Air Quality Permit Tracker

The Permit Tracker is meant to serve as a public resource for community residents and organizations. Oftentimes, residents in environmental justice communities face challenges learning about and meaningfully participating in air quality permit processes given the high number of such permits in these communities. This resource compiles information to help residents meaningfully participate in air quality decisions that will impact their health and quality of life. It provides the following information, and is updated on a regular basis:

  • Pending permit to install applications in Wayne County

  • Public hearing information regarding proposed permits to install in Wayne County

  • Link to a list of all finalized permits to install

  • Pending renewable operating permit applications in Wayne County

  • Public hearing information regarding proposed renewable operating permits in Wayne County

This resource has been made possible through the generous support of the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation.


Permits To Install

In general, any person that wants to install, construct, or modify any building, structure, facility, or other installation that has the potential to emit any air contaminant must obtain a “permit to install” (PTI) prior to beginning construction. Michigan does allow for numerous exemptions from this general requirement. These exemptions are described in Michigan’s Administrative Code, and are not discussed here.

What is required for a company to obtain a permit to install?


In order to receive a permit to install, a person must submit an application that contains all of the information required by Michigan’s regulations with their permit to install application. The basic information that must be included is:

- A complete description of each emission unit or process covered by the application.

- A description of any federal, state, or local air pollution control regulations that are applicable to the proposed equipment.

- A description of the uncontrolled and controlled quantity of all air contaminants that are reasonably anticipated due to the operation of the equipment.

- A description of how the air contaminant emissions will be controlled.

- Data demonstrating that the emission from the equipment will not have an unacceptable air quality impact in relation to all federal, state, and local air quality standards.

- Information for an environmental impact statement if the Department of Environmental Quality believes the equipment may have a significant impact on the environment.

Additional information will be required if the source is classified as a “major source” based on the amount of pollution it has the potential to emit.


What does a permit to install do?


Permits to install generally contain several requirements that the facility must be comply with. These requirements commonly include:

- Emission limits

- Air pollution monitoring and testing requirements, and;

- Recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

The conditions generally exist to ensure that the air pollution from the equipment will not overly degrade air quality in violation of federal and state laws and regulations. A company that receives a permit to install must ensure the facility complies with the conditions in their permit to install. Permits to install remain in effect for as long as the equipment it is associated with exists. They do not need to be renewed. Complex sources of air pollution that involve a number of emission sources, such as steel mills or power plants, will commonly have several permits to install associated with the different equipment at the facility.


How is a source classified as a "major" or "minor" source?


Whether a permit is classified as a “major” or “minor” new source or modification to an existing source depends on the predicted amount of pollutants that the source has the potential to emit on an annual basis.

In general, a new source or modification to an existing source is considered to be a "major" source of air pollution if it has the potential to emit 250 tons per year of any pollutant that is regulated under the Clean Air Act that is not designated as a "hazardous" air pollutant. This generally includes pollutants such as sulfur dioxide, particulate matter, carbon monoxide, etc. However, certain types of sources, such as petroleum refineries and chemical process plants, are considered to be "major" sources if they have the potential to emit 100 tons per year.

If a source is classified as a "major" source, then it is subject to a more stringent permitting review under the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality's "prevention of significant deterioration program," the "nonattainment program," or both.

Prevention of Significant Deterioration Program: If the source is to be located in an area that is in "attainment" with national ambient air quality standards, then it will be subject to "prevention of significant deterioration" program. This program is meant to ensure that the new source or modification will not overly degrade air quality. It requires the facility to have the best available pollution control technology for the equipment for which the permit is sought.

Nonattainment Program: If the source is to be located in an area that is in "nonattainment" with a national ambient air quality standard, then it will be subject to "nonattainment" review, but only for the specific pollutant for which the area is in nonattainment. This review is meant to ensure that the new source or modification will not delay or impede efforts to improve air quality in the area. It requires the facility to have pollution control equipment that will control emissions to the lowest achieveable rate, and requires the emissions from the facility to be "offset" by the permit applicant guaranteeing equivalent or greater reductions in emissions from another existing source in the area.


What is a "synthetic minor source"?


Under certain circumstances, a source that would otherwise be classifed as a "major" source may agree to specific conditions in its permit that will limit its potential to emit. By agreeing to these conditions, the source is classified as a "synthetic minor source," which allows the company to avoid the more stringent permitting review for major sources.

To determine whether a new source or modification will be classified as a "major" or "minor" source of air pollution, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality considers the source's "potential to emit." This is the maximum capacity of a source to emit a pollutant under its physical and operational design.

