Abrasive Blasting

Abrasive blasting is defined as the cleaning or preparation of a surface by forcibly propelling a stream of abrasive material against a surface.  "Sandblasting" is also a term that describes this activity and for all purposes means the same as abrasive blasting.  Confined abrasive blasting is conducted inside a permanent building.  It may require the installation of a high efficiency dust collector device (e.g. a fabric or cartridge filter) in order to comply with Best Available Control Technology requirements.  Unconfined abrasive blasting is generally performed outdoors.

Particulate emissions from abrasive blasting operations can be a significant source of air pollution. To address this activity, the California Air Resources Board (ARB) adopted air pollution standards and requirements that apply to abrasive blasting operations and are enforced by local air districts. These standards are found in Title 17 of the California Code of Regulations, sections 92000 through 92520.  The general provisions in §92500 require abrasive blasting activities to be conducted within a permanent building. Only under special conditions may abrasive blasting be conducted outdoors (unconfined).

What Needs a Permit?

  • A permit is required for all confined or unconfined abrasive blasting operations that does not meet the exemptions specified in District Rule 201 Sources Not Requiring Permits, Section 4.1.
  • Non-electric compressors (i.e. combustion engines) will be permitted with the abrasive blasting unit. 

As specified in Rule 201, Section 4.1, the following equipment or any exhaust system or collector serving exclusively such equipment is exempt from permit requirements:

  • Abrasive blast cabinet‑dust filter integral combination units where the total internal volume of the blast section is 50 cubic feet or less.
  •  Blast cleaning equipment using a suspension of abrasive in water.
  • Blast cleaning equipment with a manufacture’s sand capacity rating of 100 pounds or less (45.4 kg), or 1 cubic foot or less. 
  • Blast cleaning equipment that uses no more than a total of 800 pounds (360 kg) of new or recycled abrasive material in any calendar year.

Permit Fees

New Installations:

A new abrasive blasting equipment 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 SheetAbrasive Blasing Supplemental Information FormInternal Combustion Engine Supplemental Information Form (if needed)

Reference Link

CARB Abrasive Blasting Program

Related Rules

MBARD Rules

Rule 200 PERMITS REQUIRED

Rule 201 SOURCES NOT REQUIRING PERMITS

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 404 SULFUR COMPOUNDS AND NITROGEN OXIDES

Rule 412 SULFUR CONTENT OF FUELS

Rule 413 REMOVAL OF SULFUR COMPOUNDS

Rule 436 TITLE V GENERAL PROHIBITORY RULE

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

State Rules

California Code of Regulations, Title 17, Subchapter 6, Section 92000, Visible Emissions

California Code of Regulations, Title 17, Subchapter 6, Section 92210, Public Nuisance

California Code of Regulations, Title 17, Subchapter 6, Section 92500, Outdoor Abrasive Blasting

California Code of Regulations, Title 17, Subchapter 6, Section 92520, Abrasive Blasting Of Stucco And Concrete

California Health and Safety Code, Section 41901-41905, Sandblasting

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