The Environmental Quality Division (EQD) is responsible for conducting compliance inspections of air emissions sources, enforcing state and local laws, monitoring pollutant trends, participating in legislative rulemakings, and working with community and industry partners. Following are brief descriptions of each of the EQD’s program areas:
Air Dispersion Modeling: The division has been using computer models to predict ambient concentrations of hazardous air pollutants. Emissions from stationary, mobile, and area-wide sources have been included in the modeling. The model predictions have been compared with measured concentrations to help evaluate the model performance and/or the emissions inventory.
Asbestos: The division responds to complaints about asbestos contamination, inspects facilities undergoing remodeling or demolition that contains asbestos, and reviews permits.
Compliance Inspections: The division inspects large and small industrial, manufacturing and commercial air pollution sources located in the City and County of Denver for compliance with state and federal laws, state air pollution permits and local city ordinances. This includes inspections of facilities that emit criteria and hazardous air pollutants, as well as air conditioning sources that emit chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s), which harm the earth’s protective ozone layer.
Fugitive Particulates: EQD responds to complaints received about fugitive dust, and inspects industrial and construction sources of fugitive dust. Call 3-1-1 if you observe a fugitive dust problem.
Mobile Sources: The division enforces the city’s smoking and idling vehicle ordinances, promotes the use of alternative fuels and alternative transportation and coordinates the City’s Green Fleets program.
Odors: Odors are regulated in the City and County of Denver, and the entire State of Colorado, as a nuisance issue, as opposed to a health issue. One of the difficulties faced by this and other environmental health departments is that odors, like other pollutants, do not abide by jurisdictional boundaries. Denver citizens are impacted by odor generating sources that are located outside of the city.
Open Burning/Wood Burning: The division enforces Denver’s ban on open burning, issues permits for variances to the ordinance, and responds to complaints. The division is also responsible for enforcing Denver’s ban on wood burning on “red” pollution days, reviewing permits for variances to the wood burning ordinance, and responding to complaints. The use of chimneys, fire pits, patio or outdoor “fireplace” devices or structures are all restricted under either the open burning or wood burning ordinances.