Air Quality FAQs
Wood stoves and fireplaces are regulated by the Washoe County Health District because they are major contributors to air pollution in the Truckee Meadows. Therefore before you make a purchase, it is important for you to spend some time researching whether it is legal to put a wood burning appliance in your home. To determine if you can install a wood burning stove or fireplace in your home, you need the following information, then call (775) 784-7200 (AQMD).
- What is your zip code?
- What is your land-use zoning?
- What is the net size of your property?
Normally, a business which emits 2 pounds or more per day of criteria air pollutants or 1 pound per day or more of toxic air pollutants will require a permit to operate. Different types of air pollution control devices are also required for different processes depending upon the size of the operation for compliance with the AQMD regulations. Applications may be obtained by downloading from the District Health Department Web site. For further information, please contact one of our environmental engineers at 784-7200 for help with the necessary information for application submittal.
Just call 784-7200 (24 hours per day) and your complaint will be logged onto an official AQMD complaint form. After that, within "normal" hours of operation, an air quality specialist will investigate your concerns and determine if there is a violation of the AQMD regulations. If a violation exists, the person or business will be required to correct the problem. A Notice of Violation may also be issued.
Every year between November 1 and February 28, the Washoe County Health District Air Quality Management Division uses the Green, Yellow, Red Burn Code Program to inform area residents whether or not lighting stoves or fireplaces is allowed, or is advisable.
Washoe County residents can get a daily air quality update by visiting www.OurCleanAir.com or by calling the Air Quality Hotline at (775) 785-4110. They can also get this update by listening to television and radio weather forecasts, or by checking the Reno-Gazette Journal's weather page.
The local asbestos regulations essentially mirrors the federal requirements. If you own a commercial building and want to do some remodeling, an asbestos survey will need to be completed by a certified consultant to determine the presence or absence of any asbestos materials. If present, a certified abatement contractor will need to remove the asbestos before the project can proceed. In addition, the property owner will need to obtain an asbestos acknowledgment form from the AQMD prior to obtaining a building permit from the local building departments. For further information, please call 784-7200.
The Air Pollution Control Hearing Board (APCHB) hears appeals when a negotiated resolution cannot be achieved. The APCHB meets the first Tuesday of every month (as needed).