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Businesses Lacking Required Air Quality Permits Can Get Them Without Late Fees Under Temporary AQMD Program

During a special meeting in Long Beach today, the South Coast Air Quality Management District's Governing Board adopted a program to assist businesses and government agencies to get

required operating permits without incurring late fees or penalties. The Permit Application Penalty Holiday program was announced in January by AQMD's Chairman William A. Burke, Ed.D. to help protect the region's business climate and safeguard clean air during current economic conditions.

"It's important that we continue efforts to meet clean air goals and protect public health during these financially challenging times," Burke said.  "We want to work with  businesses to make sure they are operating in compliance with air quality regulations without facing any additional financial burden at this time."

AQMD today adopted Rule 310 - Amnesty for Unpermitted Equipment which implements Chairman Burke's proposal to provide a six-month period for Southland businesses and government agencies that should have applied for and obtained air quality permits to get them without incurring late fees or violation penalties. Facilities that take advantage of the temporary program must pay the regular permitting fee with their application and comply with all other applicable air quality rules and regulations, including the requirement that new facilities use the cleanest air pollution control technologies available.

Depending on the type of equipment a facility is permitting, the potential cost savings under the program could range from about $650 for smaller equipment such as a gasoline station fuel dispenser to about $5,300 for a spray booth equipped with air pollution controls. 

Very large facilities known as federal Title V sources are eligible to participate only for small equipment operating without a permit.

Rule 310 was first adopted in 1995 when the Southland faced similar economic conditions. It was rescinded in 1999.

The six-month voluntary amnesty program is in effect retroactive to Feb. 5 and will run through Aug. 4.  For more information on the program, businesses should call (909) 396-3385 or visit www.aqmd.gov.

In other action today, the Board: 
  • Released for public comment draft rules designed to ensure that the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach reduce their fair share of emission reductions necessary for the region to achieve federal health-based PM2.5 and ground-level ozone standards, as well as reduce their health risk due to diesel particulate.
  • Swore in AQMD Board Member and Orange County Supervisor Bill Campbell, who was reappointed by the Orange County Board of Supervisors to represent the county on the Board.  Supervisor Campbell will serve a four-year term ending January 15, 2014.  AQMD is the air pollution control agency for Orange County and major portions of Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties.

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