Abrasive Blasting Equipment

Abrasive Blasting Equipment

Abrasive blasting equipment emits air contaminants including particulate matter and potentially toxic emissions. Many types of abrasive blasting equipment require a permit to operate from the District. Specific types of equipment that are exempt from permit requirements are listed in District Rule 11.

Emissions from abrasive blasting equipment can be controlled by a variety of means including using specific types of abrasive material, wet abrasive material or by enclosing the blasting operation within a temporary enclosure or permanent booth or cabinet that is vented to a dust collector. This page contains information for applying for a stationary permit for abrasive blasting. For information on registering a portable abrasive blast unit, please visit our portable registration page.

The following information will assist in the completion and submittal of an application for each abrasive blast unit. Each section of the page contains important information needed to process an application. 

Application Forms

Application forms tell us about your operation and allow us to permit your process. Accurate and complete information decreases processing time and helps avoid additional charges for unnecessary revisions. Please carefully review and complete the following forms. Depending on the type of equipment, different supplemental forms should be used. Also listed below are required attachments that need to be submitted with the application.

General Application Word PDF

Supplemental Forms:

    Abrasive Blasting Pot/Machine not used in an enclosure Word PDF

    Bulk Abrasive Storage System not associated with an enclosure Word PDF

    Spent Abrasive Handling/Recycling System not associated with an enclosure Word PDF

    Abrasive Blasting rooms, cabinets, and booths* Word PDF

*If your process includes abrasive blasting that is conducted in a room, cabinet, or booth, you do not need to separately complete additional supplemental forms under this section

Required Attachments:

    Plot Plan including stack location and nearby building dimensions (only required if toxics may be emitted)

    Control equipment specifications including filter efficiency (if applicable)

The general and equipment specific application forms must be submitted with each application packet. 

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Estimated Fees

The correct fee, as shown in the table(s) below, must be submitted with your application in order for it to be accepted. Please note that the fees listed in these tables are estimated and the final fee may be more or less than this amount based on time and materials spent processing the application. The District maintains work records for this purpose.

Abrasive Blast Pots with no Peripheral Equipment
Abrasive Blast Pots Loaded Pneumatically or from Hoppers
Bulk Abrasive Storage Systems
Spent Abrasive Handling Systems
Abrasive Blast Cabinet/Room/Booth (no abrasive transfer or recycling system)
Abrasive Blast Cabinet/Room/Booth (with abrasive transfer or recycling system)

If you are unsure of the correct fee contact the District (see bottom of page) to obtain an application fee estimate to confirm the fees required for application submittal. Please note that an additional fee may also apply depending on the method of payment. A breakdown of how the application fee(s) are determined can be seen here. Additional information can be found in District Rule 40.

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How to Pay

These fees may be paid by check payable to "Air Pollution Control District" or by credit card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express). 

If you choose to email or fax your application and intend on paying with a credit card, you must provide contact information (name and phone number) so that the District can complete payment.

Please note that credit card payments are assessed a transaction fee of 2.2% that is charged by the credit card provider.

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Best Available Control Technology

Unless abrasive blasting equipment consitutes a major source or does not comply with state standards it is not subject to BACT requirements; however if needed, the District has a BACT guide to assist with the analysis. If you have questions or need assistance, reference the contact information at the bottom of this page. Please review District Rules 20.1 and 20.2

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District Rule 1200 applies to any new, relocated, or modified emission unit which may increase emissions of one or more toxic air contaminant(s). The proposed project must comply with Rule 1200. Proposed equipment may require toxics best available control technology (TBACT) depending on the project. Please review District Rule 1200 for further details. 

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Trade Secret

District rules address how information that is submitted to the District is managed. District Regulation IX contains District rules 176 and 177. Please refer directly to these rules when submitting trade secret information. However, be aware that you will need to submit:

1.       A letter disclosing the proprietary information. This can be submitted electronically.

2.       A letter for the public record explaining why the information needs to be held as trade secret.

The inclusion of proprietary information can significantly delay permit applications. In an effort to expedite the permit application process it is recommended that you contact the manufacturer or vendor of any proprietary materials that are used in the process and prepare the required letters as part of your application submittal. 

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In 1989, the California state legislature passed a law, AB 3205, designed to protect schoolchildren from hazardous air contaminants. The law, as currently written, requires the District to notify parents of schoolchildren, neighboring businesses and residents of all new or modified equipment that emits any hazardous air contaminant into the air which will be installed within 1,000 feet of a school site. The law also requires the District to consider any comments before authorizing construction. Please review your proposed location. If a school property boundary is located within 1,000 feet of the proposed emissions point, the AB3205 process will be initiated. This process requires a 30 day public comment period and the overall process will delay projects by at least six weeks.

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How to Submit Application Packet



Permit Processing

10124 Old Grove Rd

San Diego, CA 92131-1649


(858) 586-2601

Select equipment type applications can now be submitted online through Citizen Access. Sign up today to get connected to your applications and permits. 

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Application Status

The District will act on complete applications as soon as possible but at most within 180 days. The engineer assigned to your application will review it and contact you within 30 days of receipt to confirm that it is complete or request additional information. Typically permits are issued in about 60 days. More complex processes will take longer. Common reasons that abrasive blasing permits may take longer than 60 days to evaluate include: if they require a mandatory public notice period due to being installed within 1000 feet of a school, if they do not initially pass a health risk assessment (HRA), or if information to justify dust collector filter efficiency is not submitted or is not satisfactory.

Ensuring your application is complete is the best way to reduce processing time. Complete emissions data is the most important factor in minimizing application processing time and iterative information requests. If you have any questions about what information is required, please contact the District using the information at the bottom of this page. Learn more about the rules that govern application processing time. 

Sign up for Citizen Access to get up to date information on the status of your application.

Learn more about the application process and what to expect.

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These rules do not typically apply to abrasive blasting operations with some exceptions for abrasive blasting operations associated with processes such as aerospace or marine coating that are subject to a federal National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) that applies to the entire process line.

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District Rules

Several District rules may apply to your equipment. General rules that may apply to abrasive blasting operations include Rules 5051 and 52.

Equipment specific Rule 71 applies to "non-permanent" abrasive blasting operations so does not typically apply to permitted abrasive blasting units. A complete listing of the District's rules can be found here.

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Calculation Procedures and Additional Resources

Abrasive Blasting Emission Calculation Procedures - This page contains procedures to be used for calculating emissions from this equipment that should be submitted with each application. Use of these calculation procedures will aid in minimizing application review time and costs. The calculation procedure can be found at the link at the top of the page and the correct emission factors selected from the list based on abrasive type.

If available, manufacturer provided equipment specific emission data or source test results should be utilized before using default emission factors. Sources of all emission data used must be included as attachments to the application.

AP-42 - An alternative compilation of emission factors and calculation procedures prepared by the EPA that may be utilized by the District in some situations for some equipment types. 

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Obtain Assistance

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Need Help? Have Questions?

Email the District or call (858) 586-2600 and ask for the duty engineer.

More in depth help and site visits can be performed by the District Small Business Assistance Program Coordinator who may be reached at (858) 586-2656.

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