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Cooling Towers

Cooling towers are specialized heat exchangers designed to remove heat from sources heated by industrial processes.  There are several types of cooling towers ranging in numerous sizes.  Industrial cooling towers typically consist of crossflow or counterflow mechanical draft towers in either an induced draft or forced draft configuration. The primary industries which use cooling towers include petroleum refineries, chemical manufacturing plants, primary metals processing plants, and glass manufacturing plants.  In some cases, water treatment chemicals, such as chromium, are added to cooling tower waters to protect equipment and piping from corrosion while controlling algae growth. Drift eliminators are used in conjunction with cooling towers to remove water droplets from the discharging air; therefore, minimizing the loss of process water and escape of air pollutants.

What Needs A Permit?

  • Cooling Towers or Evaporative Condensers where the total combined water circulation rate of the unit(s) is greater than 5000 gallons (19 kiloliters) per minute.
  • Any Cooling Tower or Evaporative Condenser which use chromium additives in the cooling tower waters.

What Does Not Need A Permit?

Cooling Towers or Evaporative Condensers associated with HVAC systems, which are not designed to remove air contaminants generated by or released from specific units or equipment

Permit Fees

New Installations: 

A new cooling tower shall submit a one-time NEW APPLICATION fee for applying Authority to Construct/Permit to Operate (Rule 300 District Fees).

Modifications

For modifications resulting in any physical change or change in method of operation shall pay the Modification fee specified in Rule 300.

Permit Application Completeness Determination

An application will not be accepted for processing until it is deemed complete.  The following will be required for the Monterey Bay Air Resources District (MBARD) to make a completeness determination:

Documents/Forms

Permit Application Forms

Form 1 ATC-PTO  ApplicationForm 400-General Application Fee Determination SheetCooling Tower and Evaporation Condenser Supplemental Information Form

Annual Reporting Forms

Annual Leased Cooling Tower & Refrigeration Condenser Equipment Reporting Form

Related Rules

MBARD Rules

Rule 200 PERMITS REQUIRED

Rule 207 REVIEW OF NEW OR MODIFIED SOURCES

Rule 218 TITLE V FEDERAL OPERATING PERMITS

Rule 221 FEDERAL PREVENTION OF SIGNIFICANT DETERIORATION

Rule 222 FEDERAL MINOR SOURCES REVIEW

Rule 300 DISTRICT FEES

Rule 400 VISIBLE EMISSIONS

Rule 402 NUISANCES

Rule 403 PARTICULATE MATTER

Rule 436 TITLE V GENERAL PROHIBITORY RULE

Rule 1000 PERMIT GUIDELINES AND REQUIREMENTS FOR SOURCES EMITTING TOXIC AIR CONTAMINANTS

California Health and Safety Code, Section 42301.6, Public Notice For Possible Source Of Air Hazardous Emissions Near School Prior To Approving Permit

Federal Rules

National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Industrial Process Cooling Towers State Rules

California Code of Regulation, Section 17 CCR 93103, Chromate Treated Cooling Towers