Air Permitting and Compliance
The Clean Air Act of 1970 gave the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) authority to regulate air pollutants, including the protection of stratospheric ozone.
The Washington State Department of Ecology and the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency are authorized by the EPA to regulate air pollution emitting equipment at all three UW campuses. The UW in Seattle is considered a Title V Source and retains an Air Operating Permit (AOP) issued by the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency.
View the Air Operating Permit issued to the UW on the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency website.
All construction projects and air pollutant sources at the University must comply with the University’s Air Operating Permit requirements and all related policies and regulations.
For any University construction or maintenance project, project managers should refer to the recommended guidelines (below) to ensure compliance with air quality regulations and permits.
If a University group or department wants to install and operate new air pollution emitting equipment (e.g., gas-fired kiln, coffee roaster, paint spray booth, etc.) contact EH&S to determine whether the equipment will need an air permit.
Note: Ethylene oxide and chlorine dioxide sterilization systems emit hazardous air pollutants and are not permitted on any UW campus.
Before any construction or maintenance project
- Verify whether the Air Operating Permit will affect your project or if your project will affect the Air Operating Permit by contacting the UW Facilities Environmental Engineer.
- Contact the UW Facilities Regulated Materials Office to evaluate the potential of regulated building materials existing on your project site. Note that approval from the Regulated Materials Office is required before the commencement of any capital project.
- Review contractor and subcontractor contract language with the Regulated Materials Office. Contractors and subcontractors must handle and regulated building materials according to the UW protocol.
During any construction or maintenance project
- Work with the contractor or subcontractor to develop a dust event form if needed.
- Keep proper records of any potential air emissions events or regulated building material events. (Contact the UW Facilities Environmental Engineer with questions.)
- Check in regularly with EH&S and UW Facilities and at key moments during the project.
- Notify the UW Facilities Environmental Engineer and EH&S whenever there is a suspected regulated building material disturbance.
After any construction or maintenance project
Continue to work with EH&S and UW Facilities if your project resulted in a Deviation Report, Notice of Violation, or Civil Penalty.
Permitted air pollutant sources
The University has several permitted air pollutant sources related to research and general campus operations. Permitted equipment includes industrial boilers, emergency diesel generators, and paint spray booths, among others.
If you are altering, modifying, or removing a permitted air pollutant source, please contact EH&S and the UW Facilities Environmental Engineer before any work is done. Altering, modifying, or removing existing equipment may require prior notification to the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency.
Federal regulations direct the use of ozone-depleting substances. Refrigerant gases, widely-used on campus, are categorized as ozone-depleting substances and must be managed accordingly.
The UW Facilities Refrigeration Shop ensures that all refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners and cooling units on campus are well-maintained. When they are removed from service, any ozone-depleting substances are either recycled or incinerated as waste so they do not destroy stratospheric ozone.
If you use a contractor to work on air conditioning or refrigeration equipment, or if you purchase and install new equipment, please notify the UW Facilities Services Refrigeration Shop Supervisor at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 206.685.1900.
More information on ozone-depleting substances can be found on the EPA website.
EH&S provides the following services:
- Guidance, consultation, regulatory oversight, and assistance with environmental quality compliance and permits
- Assistance with complying with the UW Air Operating Permit and managing ozone-depleting substances, including refrigerants
Contact UW Facilities regarding the following services:
- Determine if a project will impact (or be impacted by) the University’s Air Operating Permit
- Evaluate a project site to determine if regulated building materials exist
- Review contracts for regulated building materials language
- Guidance on recordkeeping of events, including dust, air emissions, regulated building materials and deviation events
- Assistance with violations and penalties
UW Facilities engineering contact
Environmental Engineer, UW Facilities Engineering Services