The Department of Public Health Air Management Services (AMS) monitors the air quality and enforces city, state, and federal air quality standards in the City of Philadelphia. This is done through activities such as operating air pollution monitors throughout the city, permitting and inspecting air pollution sources, and investigating air pollution complaints.
Businesses are required to obtain pre-construction permits prior to installing certain equipment that creates or controls air pollution. As a general rule, an air permit may be needed if the equipment burns fuel, uses paint or solvent, emits particles outdoors, or is used to control emissions from these sources. Some common examples are:
- Combustion Units (such as boilers, hot water heaters, warm air furnaces, and some chillers) rated more than 250,000 BTU per hour.
- Internal Combustion Engines (such as emergency generators, fire pumps, peak-shaving engines, and some chillers) rated 100 Horsepower or more.
- Paint Spray Booths.
- Equipment that emits particles or dust outdoors like crushers, grinders, sandblasters, or woodworking.
- Equipment that uses solvents like degreasers, dip tanks, and some dry cleaners.
- Loading or storing volatile liquids like gasoline.
- Equipment used to control emissions like cyclones, baghouses (fabric filters), or afterburners.
After a pre-construction permit is obtained from AMS, the business can install and begin to operate the equipment until AMS can come out for an inspection. After AMS inspects the equipment and determines it has been installed and is being operated properly, the business must get an air pollution license or operating permit from AMS for the equipment. The air pollution license or operating permit must be maintained by the business in order to continue to operate the equipment. AMS will inspect the equipment periodically to make sure it complies with air pollution regulations.
For application forms or more information, please visit the AMS website or call (215) 685-7572.