to Part A of Regulation Number 6 (5 CCR 1001-8 New Source Performance Standards) or Parts A,C,D, and E of Regulation Number 8 (5 CCR 1001-10 Hazardous Air Pollutants). The developer should consult the Colorado Air Pollutant Emission Notice/Permit Exempt Checklist to determined APEN/Permit Exempt status.

Emission sources exempt from construction permits must still follow any relevant regulations concerning the emission source. Sources exempt from the construction permit requirements include:

  • Sources exempt from the Air Pollution Emission Notices (APEN) requirements in 5 CCR 1001-5 Part A II.D.1;
  • Containers, reservoirs, or tanks used exclusively for dipping operations for coating objects with oils, waxes, greases, or natural or synthetic resins containing no organic solvents;
  • Stationary Internal Combustion Engines that:
Are power portable drilling rigs; or
Are emergency power generators that operate no more than two hundred and fifty hours per year; or
Have uncontrolled actual emissions less than five tons per year or manufacturer’s site-rated horsepower of less than fifty.
  • The collection, transmission, liquid treatment, and solids treatment processes at domestic wastewater treatment works, or treatment facilities that treat only domestic type wastewater, except for combustion processes;
  • Each individual piece of fuel burning equipment, other than smokehouse generators, that uses gaseous fuel, and that has a design rate less than or equal to ten million British thermal units per hour;
  • Gasoline stations located in ozone attainment areas, except for stations located in the Denver 1-hour ozone attainment/maintenance area;
  • Surface mining activities that mine seventy thousand tons or fewer of product material per year. A fugitive dust control plan is required for such sources. Crushers, screens and other processing equipment activities are not included in this exemption;
  • Composting piles, however, all odor requirements of Regulation Number 2 5 CCR 1001-4 must be met;
  • Commercial and product quality control laboratory equipment;
  • Fires and equipment used for noncommercial cooking of food for human consumption and for cooking of food for human consumption at commercial food service establishments;
  • Petroleum industry flares, not associated with refineries, combusting natural gas containing no hydrogen sulfide except in trace (less than five hundred parts per million weight) amounts, approved by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation commission and having uncontrolled emissions of any pollutant of less than five tons per year;
  • Crude oil truck loading equipment at exploration and production sites where the loading rate does not exceed 10,000 gallons of crude oil per day averaged on an annual basis. Condensate truck loading equipment at exploration and production sites that splash fill less than 6750 barrels of condensate per year or that submerge fill less than 16308 barrels of condensate per year. Crude oil or condensate loading truck equipment at crude oil production sites where the loading rate does not exceed 10,000 gallons per day averaged over any thirty-day period;
  • Oil and gas production wastewater impoundments (including produced water tanks) containing less than one percent by volume crude oil on an annual average, with the exception of commercial facilities that accept oil and gas production wastewater for processing;
  • Crude oil storage tanks with a capacity of 40,000 gallons or less;
  • Facilities located in a nonattainment area for any criteria pollutant for which the area is nonattainment; with total facility uncontrolled actual emissions (potential emissions at actual operating hours) that are less than the following amounts:
Two tons per year volatile organic compounds;
One ton per year PM10;
One ton per year PM2.5;
Five tons per year total suspended particulate;
Five tons per year carbon monoxide;
Five tons per year sulfur dioxide;
Five tons per year nitrogen oxides; and
Two hundred pounds per year lead.
  • Facilities located in attainment or attainment/maintenance areas for all criteria pollutants with total facility uncontrolled actual emissions less (potential emissions at actual operating hours) than the following amounts:
Five tons per year volatile organic compounds;
Five tons per year PM10.;
Five tons per year PM2.5;
Ten tons per year total suspended particulate;
Ten tons per year carbon monoxide;
Ten tons per year sulfur dioxide;
Ten tons per year nitrogen oxides;
Two hundred pounds per year lead;
  • Facilities that emit any other criteria pollutant that is not listed , above (fluorides, sulfuric acid mist, hydrogen sulfide, total reduced sulfur, reduced sulfur compounds, and municipal waste combustor emissions), with total facility uncontrolled actual emissions of such pollutants that are less than two tons per year;
  • When a facility that was previously exempt from permit requirements exceeds one of the permit de minimis levels stated above, due to the addition of new emission points, the APCD will issue either a facility-wide permit for all non-grandfathered emission units above Air Pollutant Emission Notice de minimis levels, or individual emission permits for those emission units;
  • All incinerators require a permit as stated in Regulation Number 1, Section III.B.1;
  • Oil and gas exploration and production operations that are addressed under Section II.D.1.lll. of Regulation Number 3, Part A, and that are required to obtain a construction permit, are not required to file an application for a construction permit until they are required to file an Air Pollutant Emission Notice, as set forth in Section II.D.1.lll of Regulation Number 3. The application shall include a list of all applicable requirements, and how the requirements will be met until a construction permit is issued;
  • Any person may request for the APCD to add source categories to the permit exemption list, in accordance with the procedures set forth in Section II.D.4. of Part A of Regulation Number 3 (5 CCR 1001-5 Stationary Source Permitting and Air Pollutant Emission Notice Requirements); and
  • Sources with a valid operating permit are not required to obtain a construction permit prior to commencing construction or modification.

