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Cleaner Air Oregon Frequently Asked Questions For Facilities

Step 1: Call-In Information, Pre-Application Forms, Fees and Schedule

​The CAO program rules were adopted in November 2018 and are applicable to all facilities that have or are required to obtain an Air Quality permit to operate. However, there are a few key points about how the program is being implemented that may affect when your facility goes through the CAO risk assessment process related to the type of permit, and whether your facility is determined to be a “new" or “existing" facility in regards to CAO:

Permit Types:

  • DEQ may require the following new and existing permit types to perform risk assessments:
    • All Simple ACDP, Standard ACDP and Title V permitted facilities
    • The following General ACDP permitted facilities:
      • Hard Chrome Electroplating (AQGP-01)
      • Decorative Chrome Electroplating (AQGP-02)
      • Plating and Polishing (AQGP-26)

New facilities:

New facilities requesting any of the permit types listed above are required to perform a risk assessment prior to obtaining a DEQ air operating permit. See the FAQ titled “I'm a new facility, how do I know if I need to conduct a CAO risk assessment" below for more information.

Existing Facilities:

  • Existing facilities will be called in to the program in accordance with the Prioritization groupings, established by DEQ – these groupings may be subject to change based on revisions to potential risk estimates.
  • Facilities making major modifications to their operations subject to Type A State New Source Review are required to perform a risk assessment prior to approval of a permit modification.
  • If a facility has already completed an approved risk assessment, construction permit approval for new TEUs may require additional risk analysis.
  • DEQ, at its discretion, may call in any existing facility to complete a risk assessment. Factors considered in the decision may include understanding potential risks, obtaining new information about facility emissions, permitting needs, or in response to community concerns.

Note: DEQ also has the authority to require unpermitted facilities to perform a risk assessment if a potential significant health risk is anticipated from operations and activities.

In general, the criteria for determining if a facility is new or existing is outlined in OAR 340-245-0020, and is as follows:

  • Existing facility – either commenced construction or submitted all necessary applications to DEQ under OAR 340 divisions 210 or 216, and they were deemed complete, before Nov. 16, 2018.
  • New facility – does not meet the criteria listed above. However, there may be instances where it is unclear if the above criteria are met (e.g., a facility is moving, adding or changing operations, and/or changing the facility type), and in those cases please contact DEQ for a determination.

Once a facility has been determined to be either a new or existing facility, there are aspects of the CAO rules and process that apply differently to each type of facility:

New facilities:

  • CAO risk assessment may be required to complete ACDP application (See the FAQ titled “I'm a new facility, how do I know if I need to conduct a CAO risk assessment" below for more information)
  • No enforceable deadlines for CAO process
  • Lower Risk Action Levels

Existing facilities:

  • CAO risk assessment not required until facility is called in to program by DEQ
  • Enforceable deadlines for CAO submittals
  • Higher Risk Action Levels

​DEQ has published the facility prioritization results here. Facilities in Group 1 can expect to be called in by the end of 2020. Facilities in Group 2 can expected to be called in starting in 2021. Remaining facilities will be called in as resources allow.  Some existing facilities may be required to complete an assessment if they are making modifications that require approval, such as:

  • Major modifications requiring Type A New Source Review
  • Construction of new or modified TEUs if a facility has already completed an approved risk assessment.

​In most circumstances, if a new facility releases toxic air contaminants and is applying for a Simple or Standard ACDP, or a limited number of General ACDP permit types (See FAQ above titled 'When do the CAO rules apply to my facility), it will be required to conduct a CAO risk assessment. Facilities requesting Basic and other General ACDP permit types are not required to perform a risk assessment before obtaining a permit. A new facility should work with their permit writer to determine if a CAO risk assessment is required.

If you are required to conduct a risk assessment, you may submit the ACDP application for your facility at the same time the initial CAO documents are submitted, and DEQ may review the ACDP application materials concurrently with the CAO process. Please note that the ACDP application for your facility is not considered complete until DEQ has approved your final risk assessment and all CAO specific activity fees have been submitted. Additionally, information learned during the CAO process may result in changes to the type of ACDP and fees required (Simple vs Standard).

The CAO process begins by submitting the Pre-Application AQ500 form and fees, along with an Air Toxics Emissions Inventory (AQ520 form) which details projected emissions. (See the “I am a new facility, where do I submit my initial documents and fees?" FAQ)

​The CAO Pre-Application AQ500 form, along with the New Source Consulting fee, must be submitted to the address at the bottom of the form:

Oregon Dept. of Environmental Quality Financial Services - Revenue Section
700 NE Multnomah St., Suite 600
Portland, Oregon 97232-4100

The CAO Emissions Inventory AQ520 form, along with any other initial supporting technical materials, must be submitted electronically to the Regional Air Quality Staff assigned to your facility:

Eastern Region: Baker, Crook, Deschutes, Gilliam, Grant, Harney, Hood River, Jefferson, Klamath, Lake, Malheur, Morrow, Sherman, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa and Wasco counties.

Northwest Region: Clackamas, Clatsop, Columbia, Multnomah, Tillamook and Washington counties.

