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Title V Operating Permits

Who Has to Obtain a Title V Permit

Any Major Source:

  • A major source has actual or potential emissions that meet or exceed the major source threshold for their location.
  • The major source threshold for any “air pollutant” is 100 tons/year (this is the “default value”).
  • Lower thresholds apply in non-attainment areas (but only for the pollutant that are in non-attainment).  (See Table below).
  • Major source thresholds for “hazardous air pollutants” (HAP) are 10 tons/year for a single HAP or 25 tons/year for any combination of HAP.
  • EPA generally has not required non-major sources to get permits (except as shown below).

Any Source with a Major Source Permit under PSD or NSR

“Affected Sources” under Acid Rain Rules - Regardless of Size
Solid Waste Incineration Units under Section 129  - Regardless of Size

  • Municipal waste combustors (large and small)
  • Hospital/medical/infectious waste incinerators
  • Commercial and industrial solid waste incinerators
  • Other solid waste incinerators
  • Sewage sludge incinerators

Non-major Sources subject to NESHAP (MACT or GACT) Standards

  • Hazardous waste combusters
  • Portland cement manufacturers
  • Mercury cell chlor-alkali plants
  • Secondary lead smelters
  • Carbon black production 
  • Chemical manufacturing: chromium compounds
  • Primary copper smelting
  • Secondary copper smelting
  • Nonferrous metals area sources: zinc, cadmium, & beryllium
  • Glass Manufacturing
  • Electric Arc Furnace (EAF) Steelmaking Facilities
  • Gold Mine Ore Processing and Production

[Note that if any newly promulgated NSPS or MACT standard regulates area sources, it must clarify whether the area sources are required to obtain title V permits.] 

Certain Synthetic Minor Sources subject to NESHAP Standards

  • Chemical Manufacturing

Non-major Sources subject to MACT and NSPS Standards

  • Municipal solid waste landfills
    (design capacity ≥ 2.5 million mega-grams and 2.5 million m3)

Any Source in a Source Category Designated by EPA – None so far


Table 1 – Lower Major Source Thresholds for Non-attainment Areas

Non-attainment Area Designation

VOC or NOx




100 tpy




100 tpy

100 tpy

100 tpy


50 tpy

50 tpy

70 tpy

Ozone transport region (other than severe or extreme)

50 tpy (VOC only)




25 tpy




10 tpy



Note:  Do not rely on this information for determining major source status or for a list of area sources required to obtain title V permits.  This list may not be updated regularly.  Instead rely on the applicable regulations as published in 40 Code of Federal Regulations (see Laws and Regulations).



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