Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 65.35
Liaison Christa Rieck
Submission Date Nov. 23, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of Houston
OP-2: Outdoor Air Quality

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.50 / 1.00 Gabriel Durham
Graduate assistant
Office of Sustainability
"---" 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?:
No

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

n/a


Has the institution completed an inventory of significant air emissions from stationary sources on campus?:
Yes

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

Currently, the University of Houston is considered a minor source per the Texas Commission on Environmental Equality air emission rules. UH Environmental Health and Life Safety conducts annual internal emission inventories to document the university's air quality status. The University has two specific air permits that have been granted by the TCEQ. One permit is for the steam generating boilers in the Central Plant and the other is for a pathological incinerator. The University also claims several types of general air emission sources that are allowed by the TCEQ without the need for a specific permit. These are called permits by rule (PBRs) and our most common PBR emission source is emergency power generators found throughout the campus. EHLS tracks the use of emergency generators on a 12-month rolling period. The emergency electric generators are operated under permit by rule authorization 106.511. Another common source of air emissions are asphalt or urethane roofing projects or asphalt-paving projects. EHLS requests that an Air Emissions Estimate Worksheet be submitted to EHLS before any such project starts.


Weight of the following categories of air emissions from stationary sources::
Weight of Emissions
Nitrogen oxides (NOx) 2.10 Tons
Sulfur oxides (SOx) ---
Carbon monoxide (CO) ---
Particulate matter (PM) ---
Ozone (O3) ---
Lead (Pb) ---
Hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) ---
Ozone-depleting compounds (ODCs) ---
Other standard categories of air emissions identified in permits and/or regulations ---

A brief description of the institution’s initiatives to minimize air pollutant emissions from stationary sources, including efforts made during the previous three years:

The TCEQ monitors current ozone levels in the area and these levels are available for public view on the web. Currently the Harris-Galveston-Brazoria-County (HGB) nonattainment area is facing pressure from EPA to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds to the ambient air. The current consensus is that the presence of nitrogen oxides and/or volatile organic compounds, along with the intense strong sunlight of the region, promote the formation of the undesirable ozone. The TCEQ is required to submit a State Implementation Plan (SIP) to the EPA which outlines the actions planned to reduce ozone levels. There are many proposed actions being considered which could impact the UH community along with the entire region.

EHLS also currently validates fume hoods once they have been installed and certified. These records are tracked in the university's internal database.


The website URL where information about the institution’s outdoor air quality policies, guidelines or inventory is available:

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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.