UPDATE: Our office at 69 W. Washington St. is open, but with limited staffing to encourage social distancing and prevent the spread of COVID-19. However, services are still being provided.

About Certificates of Operation (COO)

Please note that in accordance with Section 30-186 of the Cook County Municipal Code, “A current certificate of operation shall be required for any person to use or operate any fuel-burning, combustion, process equipment, process, or air pollution control device.”

Payment for a certificate of operation is required if your commercial or industrial facility operates any fuel-burning, combustion, process equipment, process, or air pollution control device. Price is determined based on equipment type, the amount of fuel burned, and the amount of fuel stored on-site. 

For instance, fees are assessed for each piece of fuel burning equipment that has the potential to generate 1,000,000+ BTUs annually, on-site fuel storage of 250+ gallons and each piece of non-fuel burning equipment (i.e. control devices and process equipment). Invoices are sent annually via email.

All payments for your Certificate of Operation (COO) shall be submitted through the electronic permit processing portal. Enter the required information from the Statement of Account that you received.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

View an Annual Invoice example.  

View a Statement of Account example. 

Do I need a Certificate of Operation?
Answering yes to any of the following questions indicates that you need a COO:

  • Does your commercial or industrial facility use fuel burning equipment that has the potential to generate 1,000,000+ BTUs annually? This is generally located on the nameplate of equipment.
  • Does your facility use non-fuel burning equipment such as process equipment or pollution control equipment?
  • Does your facility store 250+ gallons of fuel, waste oil, motor oil, hydraulic oil, coolant/antifreeze, automatic transmission fluid (ATF), etc. on site?
  • Have you received an invoice via email?
     

Do I need a Certificate of Operations if my property is in unincorporated Cook County?

Yes, facilities located within unincorporated Cook County must pay for and visibly post their annual certificate of operation.  

Do I need a Certificate of Operation if my property is in the suburbs or incorporated municipality within Cook County?

Yes, facilities located within incorporated municipalities in Cook County except for the City of Chicago must pay for and visibly post their annual certificate of operation.  

What is a BTU?

BTU is short for British thermal unit and is a unit of heat. One BTU is defined as the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. Most equipment has a tag with this information.

How much does a Certificate of Operation cost?

Pricing varies based on the type of equipment your facility uses, the amount of fuel burned, and amounts of fuel your facility stores on site. For more information on pricing, please read County fee schedule here

What do I need to do to receive my Certificate of Operation? 

  1. Open a copy of the Annual Invoice you received in your email and go to https://espay.cookcountyil.gov/DesWebPortal#/air to make payment.
  2. Select “Site Sign In” and enter in your CCDES Site ID located on your Annual Invoice.
  3. Make sure you select “Statement of Account” and select “Proceed to Checkout.” Please have your credit card ready.
  4. Make payment via credit or debit card.
  5. Download, Print, and Post your Certificate of Operation. Your Certificate will be sent to the email address that you listed on the portal.

Can I pay with an electronic check?

Yes, you may now pay with ACH Check or debit/credit card on the electronic permit processing portal. You will have instant access to your Certificate as soon as payment is made.

How long does it take to receive my Certificate of Operation permit?

Once payment is received, your certificate of operation is available for download from the electronic permit processing portal. You must print a copy of the COO along with conditions and post in a visible location in your facility.

How long is my Certificate of Operation valid for?

A COO is valid for the calendar year or until the due date for the next year’s invoice.

Can I add/remove equipment from my Certificate of Operation?

Yes, if any changes to the certificate are needed, applicants must register new equipment on portal and reach out to equipmentregistration@cookcountyil.gov to inquire about equipment removal. More information can be viewed here: https://espay.cookcountyil.gov/DesWebPortal#/air/equipmentfaq.

Please note that the list of equipment included in your 2021 invoice is based on your equipment inventory for 2020.

For additional information on equipment installation application requirements and fees, refer to Sections 30-151 through 30-164 and Section 32-1 of the Municipal Code. If you have any questions, please email equipmentregistration@cookcountyil.gov or call at (312) 603-8200 Option 3.

What can I revise on a Certificate of Operation?

You can revise any information on a Certificate of Operation (i.e. address and contact information). Revisions can be processed on the Certificate of Operation portal.

Other questions?

Please contact certificateofoperations@cookcountyil.gov or call at (312) 603-8200 Option 4.