The Oregon Title V Operating Permit Program places greater responsibilities on the source of air pollution. When a business applies for a permit, it is required to supply the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) with all the information necessary to draft a permit. After the permit is issued, the permitted source has a responsibility to monitor its compliance with requirements of the permit and to keep detailed records and reports.
DEQ's role is to evaluate the information provided by the business, issue the permit and make periodic compliance determinations through inspections and review of reports and records and take enforcement action when appropriate.
Under the Title V Operating Permit Program, a business has to report on compliance with conditions of its permit at least every six months. At that time, a responsible official must either certify compliance or inform DEQ of noncompliance and submit a schedule to bring the business into compliance. If certifications are falsified, federal and state law provide for both civil and criminal enforcement actions. Violations found to be knowing are now a felony, with potential for imprisonment for up to 5 years and fines up to $250,000.
The 1990 Clean Air Act gives important new enforcement powers to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and DEQ. In the past, EPA had to go to court to penalize a company for violations. Now EPA can issue administrative penalty orders of up to $25,000 per violation. Like a police officer giving traffic tickets, EPA also has the authority to fine violators up to $5000 for minor violations observed in the field. DEQ continues to use its authority to issue administrative penalties and also has added enforcement provisions where knowing endangerment from the release of air toxics can carry imprisonment of up to 15 years and fines up to $1 million. Citizen lawsuit provisions also have been expanded in the Act.