Permits & Compliance

The Permitting and Compliance Program regulates both permitted and unpermitted sources of air pollution, including power plants, waste incineration facilities, gas stations, paint and coating operations and other stationary sources of air pollutants.

The Permitting section reviews state permit applications for air pollution sources to ensure compliance with pollution control standards. The Compliance section investigates citizens’ complaints, compiles annual emission inventories for stationary sources of air pollutants, inspects permitted point sources of air pollution, inspects gasoline facilities for vapor recovery and enforces the county’s comprehensive Air Quality Ordinance.

What Businesses Need Air Permits?

Your business may need an air permit if any of your operations or equipment release air emissions (dust, vapors, fumes, etc.). Air permits may be required if equipment or processes:

  • Include a stack, vent or dust collector.
  • Use solvent, paints, inks or adhesives.
  • Burn fuel.
  • Cause smoke, dust or odors.

Any activity that emits, or can reasonably be expected to emit, an air pollutant must obtain appropriate permits from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP). Permits must be issued by FDEP before beginning construction or modification unless exempt under a Department rule or statute. All air permits in Pinellas County are issued by the FDEP.

Types of Air Permits

Air permit forms are available on the FDEP website.

General Permits

General Permits are authorized by rule. A facility operating under a general permit does not get an actual permit issued to them. Instead, their permit “conditions” are contained in the state rules.

A facility must submit a notification to FDEP as a notice of eligibility. FDEP will deny the permit if the facility is not eligible or allow the permit to become effective 30 days after receipt. If your facility requires an Air General Permit, online registration is available using the FDEP Air General Permit Electronic Registration System (AGPERS).

Visit the FDEP Air Resource Management Air General Permit Registration Program website for additional information.

Construction Permits

Construction Permits are required for any proposed new or modified facility or emissions unit prior to the beginning of construction or modification. For major stationary sources of air pollution, “modified” refers to a physical change in operation or change in method of operation that would result in:

  • A significant emissions increase in a Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) pollutant (carbon monoxide, lead, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, particulate matter or sulfur dioxide).
  • A significant net emissions increase of that pollutant from the major stationary sources.

“Modified” does not include routine maintenance, repair and replacement.

Please note: Review Asbestos Rules and Regulations before beginning renovation or demolition activities in your facility. An asbestos survey is required before conducting any renovation or demolition activity. A written notification is required for renovation activities when asbestos-containing materials are disturbed. All demolitions require notification even when no asbestos is present. Contact Pinellas County Air Quality Asbestos staff at (727) 464-4422 for additional assistance.

Operating Permits

Operating Permits are required prior to the expiration of an existing operating permit (renewal) or prior to the expiration of a construction or modification permit.

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