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Air Quality

The Air Quality Division works to protect the health and welfare of District residents, visitors, and the natural environment by reducing the concentration of pollutants in the outdoor air. The Division issues permits, performs permit inspection and enforcement of laws, and monitors air quality while developing plans for its improvement.

Apply for an Air Pollutant Permit
The Division reviews designs and modifications for new and existing pollution sources and controls. Permits are issued allowing sources to emit limited amounts of pollution, meeting air quality laws.

Air Quality Inspections, Enforcement, and Outreach
The Division inspects major and minor sources of air pollution in the District, enforces air quality laws (including responding to outdoor air pollution problems), and performs education and outreach on air quality issues.
Related work includes:

Asbestos Abatement
Ensures that asbestos removal contractors protect their own health and safety, and the health and safety of building occupants and the general public.

Air Quality Exceptional Events
Air quality exceptional events are unusual or naturally occurring events that can affect air quality but are not reasonably controllable using techniques that DOEE's air agency may implement to attain and maintain the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS).

Vehicle Anti-Idling
With a few exceptions, motor vehicles powered by gasoline or diesel are not allowed to idle for more than three minutes while the vehicle is parked, stopped or standing.

Odor Control
DOEE odor regulations require certain facilities known to produce odors to develop an Odor Control Plan (OCP) subject to DOEE approval.

Air Quality Monitoring
Staff maintain and operate a 24-hour ambient air quality monitoring network that allows for accurate reporting of current air quality in the District.

Air Quality Regulations
Air quality regulations focus on reducing emissions from a variety of sources, including industrial and commercial buildings, vehicles, and construction.

Air Quality Planning
Information is synthesized during the air quality planning process to identify and implement strategies for air quality improvement.

Vehicle Inspections and Maintenance
Staff conduct performance audits and program monitoring to measure how effectively the Vehicle Emissions Inspection and Maintenance Program controls pollution from light and medium-duty gasoline vehicles in the District.

Mobile Community Air Monitoring Pilot Project
DOEE partnered with air quality and climate tech leader Aclima to launch an air quality monitoring pilot program in three priority communities. This project provides block-by-block information, on air pollution in these communities.

Air Quality Events

  • Open House: Anacostia Freeway Near Road Station Air Monitor on Thursday, May 9th from 10:00am-12:00pm
    Location: Near Road Air Monitor Station, 3621 Benning Road Northeast Washington, DC 20019
    Come see one of our stationary monitors and learn a little about what our air quality monitoring team does every day! The Anacostia Freeway Near-Road monitoring station measures nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide and PM 2.5 and is right next to I-295. We’re opening it to the public and hope you can come visit!
  • Clearing the Air: an Overview of DC's Air Monitoring Initiatives on Wednesday, May 8th at 5:00pm (virtual)
    DOEE gave an overview of what we’ve been doing this year, like recent rulemakings and our hypermobile monitoring project, and provided info on our current and upcoming activities.
  • Ribbon Cutting: Ward 8 Air Quality Monitor on Tuesday, May 7th at 3:00pm
    Location: Bald Eagle Recreation Center, 100 Joliet Street Washington, DC 20032
    The District has a new ambient air monitor at the Bald Eagle Rec Center in Ward 8! Join us for our ribbon cutting for the monitor!
  • Community Meeting: Soliciting Input on Upcoming Mobile Air Quality Monitoring Project with Aclima (Phase II) on Thursday, April 4, 2024 at 4:00pm
    DOEE provided an overview of our upcoming mobile air quality monitoring project and requested public feedback on areas to focus on within the neighborhoods already designated for the project. The Air Quality Division is accepting feedback on the project through April 19th.
  • Informational Session on the New Draft Air Quality Permit for Fort Myer Construction Corporation on March 6, 2024
    DOEE provided an overview of the new draft permit for Fort Myer Construction Corporation’s existing asphalt plant at 2001 5th Street NE, and how the requirements of this draft permit differ from the last permit. DOEE also informed participants on how District residents can provide public comment on the draft permit.
  • Community Meeting: Results of Hyperlocal Monitoring Pilot (Wards 5, 6 & 7) on November 16, 2023
  • Community Meeting: Follow-Up Discussion on the Future Ward 8 Monitor on October 24, 2023
  • Clearing the Air: Community Meeting on Planned Ward 8 Air Quality Monitor on June 29, 2023
    DOEE is setting up a new ambient air quality monitoring station in Ward 8. We’d like to tell you about the new monitor, why we monitor air quality and get your feedback on the best location for the new monitor.
  • Launch of Mobile Community Air Monitoring Pilot Project with Aclima - May 25, 2023
  • Public Screening of “Unbreathable: the Fight for Healthy Air” & Air Quality Discussion in partnership with Empower DC - May 5, 2023
  • Public Meeting: Review of Air Quality Testing Results for National Engineering Products - February 7, 2023

Clearing the Air Community Workshop Series
Clearing the Air Workshops are an opportunity for the public to learn about DOEE's Air Quality Division. During these sessions we'll cover everything from the science of air pollution to the laws and regulations that protect our health from harmful emissions. Recordings of past events and notifications of upcoming events are available.

VW SettlementVolkswagen Settlement
The District is expected to receive a total of $8.125 million from the Volkswagen settlement over their use of vehicle emission cheating devices. Read More>>