Who is responsible for ensuring all applicable permits and rules are adhered to on rented equipment? This question has recently been posed to MAA in regards to who is responsible for making sure that appropriate air quality permits are obtained on rented equipment.
According to R 336.1201a of the Administrative Rules for Air Pollution Control (Rule 201) the owner or operator is responsible for applying for a general permit to install. However, in the case of rented equipment, the owner of the equipment (i.e. the rental company) does not have control over that piece of equipment once it leaves their yard. As a result, industry practice has been that the operator (i.e. lessee) applies for the permit. This will ensure that MDEQ is notified as to where and when that equipment will be put into operation.
However, if the lessee does not apply for and obtain the appropriate permits, then any enforcement action may revert back to the owner (rental company) of the equipment. In an effort to help rental companies offer a level of protection for these situations, it is recommended to place a clause in rental agreements that the lessee “must be familiar with and fully comply with all local, state and federal laws, rules, executive orders, regulations, local ordinances, and state administrative Board Resolutions that are current at the date of the signed lease agreement.” It is also recommended to include a statement that the lessee “indemnifies and holds the leasing company harmless against any claim arising from any violation” or similar language.
In addition to incorporating the above language into the rental agreement, it may be beneficial to develop a checklist detailing the requirement requirements. Included in the checklist could be a statement that the lessee has been informed that they are required to apply for and obtain all applicable permits including the MDEQ Air Quality General Permit to Install for Nonmetallic Mineral Crushing Facilities.
Please contact the MAA office if you have any questions.