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Getting Your Permit on the "Rush" List

One of Ohio EPA's air program's goals is to review and take final actions on all air pollution permits in a timely fashion. We continue to work to improve the permit processes in order to achieve this goal while issuing air permits that are protective of human health and the environment. Expedited issuance can, at times, be especially important for air pollution installation permits because installation permits typically must be obtained prior to any construction of the air pollution source. We recognize that the timeframe for processing installation permits can impact costs the applicant must bear.

As of late 2019, 94% of all installation permits are processed within the six-month statutory goal after receipt of a complete application. However, in some cases, due to planned construction schedules or other reasons, companies need an installation permit by a date certain in order to stay on schedule.

To meet the requested permit dates, Ohio EPA has developed a system to track and prioritize them. This system is called the rush list. The rush list is a system designed to collect key information from the permittee, notify any staff working on the particular permit about the permit processing timing needs and then track them through our system. This system has proven to increase the probability that the permit will be processed by the company's requested date.

In order to get your permit on the rush list, you need to provide two pieces of information:

  • A date by which the final permit is needed; and
  • A description of the adverse consequences that would occur to the company if the permit was not issued by the above date.

The adverse consequences can include things like additional construction costs, lost business revenue, lost or delayed hiring for jobs, additional interest cost on loans, etc. We ask that this information be put in the form of an overall dollar-per-day estimate using the best information available. We do not expect you to do a detailed study for this information just ballpark figures would be fine. The information on costs is used to give us a general idea on the significance of the project to the company and helps us prioritize various permits.

Once we get the above information, we enter the requested date into our permit processing tracking and issuance system and inform staff working on the permit. Ohio EPA will contact the company to let them know their permit has been placed on the rush list.

By using this information, Ohio EPA will attempt to meet the company's requested issuance date. Note, however, that because we don't know what we will find during our review, we cannot guarantee an issue date for any permit.

The above information can be sent to Mike Hopkins, Assistant Chief, Permitting via email, fax or by mail at the following addresses:

Fax: (614) 644-3681
Lazarus Government Center
P.O. Box 1049
Columbus, OH 43216-1049

Note that there are several factors that affect the time it takes to process a permit and the activities you can undertake prior to obtaining a permit. To help understand the timing issues associated with obtaining a permit, it is highly recommended you call your district office or local air agency contact before submitting the application. Your district office or local air agency contact can walk you through the process and give you a good understanding of the process, timing and activities you can undertake prior to obtaining a permit.

Any questions concerning this process should be routed to Michael.Hopkins@epa.ohio.gov or (614) 644-3611.