Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 70.16
Liaison Kylee Singh
Submission Date Sept. 19, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

California Polytechnic State University
OP-2: Outdoor Air Quality

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Kim Porter
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have policies and/or guidelines in place to improve outdoor air quality and minimize air pollutant emissions from mobile sources on campus?:

A brief description of the policies and/or guidelines to improve outdoor air quality and minimize air pollutant emissions from mobile sources:

The campus is guided by Executive Order 987, SB-32, local Air Pollution Control Permits and CSU Sustainability Policy - May 2014. Details from the sections regarding pollution and GHG emissions from the CSU Policy:
1. The CSU will strive to reduce system wide facility greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 1990 levels, or below, by 2020 consistent with AB 32, California’s Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (HSC §38550). Emissions will include both state and auxiliary organization purchases of electricity and natural gas; fleet, marine vessel usage; and other emissions the university or self-support entity has direct control over. The Chancellor’s Office staff will provide the baseline 1990 facility emission levels (for purchased electricity and natural gas) for the campuses that existed at that time and assist campuses added to the CSU after 1990 to determine their appropriate baseline. (14-New)
2. The CSU will strive to reduce facility GHG emissions to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2040. Campus tracking and reporting of their GHG inventory will be grounded in the American College and University President’s Climate Commitment guidelines or equivalent, with consideration to campus requested improvements. Metrics will include GHG emissions per FTE. (14-New)
3. The CSU will encourage and promote the use of alternative transportation and/or alternative fuels to reduce GHG emissions related to university associated transportation, including commuter and business travel. (14-New)

Has the institution completed an inventory of significant air emissions from stationary campus sources or else verified that no such emissions are produced?:

Weight of the following categories of air emissions from stationary sources::
Weight of Emissions
Nitrogen oxides (NOx) 0.00 Tons
Sulfur oxides (SOx) 0 Tons
Carbon monoxide (CO) 0 Tons
Particulate matter (PM) 0.01 Tons
Ozone (O3) 0 Tons
Lead (Pb) 0 Tons
Hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) 1.04 Tons
Ozone-depleting compounds (ODCs) 0 Tons
Other standard categories of air emissions identified in permits and/or regulations 0 Tons

A brief description of the methodology(ies) the institution used to complete its air emissions inventory:

Air toxins are regulated by the San Luis Obispo County Air Pollution Control District (APCD)
and California Air Resources Board (CARB). The San Luis Obispo County Air Pollution Control District maintains an air pollution emissions inventory for the County with some data collected from the California Air Resources Board (ARB). The air pollutants tracked by this inventory are known as ‘criteria pollutants’. Criteria pollutants include: Total Organic Gases (TOG) including its more reactive subset volatile organic gases (VOC), oxides of nitrogen (NOx), carbon monoxide (CO), oxides of sulfur (SOx) and particulate matter (PM). Sources of air pollution are grouped into the major categories of: stationary, mobile, area-wide and natural sources.

Stationary sources include fixed facilities such as: power plants, waste water treatment plants, auto body shops, and landfills. Most stationary sources are required to obtain a Permit to Operate from the District, and these facilities submit annual activity reports that are used to estimate their emissions. Emission estimation methods come from: actual emission testing, from the Environmental Protection Agency’s AP-42 Compilation of Emission Factors, and other evaluations.

Examples of area sources are: residential water heating, consumer products, unpaved roads, and crop tilling. Area sources may be spread out throughout the county, and each of those point sources individually may not appear to be important, but the collective emissions from many of these categories are very significant. This illustrates how the individual choices that we all make are very important to our air quality. We would encourage consumers to select energy efficient home appliances, the use of low emitting paints, and solvents and other water borne products.
Mobile sources are what we use to transport ourselves and do commerce like: ships, planes, trains and automobiles. Mobile sources are the largest category in the San Luis Obispo County inventory – the biggest piece of the emission pie. Most mobile source data is estimated by CARB for the entire state, but the District does have the responsibility of estimating some mobile source categories, like aircraft. Transportation choices that we all regularly make have a direct impact on the air quality in our county. We can all make choices to walk, ride a bike, carpool or take a bus rather than driving alone.

In addition to the man-made air pollution, there are also significant quantities of pollutants from natural sources. Natural sources include: biological and geological sources such as wildfires, windblown dust, gas seeps and the biogenic emissions of VOCs from plants and trees. Both the CARB and Cal Poly websites have information about the pollen and VOC emissions from various types of plants and trees. Emissions from natural sources are estimated by CARB and the District.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

SLO County Air Pollution Control District (SLOAPCD) website lists 2012 emissions inventory but the data that is cited in this report is from our campus submission to SLOAPCD from 2018.

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.