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Non-Major Businesses

To preserve the quality of the air we breathe, we need the active participation of the businesses we regulate. We work with these businesses to help them understand registration and permit requirements, and the air quality laws and regulations that pertain to them so they can ensure their operations are in compliance.

When necessary, we enforce the requirements.

If you are in business, chances are you deal with many public agencies. We’ve provided information here to help owners and managers of non-major businesses – those that aren’t regulated under Title V of the federal Clean Air Act – understand the air quality regulations that pertain to them.

Types of Non-Major Businesses We Regulate and Their Permits

We regulate businesses in Island, Skagit and Whatcom counties that emit air pollutants. Businesses’ requirements vary because each business has different operations that emit different types of air pollutants in different amounts. Below there is a link to forms and information for new and existing non-major businesses. We also evaluate businesses’ needs on a case-by-case basis. If you’re unsure if you need to register or get a permit for your business, please contact us.

Asphalt Plants

Auto Body Shops

Boat Builders

Dry Cleaners

Cereal Manufacturers


Coffee Roasters


Fertilizer Processors

Gas Stations

Seed and Feed Mills


Plastic and Fiberglass Fabricators

Rock Crushers

Sand Blasters

Spray Coating Facilities

Wood Product Manufacturers

Non-Major Business Permits and Registration


We regulate more than 400 non-major air pollution sources in our jurisdiction. These businesses include hospitals, dry cleaners, gas stations, auto body shops, crematories, coffee roasters, spray booths, rock crushers, and boat builders – even a breakfast cereal manufacturer.

Our staff inspects these businesses regularly to ensure they are in compliance with air pollution regulations – the primary objective of our compliance work. Inspections and other compliance activities provide us with necessary evidence if we need to pursue enforcement against the businesses we regulate.


If your air quality is affected at home or work by activities at a non-major business, you can submit a complaint. (See below.) Because of the number of complaints we receive, we focus our responses on incidents that affect multiple people and properties.


Environmental service consultants

Partners for Clean Air

Clean air is one of our most precious resources. Businesses and other organizations in Island, Skagit and Whatcom counties play a significant role in helping to protect the air we all breathe.

We want to celebrate sources that do their part to improve air quality. We do that by encouraging them to participate in the annual Partners for Clean Air recognition program.

Our awards recognize businesses and other organizations at the Silver, Gold and Platinum levels for their emissions performance in the previous calendar year. To receive recognition, they must meet certain criteria. We accept applications early in the year for the previous calendar year’s operations and announce winners in March.

See “Additional Resources” below for ideas and assistance with energy efficiency, emissions reduction, and pollution prevention.


Businesses that meet the criteria below and submit an application form will receive a Silver award Partners for Clean Air window decal, and Northwest Clean Air will announce their award.

  • The facility has not received a notice of violation or corrective action notice from Northwest Clean Air in the past three years.
  • All required reports are completed and submitted on time.
  • All fees are paid to Northwest Clean Air on time.

Businesses that qualify for the Silver award, meet the criteria below and submit an application form will receive a Gold award Partners for Clean Air window decal, and the Northwest Clean Air Agency will announce their award.

The business must have implemented clean air practices during the last three years in at least two of the following four pollution prevention categories:

  • Energy Efficiency: lighting, heating/cooling, water heating, equipment, combustion
  • Emissions Reductions: process changes, material substitution, etc.
  • Sector Specific: air pollution prevention practices related to your specific business sector (such as gas stations, boilers, dry cleaners, surface coaters, spray coaters, and boat builders.)
  • Transportation: trip reduction, no-idle policies, cleaner fleets, diesel retrofits, etc.


Businesses that qualify for Gold award status can request to be considered for the Platinum award.

Northwest Clean Air presents Platinum awards to businesses that have gone above and beyond regulatory requirements to improve air quality.

The business that wins this award will receive a Platinum award Partners for Clean Air window decal and a plaque presented at our Board of Directors meeting. Northwest Clean Air also will announce the award.

Partners for Clean Air Application

Additional Resources