Protecting Public Health and the Environment.

Idaho Environmental Guide for Local Governments: Air Quality

Burning and Smoke Management

Smoke generated by burning can contribute to poor air quality and impact human health. Smoke contains small airborne particles that can become lodged in lungs, making breathing difficult and leading to more serious short-term and chronic health problems for sensitive populations such as children, pregnant women, older adults, and people with asthma or other respiratory ailments. Local governments have an important role to play in protecting public health from the impacts of smoke. Learn more.

Fugitive Dust

Fugitive dust is particulate matter, or particle pollution, that becomes airborne from activites such as construction, commericial mining, driving on unpaved roads, demolition, and soil and wind erosion. Under certain conditions and in certain quantities, fugitive dust can be harmful to human health and a public nuisance. Cities and counties are responsible for dust suppression on city and county property. Learn more.

Greenhouse Gases

Gases that absorb and trap heat in the atmosphere are often called greenhouse gases. Some greenhouse gases occur naturally while others are created and emitted through human activities. Communities can reduce greenhouse emissions by reducing energy consumption, switching to renewable energy, and promoting alternative tranpsortation and recycling. Learn more.


An area with persistent air quality problems is designated a nonattainment area. This means that the area has violated federal health-based standards for outdoor air pollution. Local government can help avoid nonattainment by encouraging activities to reduce emissions of air toxics. Learn more.

Odor Control

Odors are a concern for Idahoans and a frequent source of citizen complaints. Odors are generated by a wide range of operations, including livestock feedlots, wastewater treatment plants, and various other industries. City and county ordinances regulate odors in some cases. Learn more.

Permit to Construct

An air quality permit to construct (PTC) is required before constructing or modifying buildings, structures, or installations that emit or may emit pollutants into the air. Communities are encouraged to advise new businesses to work with DEQ to ensure permitting requirements are met. Learn more.

Toxic Air Pollutants

Toxic air pollutants are known or suspected to cause serious health problems such as cancer, birth defects, lung damage, and nerve damage. Examples of air toxics include asbestos, benzene, chloroform, formaldehyde, lead, mercury, nickel compounds, and perchloroethylene. Local governments can implement ordinances to help prevent the release of air toxics. Learn more.

Staff Contacts

Air Quality Manager
David Luft
DEQ Boise Regional Office
1445 N. Orchard St.
Boise, ID 83706
(208) 373-0550

Air Quality Manager
Shawn Sweetapple
DEQ Coeur d'Alene Regional Office
2110 Ironwood Parkway
Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814
(208) 666-4602

Air Quality/Remediation Manager
Rensay Owen
DEQ Idaho Falls Regional Office
900 N. Skyline Drive, Suite B
Idaho Falls, ID 83402
(208) 528-2650

Air Quality Manager
Philip Hagihara
DEQ Lewiston Regional Office
1118 "F" St.
Lewiston, ID 83501
(208) 799-4370

Air Quality Manager
Melissa Gibbs
DEQ Pocatello Regional Office
444 Hospital Way #300
Pocatello, ID 83201
(208) 236-6160

Air Quality/Remediation Manager
Bobby Dye
DEQ Twin Falls Regional Office
650 Addison Avenue West, Suite 110
Twin Falls, ID 83301
(208) 736-2190