15-CO-a.3 — Air Pollution Emission Notice (APEN)

Emission sources that are not exempt must file an Air Pollution Emission Notice (APEN) and pay an associated fee to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Air Pollution Control Division. Under 5 CCR 1001-5 Part A II.A the APEN must specify:

  • The location at which the proposed emission will occur;
  • The name and address of the persons operating and owning the facility;
  • The nature of the facility, process, or activity;
  • An estimate of the quantity and composition of the expected emission; and
  • Any other information required in the most current Air Pollutant Emission Notice form.

See Colorado General APEN Notice and Application for Construction Permit – Form APCD-200; Air Pollution Emission Notice (APEN).

15-CO-a.4 — Hold Pre-application Meeting

Before the applicant (developer) submits the Application for Construction Permit, the applicant (developer) may request a pre-application meeting with the Air Pollution Control Division. The pre-application meeting is an opportunity for the Air Pollution Control Division to advise the applicant (developer) of the applicable permit requirements, including any information, plans, specifications, and data the applicant (developer) must include in the Application for Construction Permit. 5 CCR 1001-5 Part B III.A, Pre-Application Meeting.

15-CO-a.5 — Application for Construction Permit; APEN

The developer must complete an Application for a Construction Permit on forms supplied by the Air Pollution Control Division and include a copy of the applicant’s (developer) APEN. 5 CCR 1001-5 Part B III.B, Application for a Construction Permit.

15-CO-a.6 to 15-CO-a.7 — Review Application Materials for Completeness

The Air Pollution Control Division reviews the application for completeness. The Air Pollution Control Division will not deem an Application for a Construction Permit complete until the applicant (developer) submits all the information and data required to evaluate the application. Within sixty days after the applicant submits the Application for a Construction Permit, the Air Pollution Control Division will notify the applicant if the application is incomplete and what information is required for a complete application. If the Air Pollution Control Division fails to notify the applicant within sixty days of receipt of the application, the application will be automatically deemed complete retroactive to the day of receipt by the Air Pollution Control Division of the application or supplemental information.

5 CCR 1001-5 Part B III.B.4, Application for a Construction Permit.

15-CO-a.8 — Conduct Preliminary Analysis

The Air Pollution Control Division must prepare a preliminary analysis of the Application for Construction Permit within sixty calendar days of a complete permit application. The preliminary analysis determines whether the emission source will, at the date of commencement of operation, comply with:

  • All applicable emission control regulations;
  • Applicable regulations for the control of hazardous pollutants;
  • Requirements of the nonattainment and attainment programs; and
  • Any applicable ambient air quality standards and regulations.

5 CCR 1001-5 Part B III.B.5, Application for a Construction Permit.

The preliminary analysis must also indicate what impact, if any, the emission source will have on all areas (attainment, attainment/maintenance, nonattainment, unclassifiable) within the probably area of influence of the proposed source. 5 CCR 1001-5 Part B III.B.5, Application for a Construction Permit.

15-CO-a.9 —Draft Construction Permit

Based on the preliminary analysis the Air Pollution Control Division develops a Draft Construction Permit. 5 CCR 1001-5 Part B III.C, Public Comment and Hearing Requirements.

