Air Quality in Idaho
Air is basic to life. All living things, from humans to animals to plants, need air to survive. Because we rely upon air for our existence, it is very important to keep the air clean by reducing or preventing air pollution. Protecting air quality is among DEQ's chief objectives.
DEQ's air quality protection efforts are designed to ensure compliance with federal and state health-based air quality standards. Responsibility for protecting Idaho's outdoor (ambient) air quality is shared by DEQ's Air Quality Division, based in the agency's state office in Boise, and DEQ's regional offices located in Boise, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho Falls, Lewiston, Pocatello, and Twin Falls. Air quality programs and policies are developed in the state office and implemented throughout the state by DEQ's regional offices.
Idaho is among the states that have been delegated authority by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to issue air quality permits and enforce air quality regulations. States with this authority are authorized to develop plans demonstrating how they will achieve, maintain, and enforce the standards. Jointly, the state rules and these plans are known as state implementation plans (SIPs). Learn more.
Air pollution is any substance in the air that can cause harm to human health or welfare or the environment. Learn more.
Burning and Smoke Management
Because it emits pollution directly into the air and the environment and is a public health and environmental concern, burning is a regulated activity in Idaho. Burning may be restricted or prohibited by federal, tribal, state, or local government laws, regulations, rules, and ordinances. Learn more.
Throughout Idaho, DEQ routinely assesses outdoor (ambient) air quality to satisfy federal regulatory requirements and scientifically determine the quality of Idaho's airsheds. Learn more.
To protect human health and the environment, distinct programs are in place to regulate emissions of hazardous and toxic pollutants by industrial sources. Other regulatory measures also apply to certain sources. Learn more.