New Mexico
Environment Department

Contact Information:
(505) 827-2855 MAIN // 1-800-219-6157 (toll free)
Environmental Emergencies:
505-827-9329 (24 hrs)

Air Quality Bureau

SBEAP Frequently Asked Questions

SBEAP logo 2The following is meant to give you general information regarding your business, air pollution, and whether you may need to obtain an air quality permit.

This information can also be found in the brochure: Does My Business Need an Air Quality Permit?

This is not intended to be a substitute for reviewing the actual regulations or asking questions of the SBEAP or Permitting personnel of the Air Quality Bureau.

What is air pollution?

Air pollution is generally thought of as manmade gases and particles released into the air. Although it can be invisible to the eye, like paint solvent emissions, air pollution can also be seen as a brown haze over a city.

How much pollution release requires a permit?

You may need an air quality permit if outdoor air emissions are more than 10 pounds per hour or 25 tons per year for a single pollutant.

 Or for Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs), 10 tons or more per year of one HAP, or 25 tons or more per year of all HAPs combined.

 Some examples of HAPs:

  • Benzene (gasoline)
  • Perchloroethylene (dry cleaners)
  • Styrene (cultured marble)
  • Toluene, Methylene Chloride (solvents)

What are common air pollutants?

  • Nitrogen Oxides (NOx)
  • Carbon Monoxide (CO)
  • Sulfur Dioxide (SO2)
  • Particulate Matter (PM) or “dust”

What are sources of common air pollutants?

Pollution Sources (equipment or processes)
Emissions (pollutant)
Exhaust from engines, generators, dryers and boilers
NOx, CO, SO2
Rock crushers, shaker screens, and haul roads
Baghouse, cyclone, or dust collector
Dust from abrasive blasting

What type of sources may need a permit?

  • Sand and gravel plants
  • Concrete batch plants
  • Asphalt batch plants
  • Other miscellaneous facilities

What are some examples of some HAP area source businesses?

  • Surface coating operations (such as auto body shops)
  • Dry cleaners
  • Gasoline dispensing facilities
  • Metal fabrication and finishing

Business registration for HAPs: Some small operations may not require a permit but may need to submit a cost-free notification to the Air Quality Bureau. These businesses are known as area sources and emit hazardous air pollutants in small amounts. Emissions can be limited by using recommended U.S. EPA management practices.

How long does it take to get a permit?

  1. Construction Permits can take up to 90 days to issue or deny after the application is deemed complete.
  2. General Construction Permits for aggregate, asphalt, and concrete batch plants are issued or denied within 30 days.

Potential delay – If there is significant public interest in a business obtaining a permit, a public hearing or meeting may be held and could delay a permit decision.

How much will a permit cost?

Air quality permit fees vary depending on the type of permit and complexity of the facility. Some small businesses may qualify for a reduced permit fee. The cost reduction is dependent on the number of employees and the amount of air emissions generated. To find out if your business is eligible for a fee reduction, see the SBEAP Home Page.

Do you still have questions about air quality?

Additional information on air permitting requirements can be found on the Permitting Section’s Do I need a Permit? web page and the Permit Application Forms web page.

Contact the Air Quality Bureau’s Small Business Environmental Assistance Program (SBEAP). This program is designed to assist you with answering questions about air quality regulations.

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