15-CO-a.10 — Forward Analysis to Applicant (If Required)

If the applicant (developer) requests a copy of the preliminary analysis in the Application for Construction Permit, the Air Pollution Control Division must send the applicant a copy of the preliminary analysis postmarked no later than fifteen calendar days after the completion of the preliminary analysis. 5 CCR 1001-5 Part B.III.B.5, Application for a Construction Permit.

15-CO-a.11 — Is the Air Pollution Emission Source Subject to Public Comment?

Under 5 CCR 1001-5 Part B III.C.2, the following sources do not require public comment, unless the Air Pollution Control Division determines that public comment is required.

  • Sources of six months duration or less, unless a major source of hazardous pollutants;
  • Demolition projects, even if asbestos materials are present (provided that the project follows are the requirements of 5 CCR 1001-10 Control of Hazardous Air Pollutants);
  • Construction or modification of sources in accordance with the minor modification and operational flexibility provisions of Sections X, XI, and XII of 5 CCR 1001-5 Part C.


5 CCR 1001-5 Part B.III.C.2, Public Notice and Hearing Requirements.

Under 5 CCR 1001-5 Part B III.C.1, the following sources require public comment.

  • Sources with projected controlled annual emissions of any pollutant for which an ambient air quality standard has been designated, if such emissions will be greater than twenty-five tons per year in a nonattainment area, fifty tons per year in an attainment or attainment/maintenance area, or two hundred pounds per year of lead in any area;
  • Sources for which preliminary analysis indicates a possible violation of odor emissions under 5 CCR 1001-4;
  • For hazardous pollutants if:
The source is subject to Federal National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants,
The source is subject to Federal or Colorado Maximum Achievable Control Technology or Generally Available Control Technology standards, or
The source is voluntarily applying for permit conditions to limit the source’s potential to emit hazardous air pollutants;
  • Sources subject to Sections V or VI of Part D of 5 CCR 1001-5, attempting to obtain a federally enforceable limit on the potential to emit of the source in order to avoid other requirements;
  • Sources submitting an application for a Best Available Retrofit Technology (BART) determination or BART alternative pursuant to 5 CCR 1001-5.

5 CCR 1001-5 Part B III.C.1. Additionally, the Air Pollution Control Division can require public comment where a permit is required, but public comment is not otherwise required. In making a determination, the Air Pollution Control Division will consider:

  • The duration of the operation;
  • The location of the operation;
  • The nature and projected amount of emissions;
  • The anticipated public concern; and
  • Any other relevant factors.

5 CCR 1001-5 Part B III.C.2.

15-CO-a.12 — Publish Notice of Application for Construction Permit

When the regulations require public comment or where the Air Pollution Control Division requires public comment, the Division must publish public notice of the application within fifteen days of the preparation of the preliminary analysis. The Air Pollution Control Division must publish the notice in a newspaper of general distribution in the area where the proposed project or activity will be located and by any other means necessary to assure notice to the affected public (i.e. post on the Division’s website). The Air Pollution Control Division also will send written or electric notice to persons requesting notice of permit applications for the type of source or geographic location of the source. 5 CCR 1001-5 Part B III.C.4.

The notice must include:

  • The location and nature of the proposed project or activity for which an applicant filed a construction permit application;
  • The location where the application and preliminary analysis are available for inspection;
  • That any interested person may submit comments on the proposed project or activity;
  • That the Air Pollution Control Division will receive and consider comments for thirty calendar days after publication; and
  • The Air Pollution Control Division’s preliminary determination to approve, conditionally approve, or disapprove the application.

5 CCR 1001-5 Part B III.C.4.

15-CO-a.13 — File Copy of Application, Preliminary Analysis, and Draft Permit with County Clerk

The Air Pollution Control Division files a copy of the application, preliminary analysis, and the draft permit with the county clerk for each county in which the source is, or will be located.

5 CCR 1001-5 Part B III.C.4.

15-CO-a.14 — Comment on Application, Preliminary Analysis, and Draft Permit

Members of the public receive 30 days from the date of publication to comment on the application, preliminary analysis, and draft permit. 5 CCR 1001-5 Part B III.C.4.

