Local Air Quality Regulations

The City of Aspen has several regulations that help protect our local air quality.

Vehicle Idling

Please see our Vehicle Idling page.

Fire Place & Woodstove Regulations

In order to keep our air as clean as possible, the elected officials of Aspen and Pitkin County have passed codes (PDF) to regulate the number and types 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 or the Pitkin County Building Department before the building permit is issued. Just be sure that the device you are planning to install is on the Colorado Certified Residential Burning Devices or EPA Certified Residential Burning Devices lists.

See section 13.08.070 in the municipal code (PDF) on health and quality of environment for more information.

Restaurant Grill Regulations

Restaurants that want to add a char grill may be required to install a PM-10 removal device to protect our local air quality and should speak with an Environmental Health Specialist about how this section of the air quality ordinance will apply. See Municipal Code section 13.08.100 (PDF)

Heavy Duty Diesel Vehicle Emissions (Smoking Vehicles)

The City of Aspen recently passed a smoke opacity standard of 40% for diesel-powered motor vehicles having a gross vehicle weight rating of 14,001 or more pounds, which are considered heavy duty diesel vehicles (HDDV) (City Ordinance section 13.08.120). High smoke levels are an indicator of poor vehicle maintenance and contribute to air pollution.

To report a smoking vehicle within Aspen city limits, contact our department and provide:

  • Company name (if a commercial vehicle)
  • Date
  • License plate number
  • Location
  • Time
  • Vehicle description

If you are concerned about a smoking vehicle on a construction site, please contact a Construction Mitigation Officer in the City of Aspen Engineering Department at 970-920-5080.


Once a popular additive in building materials to make them more durable, fireproof, and waterproof, asbestos was later found to be carcinogenic. Asbestos becomes a health hazard when it is disturbed in a manner that releases asbestos fibers which break into tiny particles that are easily swallowed or inhaled and embed themselves deeply in the lungs.

Because asbestos is very dangerous to breath, care must be taken to remove it properly. The law requires that materials are tested before the are removed.

Requirements for Contractors Doing Demolition or Renovation

State and federal laws apply to every demolition, renovation, and remodel project.

There are two main requirements:

  1. Have a State Certified Asbestos Inspector to test for asbestos
  2. If asbestos is found, hire a State Certified Asbestos Abatement Company to properly remove it


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 with health risks including behavioral problems, learning disabilities to more sever impacts as seizures and death.

Lead & Home Improvement

Common 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.

Consider hiring a licensed contractor certified in lead abatement to do the work for you, or make sure to follow these three simple procedures:

  1. Contain the work area
  2. Minimize dust
  3. Clean up thoroughly

For more information, visit the Environmental Protection Agency’s lead site.

Requirements for Contractors Disturbing painted materials in homes built prior to 1978
Federal law requires that contractors disturbing painted materials in homes built prior to 1978 must be certified in safe lead work practices.

Construction Dust

Construction dust is regulated by the City of Aspen Engineering Department.