Emission Permit Information – the quick and dirty

Here is Liesl’s attempt to make a pretty complicated subject a little easier to understand.


Bay Area Air Quality Management Board=BAAQMD

The Northern Sonoma County Air Pollution Control District (NSCAPCD)

The NSCAPCD and BAAQMD are 2 of 35 California air districts established to regulate the emissions of air pollution from “stationary sources” that could be detrimental to the health, safety, and welfare of the public.

The NSCAPCD is the local air pollution district for the northern and western parts of Sonoma County. The BAAQMD administers air quality regulation for the Southern portion of Sonoma County, as well as rest of the San Francisco Bay Area.

50hp generators (approx. 30kW) or higher require an emissions permit.

BAAQMD requires this permit on all fuel types. NSCAPCD requires this permit on diesel only.

50hp Portable Diesel Generators have more stringent standards.

Agriculture usage has different rules, typically looser standards.

You can examine the Air Quality District Boundaries on the NSCAPCD or BAAQMD websites.



The California air quality standards were put in place in 2008 named, The Air Toxics Control Measure for Stationary Compression Engines. Stationary units need to be installed in accordance with the most current tier; at this time, tier 4 engines are the requirement. Depending on the age of your unit, you will have different run time restrictions. These run time restrictions are for Testing Hours (maintenance, exercise cycles, repairs, etc.) They are not for Backup Emergency Power run times.

There are a variety of permit fees depending on the size of your unit, etc.

For example;

We just submitted a permit for a 1998 unit and it cost $1799.00. This unit has a limited testing time of 20 hrs/yr.

We just submitted a permit for a 2003 unit and it cost $1821.00. This unit does not have a limited testing run hour.

There are a variety of penalties if you do not have a permit.

We just submitted a permit for a 2003 unit and the late penalty was $330.00 and $257.00 for every year without a permit. These costs were on top of the $1821.00 filing fee.

Is the permit hard to do? That depends on your knowledge base. You have to submit information such as NMHC+NOx and PM data, property line values, height of neighboring buildings, stack diameter/height, zoning information, etc. You need to be familiar with reading generator spec sheets – some manufacturer spec sheets are harder than others to interpret. This is not information Leete can easily provide you with

Leete charges $1000.00 to do the permit submission. This does not include filing fees, late fees, penalty fees, etc.

Does Leete know if I have a permit? Typically not. Leete does not keep track of permits, this is the responsibility of the customer. Leete suggests that every customer with an emission permit place that permit near the generator (of course in a safe location that will not cause a fire hazard, constrict air flow, etc.) We suggest you highlight the expiration date and keep an hour record log. Leete records your hour meter readings every time we do a service, but we do not know how to distinguish test hours from emergency backup power run hours unless you tell us.


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