The billowing smokestack is a common meme for stories about air pollution. But it can skew our sense of where such pollution comes from.
That’s where the San Diego County Air Pollution Control District comes in. Issuing permits for stationary sources of pollution — translation: not mobile, like cars and trucks — is a big part of what the district does. But permits aren’t one-size-fits-all, and that’s by design.
The district has to balance the public health risks of commercial pollution against the cost of compliance. And that’s why the cost of the permit and time it takes to get one rises with the level of risk.
“Quite frankly we don’t get many complaints about the cost,” said Tom Weeks, the air pollution district’s head of engineering, but “the time frame for issuing permits is sometimes an issue.”
Some machines don’t need a health risk assessment at all, but the big, billowing ones need the most attention. Time is money for the district — as it is with any service provider — so the cost of the permit also rises with the amount of time it takes to make sure a pollution source complies with the law.
Support Independent Journalism Today
This is not about polluters it's about city workers justifying their jobs! & Getting fees from small business so the only growth in SD is big business. What small biz can wait 60-180 days for permits! Let alone the $$& We'd go broke!