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Texas Air Quality Permit - Permit to Construct (15-TX-a)

This flowchart illustrates the general permitting process for air permits in Texas.

Title 30 of the Texas Administrative Code requires any person who plans to construct a new facility that will emit air contaminants to obtain the appropriate air permit from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).

Air permits and permit applications are granted by the Air Permits Division in the TCEQ. The TCEQ executive director ("executive director") must conduct a pre-construction technical review during the air permitting application process to ensure that the project will comply with all applicable rules and regulations.

Air permits must be obtained before construction begins on the site. “Construction” is construed broadly by the TCEQ as anything other than site clearance or site preparation.


Air Quality Permit - Permit to Construct Process

15-TX-a.1 - Determine Which Type of Air Permit is Applicable to the Proposed Project

De Minimus Permits Facilities or sources that meet certain conditions provided in 30 TAC 116.119 do not require a permit.

Permit by Rule Facilities with emissions that do not meet the conditions to be classified as de minimus but will not make a significant contribution of air contaminants may be permitted by rule. The TCEQ has adopted permits by rule in 30 TAC 106.

Standard Permit A standard permit authorizes the construction of new facilities that are similar in terms of operations, processes, and emissions. Standard permits must be renewed every 10 years. If the TCEQ executive director amends a standard permit, the facility must comply with the amended requirements.

New Source Review Permit If a facility is not de minimus and does not meet a permit by rule or standard permit classification, then it must be approved on a case-by-case basis through a new source review permit.

Fact Sheet - Air Quality Permitting


15-TX-a.2 - Air Quality Permit Application

The developer must include in the application materials a completed Form PI-1 General Application for Air Preconstruction Permit signed by an authorized party and a completed Core Data Form. The developer must also include assurances that the emissions from the facility meet certain requirements 30 TAC 116.111(a)

15-TX-a.3 to 15-TX-a.6: Review application materials for completeness

The TCEQ conducts an administrative review to ensure that the developer has included all necessary information and supporting documents for the application. Administrative review is handled by the Air Permits Initial Review Team (APIRT) at the TCEQ.

The TCEQ will provide the developer with notice of completion or deficiency of application within 90 days of receipt of the application. Notice of deficiency of application will include any additional information that is required, and the intent of the executive director to void the application if the information is not provided. The TCEQ may request additional information within 60 days of receiving the information required by their notice of deficiency of application. 30 TAC 116.114(a)(1)

If the application is not complete, the developer must make a good faith effort to provide any missing information in a timely manner. If the developer fails to make a good faith effort after two written notices of deficiency, the executive director of TCEQ may void the application 30 TAC 116.114(b)(1)

The TCEQ will formally declare an application administratively complete. The executive director must make all completed applications available for public inspection during normal business hours. 30 TAC 116.131(b) The developer will receive a public notice packet and is required to publish notice in a local newspaper and post signs around the proposed facility.

15-TX-a.7 - Completion Determination and Supporting Documents

When the TCEQ executive director determines that an air permit application is administratively complete, the chief clerk shall mail this determination concurrently with the Notice of Receipt of Application and Intent to Obtain a Permit to the developer. 30 TAC 39.418(a)

15-TX-a.8 - Post Public Notice Signs

Signs must be in place by the date of publication of the Notice of Receipt of Application and Intent to Obtain Permit and must remain in place and legible throughout that public comment period. 30 TAC 39.604(b)

Developer must furnish a copy of the posting verification within 10 days after the end of the comment period associated with the notice under 30 TAC 39.418, to the chief clerk, the executive director, and the affected agencies. 30 TAC 39.605(2)

15-TX-a.9 - Publish Notice of Receipt of Application and Intent to Obtain a Permit

TCEQ will notify the applicant when public notice is required by sending a public notice packet with all necessary information. The notice packet must be completed exactly as stated in the packet, the developer cannot put together their own notice materials.

The notice must be published within 30 days after the application is declared administratively complete. Any time newspaper notice is published the applicant must give a copy of such notice and any affidavit to the EPA regional administrator in Dallas, all local air pollution control agencies with jurisdiction in the county in which the construction is to occur, and the air pollution control agency of any nearby state in which air quality may be adversely affected by the emissions from the new facility. 30 TAC 39.605(1).


15-TX-a.10 - File Copy of Public Notice and Publisher’s Affidavit

The developer must file a copy of the published notice within 10 business days after the date of publication 30 TAC 405(j).

The developer must file an affidavit no later than 30 calendar days after the last date of publication for each notice 30 TAC 405(j).

If developer fails to submit copies of notices or affidavit required, the executive director may cause one of the following actions to occur.

  • The chief clerk may cause the notice to be published and the applicant shall reimburse the agency for the cost of publication.
  • The executive director may suspend further processing or return the application. If the application is resubmitted within six months of the date of the return of the application, it will be exempt from any application fee requirements. 30 TAC 39.405(i).

