You need to obtain a MassDEP air quality plan approval before starting work on a project that adds a new emissions source, or changes or replaces an existing source, unless you qualify for an exemption or an alternative compliance pathway.
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- This page, MassDEP Air Plan Approval Applications, is offered by
- Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection
MassDEP Air Plan Approval Applications
Table of Contents
Before You Apply
You will most likely need to obtain a MassDEP Air Plan Approval before beginning work on a:
- Manufacturing process,
- Fuel combustion unit, or
Some projects are exempt from the Plan Approval requirement or qualify for an alternative compliance pathway, such as a permit-by-rule or compliance certification.
For example, many of the following types of installations require only one-time compliance certifications:
To learn more about facilities that require Air Plan Approvals, see the Overview & Applicability Tables in Additional Resources below.
Additional Resources for Before You Apply
Best Available Control Technology
Your Limited Plan Application (LPA) or Comprehensive Plan Application (CPA) will need to propose best available air pollution control technology (BACT) for your project.
See the policy and guidance documents in Additional Resources below to learn more.
Additional Resources for Best Available Control Technology
Air Quality Modeling
Based on pre-application discussions, MassDEP may require ambient air quality modeling for your project. If so, you will need to file an Air Quality Modeling Submittal.
See the Modeling Guidance in Additional Resources below.
Additional Resources for Air Quality Modeling
Environmental Justice Fact Sheet
If you are applying for a Major or Non-Major Comprehensive Plan Approval (CPA), you will need to prepare and upload as an attachment a draft two- to four-page Fact Sheet providing details about your proposed project and neighboring communities. This will help MassDEP ensure that Environmental Justice (EJ) populations are notified of your project's potential to affect them, and that they are meaningfully involved in the agency review process.
Please follow the links in Additional Resources below to review examples of previously submitted Fact Sheets, and to learn more about completing this step.
Additional Resources for Environmental Justice Fact Sheet
Prepare & Submit Your Application
Follow the Key Action links below for detailed information on how to apply via the EEA ePlace Portal for the category of MassDEP Air Plan Approval you need for your proposed project.
- The agency may require you to submit one or more Supplemental and/or Pollution Control Device forms forms along with your application. Most of these may be completed online.
If you are a new ePlace user, you will need to create an account first.
Most of the supplemental forms that you might need to submit as part of an Air Plan Approval Application - including Pollution Control Device forms - may be completed online.
The two supplemental forms in Additional Resources below, if required as part of your application, will need to be completed and uploaded as attachments.
- AQ Coatings & Inks is required for spray painting, surface coating and printing operations.
- AQ Sound is required when construction or alteration of electrical generating or process handling equipment, motors, fans or similar sources has the potential to cause noise or has been subject to MassDEP enforcement.
Additional Resources for Supplemental Forms
Amend or Consolidate Plan Approvals
After obtaining a Plan Approval from MassDEP, you will need to submit an Administrative Amendment to:
- Report changes in business or facility name, ownership, or contact information;
- Revise the frequency of record keeping, monitoring, reporting or testing; or
- Correct typographical errors.
If you have multiple Plan Approvals, you may voluntarily streamline their various applicable requirements into one enforceable document through a Consolidation.