Air Operating Permit

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 Department of Ecology and the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency are authorized by the EPA to administer permits, and an Air Operating permit was issued to the UW in 2001.

View the Air Operating Permit issued to the UW on the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency website.

Air pollutant sources

The University has several air pollutant sources related to research and general campus operations.

Our natural gas-powered power plant, which supplies steam, chilled water, compressed air and electricity produces nitrous oxides (NOx) and carbon monoxide (CO). It is a modern gas-fired power plant that uses the latest in pollution control technology, greatly reducing particulate matter concentrations.

We also have paint spray booths, a gas station, machine shops and emission sources related to research. These have the potential to emit toxic air pollutants as well as CO, NOx and volatile organic carbon compounds.

We do not allow Ethylene Oxide (EtO) or Chlorine Dioxide sterilization systems on campus. For more information, please contact Environmental Compliance at 206.616.5835.

Ozone-depleting substances

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 Facilities Services Refrigeration Shop Supervisor at 206.685.8835.

More information on ozone-depleting substances can be found on the EPA website.

Services available

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 (AOP) and managing refrigerants


Environmental Compliance Contact

(206) 616-5835