Has this ever happened to you?
After you tell your VP of production that he cannot install his new equipment because he has to get a pre-construction permit first, he tells you that it is unacceptable and he threatens to call the state senator or the governor. He wants to “bypass” this lengthy permitting process because customers are clamoring for his products. He has orders to fill. He has to make his numbers.
Situations like this happen a lot more frequently than you think. The production folks somehow get the idea that the sole purpose of the regulatory agency is to assist them in meeting their production quotas. To the contrary, the agency people are there to implement state and federal laws that say you cannot install any new air emission sources without first getting a pre-construction permit. That’s the law of the land.
If your VP calls up the governor’s office and tries to do an end run on the permitting process, two things will likely happen. First, he will get turned down. The governor’s office will most likely tell your VP to pay an extra fee to get on the “fast permitting track”. Most agencies have that program. He will still have to wait and get his construction permit.
Second, you will have made an enemy in the permit writer once he finds out that you try to bypass him. Put yourself in the permit writer’s shoes. How would you feel if some one goes over your head to your boss?
The best way to get a permit in a timely manner is to be upfront with the agency. Provide everything the agency needs to process your permit in a timely manner. Try to do it right the first time. Do not play cat-and-mouse game with the permit writer. Be courteous. Be professional. Remember – the permit is simply doing his job – just like you are. He is not your enemy. But if you treat him like one, he will become one.
On last point. If you hire a consultant to get a permit for you, make sure that the consultant has a good working relationship with the agency and your consultant gets along with the permit writer. You do NOT want an arrogant consultant representing you before the agency.