Large, small businesses required to apply for air pollution permit

Lindsey Meyer and Lindsey Meyer

Amidst concerns that small businesses do not need to get air pollution permits if they don’t think they need one, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency said that may not be the case.

The Ohio EPA requires any business that produces emissions to get an air-pollution permit, no matter if it’s a large or small business. Emissions would include any type of air pollutants that could cause environmental hazards.

“Getting a permit or not is not a choice. If a business of any size has emissions or has federal regulations that say they require a permit, the business must obtain appropriate construction and/or operating permits,” said EPA Media Coordinator Dina Pierce.

When a business is started, the EPA works with it to inspect the business and speaks with those in charge about whether or not their company will need a permit depending on the work they do.

It is more common for larger businesses to have air-pollution permits. This is because large businesses could include restaurants, auto shops, factories and others that produce large amounts of emissions and pollution.

“Small businesses don’t always have a lot of pollution where a large factory is giving off more pollutants into the air. This type of business would definitely need to obtain a permit,” said a representative of the city of Bowling Green.

According to the Ohio EPA website, most of the businesses within the Bowling Green area that have air-pollution permits are automotive industries, equipment factories, dry cleaners, electronic repair shops, and other large factories.

The process to get an air-pollution permit could be confusing for a new business since there is not just one type of permit to choose from. Pierce said the most common air-pollution permits are permit-to-install and operate, Title V permits, general permits and permits-by-rule.

Since there is a lot that goes into obtaining one of these permits the Ohio EPA is there to help any business.

“Ohio EPA provides free and confidential technical assistance to help companies comply with environmental regulations. This includes helping a business decide if it needs a permit and helping them through the permitting process,” Pierce said.

All the businesses in Bowing Green that have a permit went through the permitting process and obtained the correct permit that fits their business, according to the EPA website.

It is important for all businesses, small and large, to work with the EPA and decide if they need a permit or not.

Pierce said, “If Ohio EPA discovers a company that does not have the necessary permit, we work with them to obtain a permit and can take enforcement action if necessary.”