Air Quality Program
Elevated levels of air pollutants increase the occurrence of respiratory diseases, such as asthma, and shorten life expectancy. The Air Quality Program enforces local laws in order to improve indoor and outdoor air quality. The Program also conducts research on air pollution exposure and pollution reduction strategies to inform land use and transportation planning and policy decisions.
Principal Activities and Services
- Implement Article 38 of the Health Code by assisting developers of new residential parcels to determine whether enhanced ventilation is required under the local ordinance.
- Implement Article 31 of the Health Code through review, approval and monitoring of dust control plans for large construction sites.
- Measure and model priority air pollutants, including particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide, and diesel exhaust.
- Develop a Community Risk Reduction Plan to improve air quality and eliminate air pollution exposure disparities.
- Enforce the city's secondhand smoke ordinance.
- Coordinate with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District in developing and enforcing health protective air pollution policy.
Air Quality Assessment Services
The Air Quality Program provides several options for determining compliance with Article 38, described in our developer guidance (pdf). SFDPH conducts location specific air quality initial assessments and reviews for private individuals and organizations on a fee for service basis. Requests for air quality assessments should include:
- Project location (address and parcel number)
- Map of project including all surrounding streets within 500 feet
- Name of assigned planner to the project from the Planning Department
- The appropriate fee in the form of a check payable to the San Francisco Environmental Health Section.
Mail all requests to: Article 38 Air Quality Assessment Manager, 1390 Market Street, Suite 210, San Francisco, CA 94102.
Planning, Policy and Research
For more information on Air Quality Program activities involving planning, policy and research, please see the Program on Health, Equity and Sustainability.
To Make a Complaint
The following agencies are responsible for responding to complaints regarding specific air pollution issues. Please contact the appropriate agency depending on the type of complaint.
Bay Area Air Quality Management District
- Industrial plants
- Neighborhood businesses or odor
- Dust or chemical air pollutants
- Wood smoke complaints regarding burning of wood and related solid fuels
- Smoking vehicle complaints for excessive exhaust from cars, trucks or buses
San Francisco Police Department
If your complaint does not fit into the above categories, contact the Department of Public Health's Environmental Health Section by clicking here.