Air Quality Programs
Indoor Air Quality Programs
Radon is a colorless, odorless radioactive gas that forms as a result of the natural decay of uranium underground. This Radon Information Sheet (PDF) explains more. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), radon is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers.
The only way to know if your home has high radon is to test. Free test kits are available to City of Aspen residents by filling out this online mail order form. After you submit a mail order form, a kit will be mailed to your home. Kits are not available for pick-up through the City of Aspen offices.
If your home tests high for radon, it is important to install a mitigation system to reduce your risk of lung cancer. A list of certified mitigation contractors and assistance for low-income households can be found here Version Options Indoor & Outdoor Air Quality Programs Headline.
Once a popular additive in building materials to make them more durable, fireproof, and waterproof, asbestos was later found to cause cancer. Asbestos becomes a health hazard when it is disturbed and fibers are released into the air and inhaled into the lungs. Because asbestos is very dangerous to breathe, state and federal laws apply to every demolition, renovation, and remodel project.
There are two main requirements:
- Have a State Certified Asbestos Inspector to test for asbestos
- If asbestos is found, hire a state certified asbestos abatement company to properly remove it
Find a list of registered Colorado asbestos consulting firms here.
Lead is a toxic metal that was used for many years in products found in and around our homes, such as in old paint and plumbing fixtures. The most common way you can get lead in your body is by swallowing lead dust or paint chips containing lead. Children six years old and under are most at risk for health effects, such as behavioral problems, learning disabilities, seizures, and death.
Renovation activities like sanding, cutting, and demolition can create hazardous lead dust and chips by disturbing lead-based paint, which can be harmful to adults and children.
Federal law requires that contractors disturbing painted materials in homes built prior to 1978 must be certified in safe lead work practices.
For more information, visit the EPA’s lead website.
For concerns related to construction dust, please contact the City of Aspen Engineering Department.
Outdoor Air Quality Programs
Aspen and Pitkin County regulate the number and type of fireplaces and woodstoves that can be installed in any building.
Building permit applicants must file a fireplace / woodstove registration with the City of Aspen Building Department before the permit is issued.
The device must be on the Colorado Certified Residential Burning Devices or EPA Certified Residential Burning Devices list.
Aspen has ordinances limiting idling and smoking vehicles, which both contribute to air pollution.
It is illegal to idle a vehicle for more than 5 minutes and it is illegal to leave an unattended vehicle running for any amount of time per state law.
Heavy duty diesel vehicles with high smoke levels are an indicator of poor vehicle maintenance and contribute to air pollution.
To report an idling or smoking vehicle within Aspen city limits, contact the Environmental Health and Sustainability Department at 970-920-5039 and provide:
- Company name (if a commercial vehicle)
- License plate number
- Vehicle description
For concerns about an idling or smoking vehicle on a construction site, please contact the City of Aspen Engineering Department at 970-920-5080.
Restaurants that want to add a new char broiler or grill may be required to install a pollution control unit. Please contact us to discuss the requirements for equipment that may apply.