Air Permits (Permits to Install)

Many businesses are faithful in getting their construction permits, electrical permits, or mechanical permits for the installation of new structures and equipment form their local building official.  However, many of those same businesses may not be aware that an air permit form the Department of Environmental Quality, Air Quality Division, may be required for equipment and activities that emit air contaminants.

Michigan Rule 336.1201 (also known as "R201") of the Michigan Administrative Rules for Air Pollution Control (hereafter referred to as the Michigan Rules) requires a person to obtain a Permit to Install prior to the installation, construction, reconstruction, relocation, or modification of equipment that emits air contaminants.  Not all sources of air pollution need a permit.  In addition to R201, there are numerous other rules exempting insignificant sources of air pollution from having to get permits. 

Some important characteristics of the Permit to Install program: 

  • A Permit to Install is a state license to emit air contaminants into the ambient air. 
  • As long as the facility complies with the condition of the permit, it provides protection of public health and the environment. 
  • By going through the permitting process, the applicant will know which state and federal rules apply to the equipment covered under the permit. 
  • Conditions of the Permit to Install limit the potential to emit of the applicant's facility. 
  • No fees are associated with obtaining a Permit to Install.  It is free! 
  • The permit does not expire; it does not have to be renewed.  The permit is good for as long as the equipment is in operation.  However, it may require notification of completion of the installation, construction, reconstruction, relocation, alteration or modification. 

In addition to the good things, there are some drawbacks associated with the Permit to Install program: 

  • Some applications can take many hours to fill out.  The amount of time depends on the complexity of the equipment, and the type and quantity of emissions of air contaminants. 
  • Some facilities may have to hire a consultant to fill out the permit application which costs money. 
  • Depending on the complexity and magnitude of the expected emissions, the application may take several months to issue.  That is why it is so important to submit a complete application early in the planning process. 
  • To obtain a Permit to Install, some facilities may have to make operational changes, material substitutions, or install add-on control devices to comply with the applicable rules and regulations. 

The Permit to Install program is administered by the Permit Section, Air Quality Division of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. 


Technical Assistance Resources 


Do I Need an Air Permit? 5 Part On-line Training Series (December 2008)
These five sessions will take you through the basics of determining whether or not a Permit to Install is required for the processes at your facility.


1   Introduction to Michigan Air Permitting  12 min
2   Do I Need an Air Permit when RELOCATING a source of emissions?  2 min.
3   Do I Need an Air Permit when RECONSTRUCTING a source of emissions?  4 min.
4   Do I Need an Air Permit when MODIFYING a source of emissions?  6 min.
5   Conducting a Permit Survey and Resources   4 min.

Permit to Install: Determining Applicability Guidebook
(October 2005) - A guidebook that provides a logical, comprehensive, step-by-step approach to determining what activities trigger the need for a Permit to Install. The guide also contains useful resource information including commonly asked questions and example problems. 


Permit to Install Determining Applicability Flowcharts 


Permit to Install Exemption Handbook 

Permit to Install Workbook: A Practical Guide to Completing an Air Permit Application  (March 2012) - A workbook designed for small-to-medium sized companies that are not subject to "Major Source Requirements" with developing their Air Permit Application submittals.  This workbook combines guidance material and instructions together into one practical and easy to use reference document.

Michigan's PTI Application Review Process Brochure (October 2004) - The Air Quality Division of the MDEQ has reengineered its Permit to Install application review process. This brochure highlights the new responsibilities of both the applicant and AQD permit engineer and identifies the benefits associated with this more efficient, concise, and transparent review.

Environmental Consultant Assistance 



Permit Coordination - Environmental Permits, Licenses and Certifications - help with assessing the DEQ environmental permits needed for your business. 


Exemption Recordkeeping Forms 

Rule 287(c) Permit to Install Exemption Record: Surface Coating Equipment - Rule 287(c) of the Michigan Administrative Rules for Air Pollution Control exempts surface coating operations that use less than 200 gallons of coating per month from having to obtain a Permit to Install. This form can be used to comply with the coating usage recordkeeping requirements of the Rule. 

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Rule 290 Permit to Install Exemption: Sources with Limited Emissions Record (February 2005) - Rule 290 of the Michigan Administrative Rules for Air Pollution Control exempts sources of air pollution with limited emissions for having to obtain a Permit to Install. This form can be used to comply with the emission data recordkeeping requirements of the Rule. 


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For More Information or Additional Assistance, contact the
Environmental Assistance Program   at 800-662-9278 

Do you have an outreach idea or suggestion for our Program?  Please feel free to submit your requests to: James Ostrowski.