Air Quality Program - Air Operating Permit

UW power plant stack (5K)

UW Air Operating Permit

The legal authorization for Air Operating Permits (AOP) is found in Title V of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments. An Air Operating Permit combines all operational and procedural requirements and emission standards for an emission source into one document.

The Washington Department of Ecology and local air authorities in Washington State (the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, in our case) have been authorized by the EPA to administer AOPs locally. The University of Washington AOP was issued by the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency in 2001.

The full UW Air Operating Permit can be found online at:

Air pollution sources on campus

The Seattle campus has several air pollutant sources related to research and general campus operations. Our natural gas-powered power plant, fire (3K)which supplies steam, chilled water, compressed air, and on average about 10% of the electricity used on Seattle campus, also produces nitrous oxides (nitrogen in the air is oxidized during combustion) and carbon monoxide (due to incomplete combustion of natural gas). It is a modern gas-fired power plant that uses the latest in pollution control technology. Plant engineers control combustion parameters to reduce both NOx and CO as much as possible. Particulate matter concentrations are very low.

We also have paint spray booths, a gas station, machine shop dust sources, and emission sources related to research. These have the potential to emit toxic air pollutants as well as some carbon monoxide, NOx, and volatile organic carbon compounds (VOCs).

Sources of air pollutants on campus
Boiler No. 3Power Plant
Boiler No. 4Power Plant
Boiler No. 5Power Plant
Boiler No. 6Power Plant
Boiler No. 7Power Plant
CrematoryMagnuson Health Science Center
Dust collectorGould Hall
Dust collectorPhysical Plant Carpenter Shop
Gas stationFleet Services
CyclonePlant Services Building
Horizontal ScrubberFluke Hall
Paint spray boothArt Building
Paint spray boothCeramic Metal Arts Building
Paint spray boothPlant Services Building
Paint spray boothMagnuson Health Sciences Center
Paint spray boothOcean Sciences Building

Air Pollution Compliance Oversight Program

To help assure that the University complies with all provisions in its permit, EH&S Environmental Programs has established an Air Pollution Compliance Oversight Program. This program is a proactive approach intended to meet all permit (AOP) requirements, comply with regulations and reinforce the University's efforts to minimize impacts of its activities on the neighboring community and the environment. The program:

  • Helps identify compliance requirements in the permit
  • Provides technical assistance and support
  • Conducts internal audits
  • Evaluates additional air pollution sources at UW
warning (11K)