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EPA returns air permitting program to California

Release Date: 11/17/2003
Contact Information: Lisa Fasano, 415-760-5421

SAN FRANCISCO -- Last week the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency returned California's Title V permitting program for agricultural sources back to the state.

As a result of last week's final rule, the EPA will not issue any operating permits to major agricultural sources, and is no longer requiring these sources to submit permit applications to its office in San Francisco. All permits will now be handled by the local air pollution control districts.

"We believe permitting is best implemented at the local level," said Wayne Nastri, the EPA's regional administrator for the Pacific Southwest region. "Returning the program to the state will allow us all to focus our efforts on improving California's air quality."

The EPA withdrew a portion of the state's permitting program in October 2002 and began implementing a program for permitting agricultural sources, which were left out of the program due to an agricultural exemption in Californian law. In September, the state revised its law to remove the exemption. As a result, the EPA was able to return the full permitting program back to California.

The EPA proposed this action on October 8, 2003, and accepted public comments on the proposal until November 7, 2003.