Gas Turbines


Gas turbine engines emit air contaminants including oxides of nitrogen, carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, oxides of sulfur, particulate matter and toxic air contaminants. Engines with output power ratings of 0.3 MW or greater and heat input of 1 million BTU per hour or greater require a permit to operate.

Gas turbine engines are typically fueled with natural gas and may also use liquid fuel oil as a backup fuel. Gas turbines can also combust biogas including landfill or digester produced gas. Small gas turbines are often used at institutional and industrial facilities as part of cogeneration systems, or may be utilized in simple or combined cycle configurations to produce power for the electrical grid. For gas turbine test cells, please see the turbine test cell/test stand page for permitting information.

The information on this page will assist in the completion and submittal of an application for each gas turbine. Each section of the page contains important information needed to submit 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. Also listed below are required attachments that need to be submitted with the application. You may contact the District with any questions.

General Application Word PDF

Gas Turbine Engine Supplemental Form Word PDF

Required Attachments:

    -Plot Plan including stack location and nearby building dimensions

    -Manufacturer emission data including startup and shutdown emission estimates

    -Engine specifications/data sheets including information for different expected loads/operating scenarios

    -Control equipment specifications (if applicable)

    -BACT analysis including manufacturer/supplier cost estimates (if applicable)

    -Actual emissions from existing facility (for major sources)

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

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Estimated Fees

The correct fee must be submitted with your application in order for it to be accepted. For this type of equipment, fees are determined based on the time and materials required to conduct the review, so a fee estimate must be obtained from the District prior to submittal. Please note that application fees 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.

Before submitting an application, contact the District (see bottom of page) to obtain an application fee estimate 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 2.19% that is charged by the credit card provider.

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Best Available Control Technology

If a piece of equipment or a process emits more than 10 pounds per day of particulate matter (PM10), oxides of nitrogen (NOx), volatile organic compounds (VOC) or oxides of sulfur (SOx), the application must include a best available control technology (BACT) analysis. Gas turbine engines often trigger BACT requirements for any or all of these pollutants. 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 20.120.2, 20.3, and 20.5

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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.         You must indicate on the general application form that your submittal includes trade secret information to ensure that it is not inadvertently made publicly available.      

2.         A letter disclosing the proprietary information. Ideally, this information should be separated from your application and clearly identifiable. This can be submitted electronically, and can be a separate submittal from the main application package.

3.       A letter for the  public record explaining why the information needs to be held as trade secret or is otherwise exempt from disclosure.

Applications submitted with incomplete material composition data due to failure to include 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 gas turbine engine applications may take longer than 60 days to evaluate include: the project is a complex project specifically at a major source, if the project requires a mandatory public notice period due to being installed within 1000 feet of a school or triggering the requirement for a air quality impact analysis (AQIA), if they do not initially pass a health risk assessment (HRA) or AQIA, if BACT is not proposed or complete BACT analysis is not submitted or for major sources if actual emission data is not included.

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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Depending on the construction date, stationary source emissions, fuel type and heat input/energy output ratings, the following federal New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) and National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) may be applicable to your gas turbinesIf you are determining applicable requirements prior to submittal, it is important to review each rule individually and consult applicable requirements of the general provisions of each part as well to comprehensively determine all requirements.

NESHAP YYYY - Only applies to engines located at major sources of hazardous air pollutants (HAP).

NSPS GG and NSPS KKKK - GG applies to engines installed prior to February 18, 2005 and KKKK applies to engines installed after this date. These rules contain emission standards and monitoring requirements for NOx and SOx. The exact emission standards and monitoring techniques depend on the size and age of the turbine engine and the control device utilized. These rules and the associated general provisions also contain testing, record-keeping, notification and reporting requirements that may apply to the turbine engine. It is important to note averaging times for the specific emission standards. Emission standards contained in these rules do not have exemptions for startup and shutdown periods.

The engineer assigned to an application will review the proposed equipment to determine the requirements of these regulations that may apply to the gas turbine and include them as conditions in your authority to construct.

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District Rules

Several District rules may apply to your equipment. General rules that may apply to gas turbine engines include Rules 5051525354 and 62.

Equipment specific Rules 69.3 and 69.3.1 apply to gas turbine engines. A complete listing of the District's rules can be found here.

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Calculation Procedures and Additional Resources

Combustion Equipment Calculation Procedures - This page contains procedures that should be used to calculate emissions from each gas turbine. The correct calculation procedure should be selected based on fuel type, turbine size and emission control technology.

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 each page, and the correct emission factors selected from the list based on equipment. If available, manufacturer provided equipment specific emission data or source test results should be utilized before using default emission factors. Startup and shutdown emission estimates should be provided by the gas turbine manufacturer. 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

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 can be reached at (858) 586-2656.

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