If a source's potential to emit is above the "major" source threshold, it may seek to limit its potential to emit to levels below the major source threshold so that it may be classified as a "minor" source rather than a "major" source. In order to limit its potential to emit, a source's permit must contain production or operational limits, such as the following:

- Limitation on quantities of raw materials consumed

- Limitation on quantity or quality of fuel combusted

- Limitation on hours of operation

- Condition that specifies that the source must install and maintain specific controls to reduce emissions to a specified rate.

In order for a permit condition that establishes a production or operational limit to valdily limit a source's potential to emit, it must be practically enforceable. Put another way, the permit condition must establish a clear, legal obligation for the source, and allow compliance to be verified.


When is a public hearing required for a permit to install?


Many permits to install are issued by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality without any public notice, and without the Department offering members of the public with the chance to provide comments regarding the permit.

However, before the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality issues permits to install for specific sources, it must provide the public with notice of the proposed permit, and must provide the public with an opportunity to submit comments regarding the proposed permit either in writing or at a public hearing. This is required in the following situations:

- Permit to install for a "major" new source or for a "major" modification to an existing source.

- Permit to install for a "synthetic minor source"

- When the issuance of a permit presents a known public controversey

If public notice and comment procedures are required, the Department will generally provide at least 30 days advance notice of the public hearing, and 30 days for public comments. If requested, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality may (but is not required) to extend the public comment period and/or delay the public hearing.


Pending Permit to Install Applications in Wayne County

Below is a list all of the applications that the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has received from companies wishing to build a new source or modify an existing source of air pollution that are still pending. As the Department of Environmental Quality makes final decisions regarding the listed applications for permits to install, they will be removed from the list.

Company Address Date of Application PTI # and Details Major or Minor New Source or Modification
Cintas 39145 Webb Dr., Westland 5/11/18; Approved on 10/19/18 PTI 83-18; Opt-out of renewable operating permit N/A at this time
DTE Energy Services 4695 W. Jefferson, Trenton 8/31/18; Public hearing held on 12/18/18, final decision pending PTI 151-18; New material handling equipment N/A at this time
FCA US, LLC 2300 Van Horn, Trenton 8/29/18 PTI 148-18; Engine manufacturing operations installation N/A at this time
Meadowcrest Memorial and Crematorium Association 5800 E. Davison, Detroit 9/14/18 PTI 156-18; Crematory N/A at this time
Oerlikon Metco 41144 Concept Dr., Plymouth 8/10/18; Approved 12/11/18 PTI 91-17A; Atomization furnaces N/A at this time
Saint Mary's Cement 9333 Dearborn, Detroit 4/30/18; Approved 8/31/18 PTI 76-18; Load Out System N/A at this time
Solutia 5100 W. Jefferson, Trenton 9/13/18 PTI 12-13D; Revise permit language N/A at this time
Sunoco, Inc. 500 Dix Ave., Detroit 8/21/18 PTI 143-18; Opt-out of Title V permit N/A at this time
Superior Materials 8911 W. Jefferson, Detroit 8/9/18; Approved 10/18/18 PTI 138-18; Read Mixed Concrete N/A at this time
Superior Materials 20565 Hoover, Detroit 8/9/18; Approved 10/17/18 PTI 137-18; Ready Mixed Concrete N/A at this time
Wyandotte Department of Municipal Services 2555 Van Alstyne, Wyandotte 9/10/18; Approved 12/4/18 PTI 160-18; Remove MACT major source requirements on boiler 5 N/A at this time
Adient US, LLC 49200 Halyard Dr., Plymouth 10/22/18 PTI 171-18; Natural gas fired boilers N/A at this time
BASF Corp. 1609 Biddle Ave., Wyandotte 11/16/18 PTI 113-07B; Modify stack conditions N/A at this time
Buckeye Pipeline Holdings, LP 24801 Ecorse Rd., Taylor 10/29/18 PTI 15-17A; Uncontrolled transmix loadout and modification to tank 7 N/A at this time
Buckeye Terminals 20755 West Rd., Woodhaven 11/5/18 PTI 21-14D; To increase the permitted distillate loading throughput limit N/A at this time
Detroit Bulk Services, Inc. 115 Rosa Parks, Detroit 12/20/18 PTI 3-19; Implement a fugitive dust plan for limestone and dry bulk commodity dock N/A at this time
Edward C. Levy Co. 13800 Mellon St., Detroit 12/21/18 PTI 5-19; Steel furnace slag processing plant N/A at this time
FCA US, LLC 11570 E. Warren, Detroit 1/10/19 PTI 14-19; New manufacturing operation N/A at this time
Ground Effects, LLC 39055 Maple Rd., Wayne 11/1/18 PTI 183-18; Two polyurethane coating boots N/A at this time
Kreher Wire Processing, Inc. 34822 Goddard Rd., Romulus 10/22/18 PTI 224-07A; Correct an error in the original permit N/A at this time
Material Processing, Inc. 17423 W JEFFERSON Ave., Riverview 1/16/19 PTI 15-19; CONSOLIDATE FOUR EXISTING COATING BOOTHS N/A at this time
Stericycle Environmental Solutions, Inc. 421 and 515 Lycaste, Detroit 12/21/18 PTI 6-19; Opt-out of reneable operating permit N/A at this time
JP Morgan Chase Co. 9000 Haggerty, Belleville 1/4/19 PTI 20-19; Emergency Generators N/A at this time
Ford Motor Company 1 International Dr., Flat Rock 1/28/19 PTI 22-19; Replacement of the Existing Paint Shop N/A at this time
Cygnet Automated Cleaning, LLC 9120 General Drive, Plymouth 1/29/19 PTI 25-19; IBC Cleaning Operation N/A at this time
Soulbrain Michigan, Inc. 47050 5 Mile Rd., Northville 1/24/19 PTI 167-10G; Increase Throughput of 8 Chemicals N/A at this time

