Business Permits / Registration

What is a permit?

In Butte County, air permits are issued by the Air Quality Management District.  Air quality permits are issued with specific requirements intended to minimize air emissions from area businesses.  When the air district issues a permit, it indicates that the equipment used should be able to meet all air pollution control requirements.  A District permit authorizes the emission of air pollutants, only under certain conditions.  Permit conditions can include limitations on: total fuel usage, maximum pollutant concentrations, and emission rates.  Permitting ensures that all businesses are treated fairly

Who needs a permit?

Permits are required by State and federal law.  They may be required:

  • Before installing new equipment that can cause air pollution
  • Before modifying existing equipment that can cause air pollution
  • Whenever a business changes ownership
  • Whenever equipment is transferred from one location to another

How does the process work?

The permit process establishes limits on air pollutants that may be released.  A business must first submit a permit application for an Authority to Construct.  The application provides information on the proposed equipment to be used with general information on expected air emissions.

The District reviews the application to determine if expected air emissions meet all air quality regulations.  The District will process the completed application and issue the permit, provided the equipment meets all air quality requirements.  Permits are processed in the order they are received.  Permits are generally issued within 30 to 60 days.

Once the equipment is built, temporary operation occurs.  This time period allows for the fine tuning of the equipment to ensure that the equipment meets all air quality requirements.  When the business is ready to officially start operating, District inspectors will verify that all equipment complies with the Authority to Construct permit.  When the equipment passes this inspection, a Permit to Operate will be issued.

The Permit to Operate establishes the standards by which the equipment must be operated and is reviewed annually.  The equipment is inspected periodically by District Staff.

How do I apply?

  • Contact the District to receive a permit application.
  • An expedited permit process is also implemented by the District to allow sources to commence construction prior to obtaining a permit through the regular process.  An expedited permit may also be obtained for equipment or activities for which the District is reasonably sure that the air emissions will not endanger public health.  An expedited permit can generally be issued over the counter or by FAX providing same day service.
  • Permit fees are charged to cover the District’s cost for reviewing permit applications, issuing permits, and ensuring compliance once the business is operating.  Different fees apply depending on such factors as the type of equipment being permitted and the complexity of the permit.  If you would like to determine what your fees will be, contact the District staff for specific costs

Where do I go now?

This is only an introduction to the District permit process.  For specific information about existing rules and regulations, proposed rules and rule changes, or to get started on your own permit application, contact our District office.  Current District Rules and Regulations are available at the California Air Resources Board website at District Rules and Regulation.

Our District staff is here to make the permit process as easy as possible.  We are currently working with other air districts to further streamline the permit process.

Stationary Source Permit Categories

Portable Equipment Registration Program (PERP)

Agricultural Engine Registration Program


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