15-CO-a.15 — Hold Public Hearing (If Required)

The Air Pollution Control Division holds a public comment hearing if necessary. 5 CCR 1001-5 Part B VI.A-B, Public Participation Requirements.

15-CO-a.16 to 15-CO-a.18 — Does CDPHE Approve the Initial Permit?

Within thirty days following the completion of the Air Pollution Control Division’s preliminary analysis (if public comment is not required), within thirty days following the period for public comment, or within 30 days of a public comment hearing, the Division must make a determination on the application. Under 5 CCR 1001-5 Part B III.D.1 the Air Pollution Control Division will grant the Initial Approval if the Division finds:

  • The proposed source or activity will meet all applicable emission control regulations and regulations for the control of hazardous air pollutants;
  • As applicable, the proposed source or activity will meet the requirements of the attainment program as outlined in Section V. of Part D of 5 CCR 1001-5, if any;
  • The proposed source or activity will not cause an exceedance of any National Ambient Air Quality Standards;
  • The source or activity will meet any applicable ambient air quality standards and all applicable regulations;
  • As applicable, the proposed source or modification will meet the requirements of the prevention of significant deterioration program of Section VI. of Part D of this regulation; and
  • The applicant has paid the fees required under 5 CCR 1001-5 Part A, Section VI.

5 CCR 1001-5 Part B III.D.1.

The Air Pollution Control Division will include any terms and conditions in the Initial Approval Construction Permit necessary for the proposed project or activity to qualify for the permit. 5 CCR 1001-5 Part B III.E.

If the Air Pollution Control Division denies the permit, the Division will issue a written denial of the permit stating the reasons for the permit denial. A denial of a permit becomes final upon mailing of the letter of denial to the applicant (developer) by certified mail. The applicant (developer) may request a hearing on a permit denial within 30 days of the denial. 5 CCR 1001-5 Part B III.F.

15-CO-a.19 to 15-CO-a.22 — Begin Construction or Operation of Emission Source

The applicant (developer) has eighteen months to begin construction or operation of the emission source from the date on which the Air Pollution Control Division issued the permit. If the applicant (developer) does not begin construction within the eighteen-month period or begins construction, but then discontinues construction for more than eighteen months, the applicant’s (developer) permit will expire unless the applicant requests an extension. If the applicant (developer) requests an extension, upon a showing of good cause the Air Pollution Control Division may grant an extension to begin or recommence construction not to exceed an additional eighteen months.

5 CCR 1001-5 Part B III.F.4.

15-CO-a.23 — Provide Notice to CDPHE of Commencement of Operation

Unless the applicant (developer) and the Air Pollution Control Division agree otherwise, the applicant (developer) must provide notice to the Division within fifteen days after commencement of operation of the project or activity. 5 CCR 1001-5 Part B III.G.

15-CO-a.24 — Demonstrate Compliance with Permit Conditions

Within 180 days after commencement of operation, the applicant must demonstrate compliance with the terms and conditions of the Initial Approval Construction Permit. The Air Pollution Control Division may inspect the source to determine whether the source has satisfied the operating terms and conditions of the Initial Approval Construction Permit. Before the Air Pollution Control Division gives final approval to the source, the Division may require the applicant to conduct and pay for performance tests in accordance with methods approved by the Division. 5 CCR 1001-5 Part B III.G.

15-CO-a.25 — Operating and Maintenance Plan; Proposed Record Keeping Format

Before the Air Pollution Control Division issues the final approval, the applicant (developer) must submit an operating and maintenance plan for all control equipment and control practices and a proposed record keeping format for demonstrating compliance on an ongoing basis. 5 CCR 1001-5 Part B III.G.7.

15-CO-a.26 – Final Approval Construction Permit

If the Air Pollution Control Division determines that the terms and conditions of the permit are satisfied, the Division will issue a Final Approval Construction Permit to the applicant (developer). 5 CCR 1001-5 Part B III.I.

If the site changes ownership in the future, the new owner will have to submit a new application to the Air Pollution Control Division, but will not have to repeat the permitting process because the air permit stays with the site rather than the owner of the site. 5 CCR 1001-5 Part B III.I.




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Air Quality Permitting Contact - Construction Permitting
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