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Pennsylvania Air Quality Permits

Case Number # 2352

As a result of a lawsuit brought by Earthjustice on behalf of the Sierra Club, the Clean Air Council, and PennEnvironment, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) have updated and strengthened air quality permits for coal plants across the state.

In Pennsylvania, the Title V program as it applies to coal plants has been stalled for several years, and applications by many large coal-fired power plants are languishing at Pennsylvania DEP. (Chris Jordan-Bloch / Earthjustice)
The timely issuance of Title V permits provides an opportunity for citizens to be heard regarding ongoing pollution issues.  (Chris Jordan-Bloch / Earthjustice)

Major sources of air pollution must obtain Title V permits (under Title V of the Clean Air Act and the Pennsylvania Air Pollution Control Act) authorizing their operation.

These permits serve as an invaluable tool for citizens seeking to understand plant operations and the often complex interplay of regulatory requirements that protect the public health. Air pollution requirements may be enforced by government and citizens alike, and the timely issuance of Title V permits provides an opportunity for citizens to be heard regarding ongoing pollution issues—and even to petition the United States Environmental Protection Agency to object to a permit that is inadequately protective.

Title V permits are generally valid for five years, at which point they must be renewed to incorporate any new regulations. Sources must apply for permit renewal from six to eighteen months in advance of their current permit expiration. By law, DEP must then act on applications within 18 months of submission of a complete application. Proposed Title V permits are also published for public comment in the Pennsylvania Bulletin, offering the public meaningful notice and an opportunity to be heard.

Press Releases

Monday, October 21, 2013
Clean air actions overdue
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Environmental groups force accountability for coal-fired power plants
Thursday, May 31, 2012
Conservation and clean air groups applaud release of Title V permits
Monday, April 9, 2012
Public and environmental health hinge on adherence to new air quality standards