Clean Air

The first Clean Air Act was passed by Congress in 1963 in response to fatal air pollution events in the U.S. and Britain in the 1940s and 1950s.  Amended and strengthened in 1970 and 1990, clean air legislation combined with strong enforcement of air rules by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have improved air quality in the U.S.  The Iowa Department of Natural Resources administers clean air regulations in Iowa. 

Iowa State University is defined as a major source of air pollution under the Clean Air Act (CAA), stemming from two major facilities, ISU Power Plant and ISU Central Campus, along with several smaller off-campus affiliates, including the BioCentury Research Farm (BCRF), and outlying agricultural research farms.  Environmental Health and Safety administers CAA regulations for ISU Central Campus, BCRF, and the outlying affiliates only. (EH&S does not administer regulations for ISU Power Plant.)

Regulated activities include all equipment and activities that emit materials designated as pollutants under the CAA.  This includes, but is not limited to, combustion gases (such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and sulfur oxides); dusts, fumes and mists from grain handling, grinding, welding, cement mixing and casting; organic vapors from fuel, chemicals used in research, art and design and maintenance; any priority pollutant (SOX, NOX, COX, Ozone, Particulate Matter and Lead); chemicals designated as Greenhouse Gases (primarily refrigerants, carbon dioxide and halogenated hydrocarbons); and materials listed as Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPS).

The goals of the EH&S Clean Air Act program are to

  • Identify sources of emissions on the ISU Central Campus and at outlying facilities

  • Reduce to the fullest extent possible the emissions of pollutants from campus emission points

  • Ensure university permits and regulatory requirements are met

Please send any questions, comments, or concerns to the EH&S Environmental Programs team at