In an effort to enhance the ability of the public to make timely comments on all new or modified permit applications, the Air District is implementing a fixed 10-Day Public Participation Period at the beginning of its permit evaluation process.
In the near future, notification of Public Participation Period dates will be highlighted on the weekly updated table of Permit Applications Received, and the Air District will provide expanded online public notification and guidelines for making effective comments.
This public participation period emerged out of ongoing efforts to enhance community participation, engagement, and transparency within the Air District per the 2013 Public Participation Plan. The involvement of the Bay Area Environmental Health Collaborative over the last year has been instrumental in shaping the final details, ensuring that opportunities for timely comments on all permits are afforded to Bay Area residents.
The goal of this effort is to provide greater transparency in the permit application process and facilitate better public participation and engagement within the existing permit evaluation process. Towards this goal, the Air District has agreed to institute a 10-Day Public Participation Period for all permit applications that may increase emissions and do not otherwise have formally set public comment periods (e.g. Title V permits and projects within 1,000 feet of schools). This new process will apply to many thousands of new and modified source permits the Air District evaluates every year.
This public participation period does not limit or infringe on any rights the public already has to comment on any existing permit applications. This process enhances the ability of the public to make comments by establishing a set minimum 10-day period between the time a permit application is deemed complete and the time the Air District takes final action. This formal period provides assurance that submitted comments can be duly and thoroughly considered at a key stage of evaluation.