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Federal Operating Permit (FOP) Application Procedures and Timelines

Describes procedures to complete and submit an initial federal operating permit (FOP), to revise an existing FOP, or to renew a FOP.

The following topics are covered on this page:


The APD has developed operating permit application forms and instructions for use by owners and operators of sites required to obtain an operating permit. The applicant can select the appropriate forms necessary to compile an application package that accurately reflects the site and units covered by the permit. These forms identify all the required information necessary to determine the applicable requirements. These forms must be used since they provide a structured and systematic means to provide necessary information to APD. Some supporting information that cannot be included in these standardized forms may be requested by the APD. Failure to submit requested information will result in a deficient application. Data submitted with an application should be consistent with data submitted to the TCEQ in the most recent emissions inventory. For more information on submitting a complete Title V initial issuance application refer to Site Operating Permit (SOP) Initial Application guidance.

Application Due Dates

Owners or operators of a site subject to the requirements of 30 Texas Administrative Code Chapter 122 on or before February 1, 1998 were required to submit an abbreviated initial application by February 1, 1998. If a site becomes subject to 30 TAC Chapter 122 as a result of an action by the owner or operator at the site, the owner or operator must submit an application before operating any change that resulted from the action. If a site becomes subject to 30 TAC Chapter 122 as a result of an action by the TCEQ or the EPA, the owner or operator is required submit an application within 12 months after the action that subjects the site to the 30 TAC Chapter 122 requirements. If the action that subjects the site to 30 TAC Chapter 122 is due to the promulgation of a new regulation, then the application is due within 12 months after the compliance date for the source specified in the rule. New or modified affected units subject to the Acid Rain Program must have acid rain permit applications submitted by the dates specified in 30 TAC Section 122.412 (Acid Rain Permit Application Due Dates) .

The Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR) applies to fossil fuel-fired electric generating units (EGU) serving a generator with a nameplate capacity greater than 25 megawatts (MW) and producing electricity for sale. The EGU definition includes independent power producers and cogeneration units; however, exemption is provided to cogeneration units selling 1/3 or less of their potential electric output. For any CAIR nitrogen oxides (NOx) source and CAIR sulfur dioxide (SO2) source required to have a FOP, the CAIR designated representative is required to submit a complete CAIR application for the source covering each CAIR NOx unit and CAIR SO2 unit at the source by the dates specified in 30 TAC Section 122.422 (Submission of Clean Air Interstate Rule Permit Applications) .

Application Shield, Timeliness, and Completeness

Owners or operators who have submitted a timely and complete application and who have promptly responded to and corrected deficiencies are protected under the application shield (as defined in 30 TAC Section 122.138 ). An application shield allows the owner or operator of a facility to operate the units until final action by the TCEQ. A site operating without an application shield anytime after the application deadline is violating 30 TAC Chapter 122 and may be subject to enforcement action.

An application is considered timely if it is submitted to the TCEQ by the application deadline. An application is considered administratively complete on the 61st day after receipt by the executive director. However, the APD staff may request additional information anytime during processing or the technical review, despite previous completeness determinations. To assure that the application is efficiently processed, a timely response is extremely important. Failure to submit all of the information necessary to process the application by the specified deadline can result in the voidance of the application. For details, see the policy memo dated January 6, 2006 here.

Application Submittal Types and Procedures

Initial - procedure to complete and submit an initial FOP application guidance

Revision - procedure to complete and submit a FOP revision application guidance

Renewal - procedure to complete and submit a FOP renewal application guidance


The Texas Operating Permit Program is funded through emissions fees collected pursuant to 30 TAC Section 101.27 , Emissions Fees. No additional application fees are required to be submitted with the permit application by the owner or operator of a site. For more information on emission fees contact the Industrial Emissions Assessment Section of the TCEQ Office of Environmental Policy, Analysis and Assessment at (512) 239-4900.

Confidential Information

Confidential information is not required and not necessary for a permit application. The forms have been structured to reduce the need for confidential information by using ranges, pick-lists, etc. for responses. Certain portions of the application, such as plot plans, process descriptions, and process flow diagrams are not submitted on standardized forms. The applicant must submit a non-confidential version of these materials.

If the applicant chooses to submit confidential information, the TCEQ staff will take measures to protect this material. However, it is the responsibility of the applicant to clearly identify such information. Once a piece of information has been submitted as non-confidential, its classification cannot be changed to confidential.

All printed copies of confidential information should be submitted under separate cover. A letter of transmittal should clearly show that this information is confidential. Under no circumstances should an applicant submit confidential information attached to non-confidential information, since non-confidential information is handled through an unprotected delivery system. Also, be sure to check Confidential Information Attached boxes on application forms wherever appropriate.

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