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Controlling Air Pollution from Facilities

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Industrial and commercial operations release pollutants into the air. These pollutants can make breathing difficult, reduce visibility, and damage the environment. Some can cause cancer or other serious health effects.

Sources of air pollution include large facilities, such as petroleum refineries, chemical plants, and electricity generating facilities. Other pollution sources are smaller, such as gasoline stations, dry cleaners, and paint spray booths.

Air Facility Permits

Control technology can prevent or limit the escape of pollution from industrial and commercial facilities. DEC has the authority to require facilities to install pollution control equipment or to change operating procedures that pollute the air. The air facility permit is the principal vehicle for requiring these measures.

Air Facility Permits are legally enforceable documents issued to source owners specifying the air pollution control requirements for their facility. Facility owners must comply with the terms of their permit, report their actual emissions, and may be required to monitor or test their emissions.

Small Business Compliance and Technical Assistance for Stationary Sources

The Small Business Environmental Assistance Program (SBEAP) provides free assistance to small business owners in complying with State and federal air regulations. SBEAP's partner, the Small Business Environmental Ombudsman of Empire State Development, can further help businesses understand and follow State and federal regulations.

Emission Reduction Credits (ERCs)

ERCs are created when a facility shuts down or reduces its permitted emissions by accepting a federally-enforceable emission cap. To help keep air pollution controls as economical as possible, emission trading programs allow sources with more expensive control costs to trade emission allowances with sources that have cheaper control costs.

A facility owner planning to increase emissions must obtain enough ERCs to offset these emissions before DEC will issue a permit to construct or change an air pollution source. DEC maintains a registry (PDF) where permit applicants can locate the necessary credits.

Dry Cleaner Regulation

NYS has approximately 1,500 dry cleaners. These facilities are subject to regulatory requirements aimed at reducing solvent vapor emissions. Dry cleaning emissions can be harmful when exposed to the public and can contribute to groundwater contamination.

Air Toxics Program

Air toxic regulations reduce the emissions of hazardous substances. The air program uses the latest scientific method to determine how to control hazardous substances. These methods include computer modeling, air monitoring, and risk assessment procedures.

Public and Stakeholder Participation Information

Learn about upcoming meetings, webinars, trainings and other events relating to air quality in NYS.


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  • NYSDEC
    Division of Air Resources
    Air Pollution
    625 Broadway
    Albany, NY 12233-3254
    518-402-8403
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