Western Region: Benton, Coos, Curry, Douglas, Jackson, Josephine, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Marion, Polk and Yamhill counties.

Please contact the above regional staff if you need to submit files larger than 20 MB, or to obtain the regional mailing addresses for submitting hard copies and/or flash drives.

​For new facilities, the CAO risk assessment process and ACDP application technical review and permit drafting should take place concurrently – the best way to ensure this is to submit all ACDP application materials along with the CAO Pre-Application (AQ500 form), New Source Consulting fee, and CAO Emissions Inventory (AQ520 form). Once the CAO process is complete and DEQ has approved the risk assessment for your facility and received both your CAO Application (AQ501 form) and required Specific Activity fees, the ACDP application is considered complete and the ACDP permitting process can continue.

For existing facilities called in to the program in accordance with their Prioritization grouping, any CAO permit conditions required to limit risk based on the results of the risk assessment will be added as a Toxic Air Contaminant Permit Addendum, and ultimately included in the permit upon renewal. If a facility's permit is up for renewal and has recently been called in to the CAO program, there may be a delay in the renewal timeline if DEQ requires the risk assessment be completed prior to renewal. Additionally, CAO rules require a risk analysis prior to approval for major modifications at existing facilities, and for installation or modification of a significant Toxics Emissions Unit (TEU) at a facility that has already gone through the CAO process.

In general, the CAO submittal review and approval process is structured so that DEQ will provide formal comment and approval letters in response to CAO submittals; these formal letters, along with the final, approved submitted documents will be made publicly available on the CAO facility webpages (see Community Engagement FAQ).

For existing facilities, this review and approval process is specified in rule [OAR 340-245-0030]. Documents are required to be submitted on time unless an extension is granted. These rules provide enforceability around submittal deadlines and grant DEQ the authority to request additional information or corrections, or make updates as needed to approve any of the required CAO submittals. These rules also detail the process for requesting an extension to any of the deadlines established for an existing facility's submittals.

​Cleaner Air Oregon specific activity fees are due at the time of submittal of both the Cleaner Air Oregon Pre-Application form AQ500 and Cleaner Air Oregon Permit Application form AQ501. All Cleaner Air Oregon specific activity fees can be found in the Cleaner Air Oregon Specific Activity Fees table. [OAR 340-216-8030 Table 3]

  • Pre-Application fees:

    • For new facilities, the 'New Source Consulting fee' is required at the time of submittal of the Pre-Application (AQ500) form. See the schedule of submittals for New Facilities.

    • For existing facilities, the 'Existing Facility Call-in fee' is due 30 days after the notice date on the call-in letter. [OAR 340-245-0400(3)]. See the schedule of submittals for Existing Facilities.

  • Application and Specific Activity fees: All applicable fees are due at the time of submittal of the Permit Application (AQ501) form. [OAR 340-245-0400(4) and (5)] For existing facilities, payment deadlines specific to Cleaner Air Oregon requirements may vary, please review OAR 340-245-0030.

  • Annual fees: For new facilities, CAO annual fees must be submitted with the ACDP application, and this first payment will be for the full year, with the next payment pro-rated for the duration of operation in the first fiscal year. [OAR 340-216-8020 Table 2] The CAO Annual fees have already been included in the Annual fees submitted by existing facilities.

DEQ may request technical information related to a required submittal for the CAO program from both new and existing facilities in order to approve a document. The following outcomes may occur depending on the response made by the facility:

  • The information is provided and the document approved.
  • The information provided is incomplete, inaccurate, or otherwise does not satisfy the request, and DEQ is unable to approve the document, then DEQ may:
    • Request the information again
    • Modify the submittal for approval, with sufficient factual basis – the facility is then responsible for paying the Document Modification fee [OAR 340-216-8030 Table 3]
    • Take an enforcement action, including assessing civil penalties and other potential consequences
  • For existing facilities with a deadlines, the information is not provided in a timely manner (see below)

For existing facilities, extensions can be requested for good cause if reasonable progress can be demonstrated. Extension requests must be submitted no fewer than 15 days prior to the submittal deadline to be considered by DEQ. [OAR 340-245-0030(3)] Failure to submit a timely request for extension or to meet reasonable progress and good cause requirements will result in DEQ's denial of an extension request. If the extension request is denied, any submittals not meeting the established deadlines in OAR 340-245-0030(1) or (2) is a violation of DEQ rules and may result in DEQ taking an enforcement action, including assessing civil penalties, and other potential consequences . [OAR 340-245-0030(4)]

​​Yes. In early 2021, CAO revised the CAO form numbers in order to reduce confusion and set the program up for future development. All CAO forms are now under the AQ500 series. A quick guide is available that describes the transition including the old and new form numbers. Please let the staff know if you have any questions or concerns.

Cleaner Air Oregon frequently asked questions for facilities 

The frequently asked questions (FAQs) on this page are provided to answer common questions about completing air toxics risk assessments for the Cleaner Air Oregon program, and ensure consistency across assessments. As the Cleaner Air Oregon process evolves, DEQ will update this page with common questions or unique scenarios. If there is a question you would like to see answered or have feedback on a response below, please contact us at

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