Obtaining an air permit is not often a quick or simple process, but under the correct circumstances the process can be streamlined by using a general permit. Regulatory agencies often develop general permits for common source categories with similar operations, similar emissions, and similar regulatory requirements.
The general permits available vary from one regulatory agency to another, but checking to see if there is a general permit for your source category is a good first step in the permitting process, especially if you are seeking to permit a relatively common source. For example, general permits are often developed for small boilers, generators or diesel engines, small coating operations, or aggregate crushing and handling operations.
General permits contain conditions that will apply to all sources within the applicable source category that wish to utilize the general permit, i.e., a “one permit fits all” approach for a given source category. General permits undergo public review before becoming available to industry. Therefore, there is no requirement for public notice and comment before issuing general permits to individual sources.