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Air Quality Permitting

DEQ is committed to issuing air quality permits in a timely manner, and we employ a staff of engineers devoted to this task. Timeliness depends upon the completeness of the information, and we must have all the necessary information before our engineers deem an application complete and begin the permit development process.

The preapplication meeting is the first step in the process and aids DEQ in understanding the project and providing guidance to the applicant. Request a preapplication meeting with DEQ using the Pre-application Meeting Request Form.

Contact the DEQ Air Quality Permitting Hotline (1-877-573-7648) for assistance on industrial air permitting or exemptions.

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  • Permits
  • General
  • Permit By Rule
  • Modeling

Permit to Construct - An air quality permit to construct (PTC) is required before constructing or modifying buildings, structures, and installations that emit or may emit air pollutants.

Tier I - Title V of the federal Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 requires states to develop programs for issuing operating permits to major stationary sources of air pollutants. the Tier I operating permit (also known as a Title V operating permit) brings together all of the applicable federal, state, and local air requirements for an air pollution source into one federally-enforceable document.

DEQ is the state agency delegated by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to issue Tier I operating permits in Idaho.

Tier II - A facility may apply for a Tier II Operating Permit to authorize Facility Emission Caps, establish mercury best available technology limits (mBACT), or to establish synthetic minor emission rate limits. DEQ may also require certain facilities to obtain a Tier II operating permit to establish Best Available Retrofit Technology (BART) or other limitations as part of the Regional Haze Program.

Forms, Guidance, and Checklists for Tier I, Tier II and Permit to Construct – The following links are used for the preparation of various air quality permit applications:

DEQ has created streamlined permitting processes for qualifying concrete batch plants, hot-mix asphalt plants, and automotive coating operations. These industries may apply to obtain a general permit rather than a facility-specific permit to construct.

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Because most concrete batch plants have similar types of equipment that generate air emissions, DEQ created a streamlined permitting process for these operations.

The one-time general permit fee is $1,500, which includes a $1,000 application fee and $500 processing fee (additional fees may apply if the permit is changed in the future). The fee may be paid by check, credit card/E-check, or bank wire transfer.

Because most hot-mix asphalt plants have specific pieces of permitted equipment, DEQ created a streamlined permitting process for these operations.

The one-time general permit fee is $1,500, which includes a $1,000 application fee and $500 processing fee (additional fees may apply if the permit is changed in the future). The fee may be paid by check, credit card/E-check, or bank wire transfer.

Facilities that use a maximum of 4 gallons or less of coating materials (e.g., pretreatment wash primer, primer, topcoat, clear coat, reducer, hardener) per calendar day are eligible to apply for a General Permit to Construct for Automotive Coating Operations. The general permit is a standard permit template that applies to automotive coating operations in this category. Because a general permit requires less time to process than a facility-specific permit to construct, it incurs a lower processing fee.

Facilities that use more than 4 gallons of coating materials per calendar day are not eligible to obtain a general permit and are required to obtain a facility-specific permit to construct. Additionally, facilities that paint vehicles other than cars and trucks would most likely need to obtain a facility-specific permit.

One-time occurrences, such as painting a vehicle in a garage or shop, do not require an air quality permit. Exemptions for facilities that use less coating materials may also be granted.

A permit by rule (PBR) is a process for air pollutant-emitting facilities to register with DEQ in lieu of obtaining a site-specific permit to construct (PTC). A PBR is a simple and efficient alternative to an individual permit. In a PBR, requirements are spelled out in the rule and apply to all members of a particular industry.

Only facilities in certain industries (i.e., rock crushers and certain dairies) may use a PBR instead of a PTC. Once registered, the facility is deemed to have a permit, thereby authorizing construction without the need to obtain a PTC before beginning operations.

A DEQ air quality permit to construct typically requires a demonstration of compliance with air quality standards.  Air impact modeling, using established EPA-recommended computerized models, considers estimated air pollutant emissions associated with the permitting project, meteorology of the area, and characteristics of the facility that affect pollutant dispersion to demonstrate compliance. 

These demonstrations are required for the following air permits:

  • Permits to Construct (PTCs) authorizing construction and operation of an air pollution source
  • Certain Tier II Operating Permits that address various air quality concerns
  • Documentation of some permit exemptions

DEQ’s expectations for air impact analyses supporting permit issuance, and a summary of the regulatory requirements, are outlined in the State of Idaho Guideline for Performing Air Quality Impact Analyses. Documentation of the air impact analyses must be submitted with the permit application using DEQ’s Air Impact Modeling Analysis Report Template Form

Submit Your Application

Applications submitted to DEQ for an air quality permit or exemption must be made on forms developed by DEQ. If you have questions about which form to use or about the application process in general, call the Air Permit Hotline at (1-877-573-7648).

Unless specified, all applications require the following form:

Permit applications or exemptions may be submitted via email to or mailed to the following address:

DEQ State Office – Air Quality Division
1410 N. Hilton St.
Boise, ID 83706

Paying Fees

Most applications require a $1,000 application fee. To pay fees, see Resources below.

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Air Quality Permit Supervisor

Darrin Pampaian
(208) 373-0587

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