This table is updated monthly. It was last updated on 2/12/19.

A full list of all pending permit to install applications in Michigan is available at this link.


Proposed Permits to Install Undergoing Public Notice and Comment in Wayne County

Below is a list of all proposed permits to install that are undergoing public notice and comment. Public notice and comment is not required for every permit to install.

Company Address PTI Number Public Hearing Date Public Hearing Location
N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

“N/A” means there are currently no permits to install undergoing public notice and comment in Wayne County.

This table is updated bi-weekly. It was last updated 2/12/19.

A full list of permits to install undergoing public notice and comment is available at this link.


List of All Finalized and Active Permits to Install

There are over 100 active permits to install in Detroit alone. A full list of all finalized and active permits to install is available at this link.

A company that has received a permit to install must operate in compliance with the terms and conditions specified in their permit.



Renewable operating permits

In addition to requiring a company to obtain a permit to install before it installs or modifies equipment that may cause the emission of an air contaminant, Michigan also requires certain facilities to obtain a “renewable operating permit” (ROP). A ROP is required for a “major source” of air pollution. An ROP is sometimes referred to as a “Title V” permit, because the ROP program is a requirement of Title V of the Clean Air Act.

Who is required to obtain a renewable operating permit?


In general, only "major" sources of air pollution are required to obtain a renewable operating permit. Similar to permits to install, whether a source is classified as a "major" source depends on the amount of air pollution it has the potential to emit. A "major" source is one that:

- Has the potential to emit 10 tons per year of any single hazardous air pollutant, or has the potential to emit 25 tons per year of any combination of hazardous air pollutants.

- Has the potential to emit 100 tons per year of any "criteria" air pollutant (lead, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, particulate matter, ozone, volatile organic compounds).

Additionally, renewable operating permits are required for other specifically listed types of facilities, which are not listed here.


What does a renewable operating permit do?


One of the main purposes of a renewable operating permit is to ensure that all of a source’s legal obligations regarding air quality regulations are contained in a single permit document. Major sources are generally subject to a number of air pollution control regulations at both the state and federal level, which can make it difficult to easily identify which laws and regulations apply to a given source. The renewable operating permit largely exists to act as a clearinghouse for all applicable laws and regulations that apply to a major source, including all of the requirements of the various permits to install that have been issued to the source. While a facility may have several permits to install for all of the different equipment at its facility, it will have a single renewable operating permit.


How are renewable operating permits renewed?


Each renewable operating permit must be renewed every 5 years. However, it is common for Department of Environmental Quality to not finalize a renewal for a renewable operating permit within 5 years. So long as the applicant has submitted a timely application for renewal of its renewable operating permit at least 6 months before its expiration, the existing permit will remain in effect beyond the permit’s expiration date and until the renewal of the permit is either approved or denied by the Department of Environmental Quality.


When is a public hearing required for a renewable operating permit?


Unlike permits to install, all renewable operating permits (both new permits and renewals of existing permits) must be subject to public notice and comment before the Department of Environmental Quality makes a final decision. As such, the Department of Environmental Quality will publish a proposed renewable operating permit shortly before it is to make a final decision regarding the permit, provide notice to the public of the release of the proposed permit, and provide the public with the opportunity to provide comments to the Department of Environmental Quality on the proposed permit at a public hearing or through written comments sent to the Department.



Pending Renewable Operating Permit Applications in Wayne County

Below is a list of still pending applications for new renewable operating permits or for renewals of existing renewable operating permits for facilities in Wayne County.