15-TX-a.11 - Review Application Materials

The technical review ensures that the operation of the proposed facility will comply with all applicable rules and regulations, and will not contribute to air pollution.

15-TX-a.12 - Publish Notice of Preliminary Decision and Allow for Comment

The TCEQ publishes notice of preliminary decision on the application and allows for comment. Any required notice must include deadlines to file public comment. After the deadline, final action may be taken on the application. 30 TAC §39.409.

Notice of preliminary decision is required to be published within 33 days after the chief clerk has mailed notification to developer of preliminary decision. 30 TAC 39.603(b).


15-TX-a.13 - Comment on Preliminary Decision

Interested persons may submit written comments, including requests for public hearings, on the executive director’s preliminary determination or analysis.

All written comments received by the executive director during the comment period will be considered in determining whether to issue a permit. The executive director must make record of all comments received with the TCEQ analysis of such comments available for public inspection during normal business hours at the Austin office of the TCEQ and appropriate regional office. 30 TAC 116.136

15-TX-a.14 - Is there Request for Public Hearing or Meeting?

Public Meetings The TCEQ will hold a public meeting if significant public interest is shown in an application, or if it is requested by a legislator from the area of the propose project. A final decision on an application will never be made at a public meeting.

Contested Case Hearings Only an “affected person” may request a contested case hearing. The requester is required to demonstrate that they are an affected person in order to be granted party status. The requester must be personally affected by the permit decision in ways not shared by the general public.

If an affected person requests a hearing, then the chief clerk shall process the hearing request by both:

  • Referring the application and hearing request to the alternative dispute resolution director. The alternative dispute resolution director shall try to resolve any dispute between the applicant and the person making the request for hearing; and
  • Scheduling the hearing request for a commission meeting. 30 TAC 55.254(c)

The chief clerk must mail notice to the developer, executive director, public interest counsel, and the persons making a timely hearing request at least 35 days before the first meeting at which the commission considers the request. 30 TAC 55.254(d).

15-TX-a.15 - Publish Notice of Public Hearing

If an affected person files a request for a public hearing, then the developer must file an affidavit with the chief clerk showing compliance with the notice requirement. With a public hearing, the deadline to file the affidavit is two days before the public hearing is to be held. For a public meeting, the deadline to file the affidavit is the day of the public meeting. For notice of a public meeting, the developer must also submit the affidavit to the executive director no later than the day of the public meeting. Filing an affidavit certifying facts that constitute compliance with the notice requirements creates a rebuttable presumption of compliance with the requirement to publish notice.

15-TX-a.16 - Hold Public Hearing

The TCEQ refers all requests for public hearings to the State Office of Administrative Case Hearings (SOAH). Any person may appear at a hearing in person. Only an “affected person” may be a party in a public hearing. The TCEQ executive director is a required party in all hearings concerning permitting matters.

15-TX-a.17 - Draft Air Quality Permit

After completing the technical review, the TCEQ drafts a permit. The draft permit consists of any special conditions and the maximum allowable emission rates table (MAERT), which are sent to the developer for approval or comment.

15-TX-a.18 - Mail Draft Permit Request for Comment to Impacted Agencies

Reviewers send the draft permit Request for Comments (RFC) to the appropriate TCEQ regional office and any local air pollution control program having jurisdiction to provide an opportunity for input.

15-TX-a.19 - Publish Notice of Draft Permit

The TCEQ publishes notice of the draft permit. Notice given must specify any applicable deadline to file public comment and, if applicable, any deadlines to file requests for reconsideration, contested case hearing, or notice and comment hearing. After the deadline, the TCEQ may take final action on the application. 30 TAC 39.409.

15-TX-a.20 - Comment on Draft Permit

Interested persons may submit written comments, including requests for public hearings, on the executive director’s preliminary determination or analysis.

All written comments received by the executive director during the comment period will be considered in determining whether to issue a permit. The executive director shall make record of all comments received with the agency analysis of such comments available for public inspection during normal business hours at the Austin office of the TCEQ and appropriate regional office. 30 TAC 116.136

15-TX-a.21 - Finalize Written Technical Summary

After the comment period has ended and all public comments and concerns are resolved, the TCEQ finalizes a written technical summary. The summary becomes part of the final permit package that division management reviews prior to approval of the permit.

15-TX-a.22 - Air Quality Permit

Within 180 days of a completed application, the executive director must notify the developer of a final decision to grant or deny the permit, provided:

  • no requests for public hearing or public meeting on the proposed facility have been received;
  • the developer has satisfied all public notification requirements; and
  • the federal regulations for Prevention of Significant Deterioration of Air Quality and nonattainment review do not apply. 30 TAC 116.137




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Edit Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
Air Quality Permitting Contact - Construction Permitting
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