Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 65.57
Liaison Jeff Spoelstra
Submission Date July 22, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Western Michigan University
OP-2: Outdoor Air Quality

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Jeff Spoelstra
Sustainability Coordinator
Office for 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?:

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

Western Michigan University's Mission Statement includes:

To advance responsible environmental stewardship

One way of doing this is by reducing pollution and conserving fuel.

It is expected that all university vehicles will be turned off if they are idle for more than five minutes. There are times when diesel powered engines may be exempt from this policy such as when temperatures or special situations require them to stay on longer. This will be an infrequent event and should be the exception rather than the rule.


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

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

Emissions numbers come from our Michigan Air Emission Reporting System report to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. Fuel usage or hours of operation for the previous year are entered along with emission factors into the on-line annual reporting system, which calculates the tons of each pollutant for the calendar year. Included in the WMU data are the stationary devices in our air permits. This includes boilers, emergency generators, turbines, cold cleaners, and printing/paper presses.

The Federal Clean Air Act requires that each state maintain an inventory of air pollution emissions for certain facilities and update this inventory every year. Michigan's emission inventory is the Michigan Air Emissions Reporting System (MAERS). The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Air Quality Division (AQD) maintains MAERS reports for commercial, industrial and governmental sources of air pollution in Michigan. Emissions data is submitted to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) to be added to the national data bank. This information is used to track air pollution trends, determine the effectiveness of current air pollution control programs, serve as a basis for future year projections of air quality, track source compliance, provide information for permit review and calculate the emissions portion of the air quality fee.

Individual units, and or service providers, track refrigerants added to mechanical systems and units can query that data using our maintenance database.

Weight of the following categories of air emissions from stationary sources::
Weight of Emissions
Nitrogen oxides (NOx) 54.20 Tons
Sulfur oxides (SOx) 1.70 Tons
Carbon monoxide (CO) 14.10 Tons
Particulate matter (PM) 4.50 Tons
Ozone (O3) ---
Lead (Pb) 0 Tons
Hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) ---
Ozone-depleting compounds (ODCs) 0.48 Tons
Other standard categories of air emissions identified in permits and/or regulations 4.60 Tons

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 University converted the existing 50,000 ton/year coal fired power plant previously owned and operated by another entity to a natural gas fired cogen plant when it transferred to WMU in 1994. WMU strives to reduce overall natural gas use and therefore emissions through various energy conservation initiatives both at the power plant and on campus. Recent initiatives (last 3 years) include boiler blowdown system improvements; boiler wet layup system enhancements; feedwater control system upgrades; variable speed control on a number of pumps and fans in the plant; and reductions in various parasitic steam and electric loads in the plant.

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

Data are from calendar year 2012. ODCs from FY13.
"Other standard categories..." = VOCs

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.