Company Address Type of Application Date of Administratively Complete Application Type of Facility
Buckeye Terminals, LLC 770 South Deacon, Detroit Renewal 6/11/14 Petroleum hydrocarbon fuels distribution terminal
Canton Renewables LLC 4345 S. Lilley, Canton Twp. Renewal 3/20/17 Operates electricity generation system using landfill gas from Sauk Trails Landfill
Dearborn Industrial Generation 2400 Miller, Dearborn Renewal 9/13/16 Natural gas-fired power plant
Detroit Diesel 13400 Outer Drive West, Detroit Renewal 2/3/17 Diesel engine manufacturing, development, and testing facility
Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport 1 L.C. Smith Bldg., Romulus Renewal 9/9/14 Airport
Detroit Renewable Power 5700 Russell, Detroit Renewal 1/4/16 Municipal solid waste incinerator
Detroit Thermal 541 Madison, Detroit Renewal 9/12/18 Natural gas-fired steam plant
DTE Electric Co. 1 Belanger Park, River Rouge Renewal 8/23/16 Coal-fired power plant
EES Coke Battery LLC 1400 Zug Island, River Rouge Renewal 2/4/13 Coke making facility
FCA US, LLC-Jefferson North Assembly 2300 Van Horn, Trenton Renewal 6/22/18 Auto assembly plant
Ford Motor Co.-Auto Transmission New Product Center 35500 Plymouth, Livonia Renewal 3/9/16 Transmission testing facility
Ford Motor Co.-Elm Street Boilerhouse 1200 Elm, Dearborn Renewal 6/1/18 Natural-gas fired steam plant
Ford Motor Co.-Research and Development Center 1701 Village, Dearborn Renewal 6/1/18 Auto engine research and testing facility
Ford Motor Co.-Livonia Transmission 36200 Plymouth, Livonia Renewal 8/16/16 Transmission manufacturing plant
Fritz Products 255 Marion, River Rouge Initial 6/23/14 Secondary aluminum smelting facility
General Motors-Hamtramck Assembly 2500 E. General Motors Blvd., Detroit Renewal 6/30/14 Auto assembly plant
GLWA Water Resource Recovery Facility 9300 W. Jefferson, Detroit Renewal 7/25/18 Wastewater treatment plant and biosolids drying facility
Henry Ford Hospital 2799 W. Grand Blvd., Detroit Renewal 4/12/17 Hospital
Marathon Petroleum 1001 S. Oakwood, Detroit Renewal 2/13/17 Oil refinery
McLaren Performance Technologies 32233 8 Mile, Livonia Renewal 10/14/16 Engine diagnostic testing facility
Nortru, LLC 421 Lycaste, Detroit Renewal 12/13/13 Waste processing and fuel blending facility
Sauk Trail Hills 5011 S. Lilley, Canton Twp. Renewal 11/30/16 Solid waste landfill
Solutia, Inc. 5100 W. Jefferson, Trenton Renewal 2/12/14 Chemical manufacturing facility
Sumpter Generating Plant 8509 Rawsonville,Belleville Renewal 8/10/18 Natural gas-fired power plant
Sunoco 500 S. Dix, Detroit Renewal 1/8/18 Gasoline storage and loading facility
United States Gypsum Co. 10090 W. Jefferson, River Rouge Renewal 3/25/16 Gypsum-based product facility
U.S. Ecology 49350 N. I-94 Service Dr., Belleville Renewal 12/26/14 Hazardous and non-hazardous waste processing facility
Woodland Meadows 5900 Hannan, Wayne Renewal 5/12/17 Solid waste landfill
Polytech Moulding Industries, Inc. 1609 Biddle, Wyandotte Renewal 8/12/15 Plastics Processing Plant
Carmeuse Lime 25 Marion, River Rouge Renewal 7/12/17 Lime Manufacturing Facility
DTE Electric Co. 4695 W. Jefferson, Trenton Renewal 5/23/11 Coal-fired power plant

This table is updated quarterly. It was last updated on 2/12/19.

More information on the Department of Environmental Quality’s renewable operating program can be found here.


Renewable Operating Permits Undergoing Public Notice and comment in wayne county

Below is a list of proposed renewable operating permits that the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has released for public notice and comment.

Company Address ROP Number Public Hearing Date Public Hearing Location
N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

“N/A” means there are currently no renewable operating permits undergoing public notice and comment in Wayne County.

This table is updated monthly It was last updated 2/12/19.


List of all finalized and active renewable operating permits

There are approximately 50 active renewable operating permits in Wayne County alone. A full list of all finalized and active renewable operating permits is available at this link.

A company that has received a renewable operating permit must operate in compliance with the terms and conditions specified in their permit.