Outdoor Air Pollution
Air pollution comes from many different sources: stationary sources such as factories, power plants, and smelters and smaller sources such as dry cleaners and degreasing operations; mobile sources such as cars, buses, planes, trucks, and trains; and naturally occurring sources such as windblown dust, and volcanic eruptions, all contribute to air pollution. Air Quality can be affected in many ways by the pollution emitted from these sources. These pollution sources can also emit a wide variety of pollutants. The EPA has these pollutants classified as the six principal pollutants (or criteria pollutants-as they are also known). These pollutants are monitored by EPA, as well as national, state and local organizations. The Clean Air Act provides the principal framework for national, state, and local efforts to protect air quality.
For more information on Outdoor Air Pollution, visit:
Air pollution, clean air, and air quality information is provided by the U.S. EPA's Office of Air and Radiation (OAR).
Featured Outdoor Air Pollution Resources:
EPA School Siting Guidelines
EPA's voluntary school siting guidelines can help local school districts (local education agencies or LEAs) and community members evaluate environmental factors to make the best possible school siting decisions. This website includes an overview for the guidelines, as well as links to resources and additional information.
Source: EPA - Office of Children's Health Protection
Healthy School Environments Assessment Tool (HealthySEAT)
HealthySEAT is a new software tool from EPA designed to help school districts conduct voluntary, customized self-assessments of their school facilities for environmental, health, and safety hazards.
Source: EPA - Office of Air and Radiation - Indoor Environments Division
Collaborative for High Performance Schools
The Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) aims to increase the energy efficiency of public schools in California by marketing information, service, and incentive programs directly to school districts and designers. The Collaborative's goal is to facilitate the design of high performance schools: environments that are not only energy efficient, but also healthy, comfortable, well lit, and contain the amenities needed for a quality education.
Source: Collaborative for High Performance Schools
Environmental Compliance and Best Management Practices Guidance Manual
This comprehensive environmental manual is available on-line in both English and Spanish.
Source: EPA - Region 2
High Performance School Design Online Training
Interactive courses on this site are offered free of charge as a public benefit for design and engineering professionals specializing in sustainable design for K-12 schools. High performance school design integrates daylighting, indoor air quality, and energy efficiency to build a school that runs efficiently, saves money, protects natural resources, and provides superior visual, acoustical, and thermal comfort.
Source: New York State Energy Research and Development Authority
LEED for Schools
The LEED for Schools Rating System recognizes the unique nature of the design and construction of K-12 schools. Based on the LEED for New Construction rating system, it addresses issues such as classroom acoustics, master planning, mold prevention and environmental site assessment.
Source: U.S. Green Building Council
Managing Your Environmental Responsibilities: A Planning Guide for Construction and Development
EPA guidance manual that provides the construction industry comprehensive environmental information.
Source: EPA -- Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance
National Best Practices Manual for Building High Performance Schools
Written specifically for architects and engineers, this manual is designed to help design or retrofit schools. This is a large document (8.2MB) and may take a few moments to download.
Source: Department of Energy - Office of Building Technology, State and Community Programs
National Compliance Assistance Clearinghouse
The National Compliance Assistance Clearinghouse is your guide to compliance information on the Internet. It provides quick access to compliance tools, contacts, and planned activities from across EPA as well as other compliance assistance providers.
Source: EPA - National Compliance Assistance Clearninghouse
New Hampshire Healthy School Environments
This website provides links to resources to help schools assess and address health, safety and environmental issues in school buildings. Both a fact sheet on NH Department of Environmental Services (NH DES) efforts to customize EPA's HealthySEAT , as well as New Hampshire customization of the software may be downloaded from this site.
Source: New Hampshire Department of Envrionmental Services Air Resources Division - Air Resources Division
New EPA Study: Travel and Environmental Implications of School Siting
"Travel and Environmental Implications of School Siting," released by the EPA on October 8, 2003, is the first study to empirically examine the relationship between school locations, the built environment around schools, how kids get to school, and the impact on air emissions of those travel choices.
Source: EPA -- Office of Policy, Economics and Innovation
Rhode Island Rules and Regulations for School Health Programs
These regulations, issued by RI Department of Education and RI Deptartment of Health, address a number of environmental/health issues in schools, such as: mercury, pesticide application, asbestos, lead, radon, water supply, and chemical hygiene plans. The regulations prohibit the use of certain chemicals from schools (see Appendix A).
Source: RI Dept Education and RI Dept Health
Sustainable Sites Initiative
The Sustainable Sites Initiative™ (SITES™) is an interdisciplinary effort by the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas at Austin and the United States Botanic Garden to create voluntary national guidelines and performance benchmarks for sustainable land design, construction and maintenance practices.
Source: Sustainable Sites Initiative
California - Los Angeles Unified School District Product Review Database
Searchable database of over 5,000 products evaluated by the LAUSD Office of Environmental Health and Safety to determine their suitability for use in and around Los Angeles schools.
Source: Los Angeles Unified School District - Office of Environmental Health & Safety
New York State Department of Education Office of Facilities Planning
Contains a wide range of resources on environmental and occupational safety and health issues affecting school facilities.
Source: New York State Education Department - Office of Facilities Planning
Washington State School Health and Safety Program
The program provides consultation, technical assistance, and training to local health jurisdictions, schools, and parent groups on school health and safety issues.
Source: Washington State Department of Health - Office of Environmental Health & Safety
EPA Chemical Emergency Preparedness and Prevention
The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) establishes requirements for Federal, State and local governments, Indian Tribes, and industry regarding emergency planning and Community Right-to-Know reporting on hazardous and toxic chemicals. The Community Right-to-Know provisions help increase the public's knowledge and access to information on chemicals at individual facilities, their uses, and releases into the environment. States and communities, working with facilities, can use the information to improve chemical safety and protect public health and the environment.
Source: EPA Chemical Emergency Preparedness & Prevention - Chemical Emergency Preparedness & Prevention (CEPPO)
Kentucky Green and Healthy Schools
The Kentucky Green and Healthy Schools (KGHS) Program is a new, voluntary effort to empower students and staff with the tools needed to take action and make their school operate at peak efficiency.
Source: Kentucky Green and Healthy Schools
Maine Department of Education Facilities Management Template
Includes a draft ME School Facilities Maintenance Plan including checklists for Maintenance, Operations, Grounds, Custodial, and Vehicle Services
Source: Maine Department of Education
New England Resources for Schools
This website provides links to the Regional schools topics page, hazardous waste fact sheets, examples of the types of environmental issues found in schools, and other links of interest to the schools community.
Source: EPA Region 1
Michigan Schools and Asthma
Parents, students, and school staff will find important information about how asthma can be controlled at school and at home.
Source: Michigan Asthma Communication Network - American Lung Association of Michigan