Air Quality

The Environmental Health & Safety Department assists the campus with air pollution prevention and provides compliance assistance on San Luis Obispo Air Pollution Control District (APCD), California Air Resources Board (CARB) and other Clean Air Act laws and regulations.

Equipment Permitting

Equipment, materials, and processes, which have the potential to emit air pollutants, may require a permit from the San Luis Obispo Air Pollution Control District (APCD), prior to installation or operation. Examples include, but are not limited to, boilers, paint booths, coating operations, printing operations, etching operations, sandblasting, fuel tanks, and stationary engines (including emergency generators).

Authorization must be obtained from the APCD prior to replacing, modifying, or moving any existing permitted processes or equipment. Permitted equipment have conditions associated with their use, such as recordkeeping or maintenance requirements, which must be closely followed at the intervals specified in the permit and emissions must be included in an annual emissions inventory that the campus must prepare and submit to the APCD in March of each year.

Building Demolition or Modification

Any building or structure modification or demolition must first be evaluated for the presence of asbestos and lead in affected building construction materials and may require prior notification to the APCD, under the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) standard.

For assistance in determining the requirements associated with a process, material, equipment, or demolition, please contact Erin Winett at

Air Permitting Resources and Guidance Documents:

Refrigerant Managment

High-Global Warming Potential refrigerants such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), and perfluorocarbons (PFCs) are used in a large variety of applications including chillers, refrigerators and freezers, and air conditioners.  If improperly vented to the atmosphere, these gases can cause harm to the environment and contribute to climate warming.  

Regulated refrigerants must be recovered from all equipment, regardless equipment size.  Repairs and recovery must be done by a Certified Refrigeration Technician.

Any department that has equipment that contains refrigerant must ensure that any repair is made by a Certified Refrigeration Technician and that disposal of any refrigerant-containing appliances is done through facilities to ensure that the proper procedures are followed. Contact the Facilities Department for the disposal or repair of refrigerant containing equipment at 805-756-5555.

Refrigerant Managment Resources and Guidance Documents:

Wildfire Smoke and Campus Air Quality

Wildfire smoke continues to affect many communities in California. The Air Pollution Control District reports the quality of the air in San Luis Obispo daily via the website The University remains open during unhealthy air days and you will need to take steps to protect the health of your employees who work outdoors.

If AQI is 151 – 200 (unhealthy) EVERYONE must be concerned. The campus remains open. Campus events and activities scheduled outdoors that involved prolonged or heavy exertion will be rescheduled to a time when the air quality is better. Outdoor work and prolonged or heavy exertion should be limited where practicable. Employees who work outdoors for more than one hour should be reassigned or provided an N95 respirator for voluntary use. Indoor work and/or activities will continue as scheduled.

Please ensure employees who work outdoors are provided with information about the hazards and precautions of working outdoors during wildfire smoke events, and that they are offered an N95 mask when the AQI is above 150. It’s important that employees are encouraged to report to their supervisor any health concerns associated with wild fire smoke while working outdoors.

Wildfire Smoke and Air Quality Resources and Guidance Documents: