Health department reinstates air quality program

El Paso County Public Health has reinstated its air quality control program, and will now issue open burn and construction permits, as well as respond to air quality complaints.

The program will cover Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs, Calhan, Fountain, Green Mountain Falls, Monument, Palmer Lake and Ramah.

The air quality control program was suspended in 2008, with complaints handled by the state’s Department of Public Health and Environment. The local program will be paid for through permit fees and a state contract to enforce air quality regulations.

The program involves three major components:

  1. Construction activity permits. Construction on land between 1 and 25 acres will be required to submit a dust control plan and apply for a six-month permit. Construction on land larger than 25 acres must be handled by the state health department. Construct permit fees are $209 for each project.
  2. Open burning permits. Anyone who intends to burn any flammable material is required to obtain an open burning permit. Exceptions are fire department training fires, prescribed burns, noncommercial cooking fires, recreational fires and fires from emergency flares. Applications are available online at www.elpasocountyhealth.org.
  3. Air quality complaints. The health department will respond to smoke, dust and odor complaints by investigating the complaints. Call 578-3199 to complain about air quality.