Apply for an Authority to Construct / Permit to Operate

Learn about air quality permitting requirements and apply for a permit.

New requirements for facilities in Overburdened Communities
New requirements apply to facilities located in overburdened communities. Use the interactive mapping tool, Overburdened Communities Map, to determine if a project is located in an overburdened community and consult Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for 2022 Permit Reform.

General Information
With the lifting of the Bay Area's emergency Shelter-in-Place Order, the Air District is transitioning to a regular service environment.

* Please continue to hold off on visiting our office unless you have made prior arrangements.

Read our full instructions for handling Permit business.

Permit Requirements

Like building permits, air quality permits are required by law as a part of doing business in the Bay Area. Air quality permits are needed for:

  • Any equipment that may cause air pollution.
  • Modification to existing permitted equipment or their permit conditions.
  • Permitted equipment that is moved to a new location.
  • Transfer of permitted equipment to new owners
  • Installation of equipment used to control emissions.
  • The Air District will review the equipment design and inspect the installed equipment to ensure all regulations have been met. Different types of permits are required for each project:
    1. Authority to Construct - issued before construction and after Air District engineers review your project to ensure it will comply with air quality laws.
    2. Permit to Operate - issued after the project is built and Air District engineers confirm it complies with air quality laws. Must be renewed annually.
    3. Certificate of Exemption - issued, upon request, if the type of equipment or activity does not require an Air District permit or registration. Exempt equipment must still comply with Air District regulations.

Some facilities are eligible to register their equipment instead of applying for an Authority to Construct and Permit to Operate. Facilities operating equipment without a Permit to Operate or Certificate of Registration are subject to legal action.

How to Apply

To determine if your facility is eligible, learn more about the Online Permitting System.

To apply for permit/registration:

  1. Review procedures for completing permit application package.
  2. Complete and submit the appropriate application forms.
  3. Provide any information requested, such as equipment description and specifications, material use, emissions, and operation details.
  4. Mail forms with payment of at least a filing fee.

Contact the Engineering Division for more information.

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Last Updated: 8/1/2017