Permit-by-Rule (PBR)

A Permit-by-Rule (PBR) is an optional permit provision in the Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) that applies only to a certain type of air pollution source or facility. The PBR contains qualifying criteria, emission limitations, conditions for operation and requirements for record-keeping and reporting. Many of these requirements are similar to those found in typical air pollution permits issued by Ohio EPA. A PBR exempts the air pollution source from the formal Permit-to-Install and Operate (PTIO) process and effectively functions as both the installation and operating "permit" for the source.

In order to determine if you qualify for a PBR, you must first review the list of PBRs available. If one of the PBRs seems to apply to your source, review the qualifying criteria associated with the PBR. If you meet all of the qualifying criteria, then you qualify to obtain a PBR. If you qualify, then you should review the source-specific terms and conditions found in the PBR to see if you can accept the terms and conditions. If you meet the qualifying criteria and can accept the terms and conditions, then you can apply for the PBR.

In order to apply for a PBR, you must either: (1) provide written notification containing the minimum information outlined in the "General Provisions" section of OAC 3745-31-03 (A)(4)(a); or (2) submit a notification form developed by Ohio EPA for that PBR. You can obtain the Ohio EPA notification forms by clicking the links below. 

If you choose to take advantage of PBR, PBR requirements start with being recognized as a PBR-permitted operation. Each of the PBRs requires ongoing compliance with the applicable rule requirements. The following information will help you in evaluating if the PBR option is appropriate for some or all of the operations at your facility.

  1. PBRs are exemptions from the paper-permitting process per OAC 3745-31-03. The PBR is a permitting option; the company may still choose to obtain a traditional Permit-to-Install.
  2. To address public notice concerns, the Division of Air Pollution Control (DAPC) has a database of PBR sources available on our website for public access. Click on "Facility Listing of Active PBRs" above.  You can search the database by facility name, address, county, PBR type or other criteria. 
  3. There are no permit fees for PBRs. However, if a facility has some operations covered by traditional permits and some by PBR, all emissions must be accounted for in reporting actual emissions in air fee emissions reports. If the only operations at the facility are covered by PBR, no air fee emissions reports or emission fees are required.
  4. PBR requirements include ongoing permit responsibilities, such as checking equipment and keeping records of operation or material usage. The requirements are legally enforceable and begin as soon as the company submits the PBR notification to Ohio EPA.
  5. Permits-to-Install and Operate OAC Chapter 3745-31-02 are not required for PBR operations. However, PBR requirements will be incorporated into the appropriate operating permit if the operation is located at a Title V facility. PBR sources will need to be listed in Title V permit applications as insignificant emissions units.
  6. At any time, a company may elect to obtain traditional permits for previously PBR-permitted operations by submitting the appropriate permit applications.
  7. You should send PBR notifications directly to the appropriate Ohio EPA District Office or Local Air Agency.
  8. Sources operating under a existing PTI or PTO can be converted to PBR as long as the source meets the PBR qualifying criteria, the company agrees to operate according to the PBR requirements and the Ohio EPA District Office or Local Air Agency agrees with the conversion request. This process involves the revocation of the existing permits. You can use the PBR notification form (Section III) to specify the appropriate PTI, PTO or PTIO to be revoked. If your PBR notification and conversion request is approved, you will receive a letter indicating that your existing permits have been revoked and the date coverage under the PBR is effective.

PBR Submittal Process (for new sources or sources not converting from permits to PBR)

    1. Company downloads appropriate notification form or uses eBusiness Center: Air Services to generate and submit proper PBR notification form.

    2. If completing a hard copy, company sends form to appropriate District Office or Local Air Agency (DO/LAA). See attached instructions for submission addresses.

    3. DO/LAA Receives Notification; PBR coverage begins. (For eBusiness Center submissions, PBR coverage begins upon gateway submission).

    4. DO/LAA enters PBR application into STARS2. Application automatically posts to the Division of Air Pollution Control's (DAPC) PBR Active List of PBR sites.

    5. Company complies with PBR operating requirements.

PBR Submittal/Approval process (for sources converting from permits to PBR)

    1. Company downloads appropriate notification form or uses eBusiness Center: Air Services to generate and submit proper PBR notification form.

    2. If completing a hard copy, company sends to appropriate District Office or Local Air Agency (DO/LAA). See attached instructions for submission addresses.

    3. DO/LAA reviews PBR and Permit Revocation Request is processed in STARS2.

    4. DO/LAA processes permit revocation in STARS2.

    5. Central Office sends permit revocation letter to applicant/company. Once processed, PBR is posted to DAPC’s PBR Active List of PBR sites. PBR coverage begins on the effective date of permit revocation.

    6. Company complies with PBR operating requirements.

Title V/SMTV sites are required to use eBusiness Center: Air Services to submit applications.

Although the forms Ohio EPA lists for PBR application are not required to be submitted for processing your requests, we strongly recommend their use to ensure consistent review and timely consideration.

A company may only submit multiple PBR forms under one responsible official signature if all of the PBR sources are located within jurisdiction of the same Ohio EPA District Office or Local Air Agency.  The entity requesting PBR exemption should attach a simple cover letter (see example) listing all of the site numbers, 10-digit Facility ID numbers, etc. in the PBR request package and provide the signature at the bottom of the letter. For example, 100 gasoline dispensing facilities (GDFs) scattered among four districts would require four separate, original signature cover letters; one letter for each district which would then be attached to its corresponding PBR notification forms. The District Office or Local Air Agency will retain all original forms.

A separate PBR application form is still required for each source as Ohio EPA needs source specific information in order to determine PBR eligibility.

For more information concerning PBR, please contact your Ohio EPA District Office or Local Air Agency representative.

The following categories have been incorporated into OAC rule 3745-31-03(C):

Forms and Instructions (PDF)
(if submitting hard copy)

Additional Guidance Materials (PDF)

Forms and Instructions (doc)
(if submitting via air services)

Forms

Instructions

Unpaved Roadways and Parking Areas

Under development

Unpaved Roadways and Parking Areas
Unpaved Roadways and Parking Areas
Paved Roadways and Parking Areas

Under development

Paved Roadways and Parking Areas
Paved Roadways and Parking Areas

Auto body shops

Collision board registration guidance

Auto body shop PBR user's guide

Auto body refinishing

Auto body refinishing 

Gasoline dispensing facilities (GDF)

GDF fact sheet

GDF [DOC]

GDF supplemental form instructions

GDF testing/training company list

GDF [PDF]

Boilers/Heaters

Under development

Gas-fired boiler and heater

Gas-fired boiler and heater

Printing facilities (includes small and midsize)

Printing PBR user's guide

Midsize printing

Midsize printing

Small printing

Small printing

Emergency generators/pumps/compressors

Under development

Emergency generator/pump/compressor

Emergency generator/pump/compressor

Resin injection/Compression molding

Under development

Resin injection/Compression molding

Resin injection/Compression molding

Crushing/Screening equipment

Under development

Nonmetallic mineral processing plants

Nonmetallic mineral processing plants

Soil remediation activities

Under development

Soil liquid remediation activities

Soil liquid remediation activities

Soil vapor remediation activities

Soil vapor remediation activities

       

 

Natural Gas Completion PBR is being proposed as a part of addressing needs for oil and gas well site production operations. This PBR along with three Model General Permit modifications are available for comment. Comments are due by March 22, 2013. Instructions for submitting comments are provided on the Model General Permit webpage.

More information on the rule-making process is on the Division of Air Pollution Control (DAPC) Rules and Laws webpage with this specific PBR being on the Early Stakeholder Outreach tab.