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Rule 310 Frequently Asked Questions

What is Rule 310 Operational Development Fee? Rule 310 is an enforceable regulation adopted to address indirect operational emissions resulting from residential and commercial development. Indirect sources of emissions are facilities as well as land uses which do not in themselves emit a significant amount of emissions but rather they attract or generate motor vehicle trips which result in emissions of ozone precursors (VOC’s, ROG, and NOx), carbon monoxide (CO) and fine particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5). This rule addresses only PM10 and NOx emissions.

What are operational emissions? Operational emissions are not related to construction emissions. When developing projects are finalized, that is constructed and opened to use either for residential or commercial purposes, the project is considered to be in its operational phase. Once a project is in its operational phase, emissions resulting from the daily operations or uses of the project are considered to be operational emissions. Because residential and commercial buildings are typically built to last up to 30 or more years, emissions resulting from the use of motor vehicles during the life of the project are considered to be long term thus having a significant impact on air quality.

Who must comply with Rule 310? All project proponents seeking a building permit for the construction of new residential and commercial developments or existing commercial developments seeking a building permit to expand their current facility.

Are there any exemptions to the rule applicability? Are there any exemptions to the rule applicability? Yes, the rule identifies seven (7) exemptions. Although the rule lists exemptions, the project proponent must still submit an application for the exemption to be certified.< br /> Exemptions:

  1. Residential minor subdivisions of four (4) units or less.
  2. Low income residential projects (proof required of government listing and funding).
  3. Reconstruction where development is originally damaged or destroyed and no expansion of square footage occurs.
  4. Remodeling of commercial or residential development where no expansions of square footage occurs.
  5. Remodeling or expansion at existing single family residential dwelling.
  6. Industrial projects subject to permitting requirements under the Air Pollution Control District rules and regulations.
  7. Proposed projects where the developer has opted to implement an “Alternative Emission Reduction Plan”.

What documentation is required by the Air District if I want to build a commercial or residential development? All project proponents seeking a building permit must submit a Rule 310 application and a copy of the project’s site plan. The application MUST be properly filled out identifying the physical address and all Area Parcel Numbers (APN’s). Because projects are not all the same, the Air District may require additional information such as a lot tracking sheet, from the project proponent in order to finalize the application.

What must I do once my Rule 310 application is received and processed by the Air District? The Air District provides the owner/developer with two signed stamped copies of the finalized Rule 310 application along with a receipt for payment. One copy of the application is for the owner/developer’s record. The second copy is required before the local building department can issue a building permit.

Are there any other Air District rule requirement’s I must comply with other than Rule 310? Construction of new commercial, residential and industrial developments are all subject to the Regulation VIII-Fugitive Dust Rules. Rule 801-Construction And Earthmoving Activities, requires that residential developments with construction areas of 10 acres or more to develop a Dust Control Plan. Non-residential projects of 5 acres or more are also required to develop a Dust Control Plan. In addition, some construction equipment will require permits from the Air District. Such equipment can be: power generators, air compressors and other sorts of combustion engines. It is therefore recommended that the owner/developer visit the Air District office in advance and prior to the submittal of the Rule 310 application to ensure their project will be in compliance with all the Air District rules and regulations.

Are temporary trailers used as offices required to pay the Rule 310 fee? Yes, all trailers must pay the Rule 310 fee.

Can the payment of the Rule 310 fee be delayed? Deferral of payments is allowed as stipulated under section E.1.a of Rule 310. A project proponent may select to defer his/her fees until the time of the Certificate of Occupancy is issued by the building department. This request must be made to the APCD in writing stating the reason for the request. This process will include the submittal of a Deferral Agreement application to the APCD for approval.

What should I do if a City issues a building permit and I did not pay the Rule 310 fee? Contact the APCD office immediately upon the discovery of the error. Failure to pay the Rule 310 fee will result in the issuance of a violation.

Does the Air District provide another option instead of paying the Rule 310 Fee? Yes, the owner/developer has the option of developing an Alternative Emission Reduction Plan which will allow the project owner/developer to mitigate its total emissions through a project of its choosing. For example, the project proponent might prefer to mitigate it’s emissions by paving a road or parking lot, modifying or retrofitting engines (emission reductions must be surplus and not required by law). The proposed Alternative Emission Reduction Plan must comply with Section F of Rule 310.

Are all commercial projects required to pay the same fee regardless of the type of project? All commercial projects are required to pay the $1.60 per square foot unless the project is a warehouse with less than 148 ADTs. Warehouses that generate below 148 ADTs are only required to pay $.38 per square foot. However if the owner/operator believes the emissions of their proposed project are overestimated, then the project proponent has the option of requesting a review as per Section D.1. All project requests for review will be subject to Section G. of Rule 310.

What happens to the collected fees? The Rule 310 fees collected are separated into two separate accounts. One of the accounts is designated for funding mitigation projects that reduce Ozone precursor emissions and the other provides funding for mitigation projects that reduce PM10 emissions. The funds are redistributed by the Air District through a Request For Proposal (RFP) process on a yearly basis throughout the County of Imperial and everyone is welcome to apply.

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