Air Quality

Chief Administrative Officer
President and Vice Presidents

I. The Evergreen State College Policy

In a spirit of cooperation and caring for our fellow community members, we present this policy as a starting point for addressing health and safety concerns related to air quality on the Evergreen campus.

The Evergreen State College (TESC) recognizes that: the air is shared by all members of the community and those who visit the campus; suitable air quality is important in fostering a healthful and creative learning and working environment, and; maintaining suitable air quality requires continual attentiveness to mitigate or to eliminate unfavorable conditions.

This policy is undertaken in the context of TESC's identity as a learning community with a commitment to the ideals of innovation and to the Social Contract. In the service of those ideals, and with a recognition that much remains to be learned about air quality issues, community members are expected to participate, with respect and civility, in informing, teaching and learning from one another with regard to this policy.

Selection of products for use on campus should be consistent with the goal of this policy which is to reduce or limit exposure to air contaminants. Product selection should take into consideration factors such as effectiveness of alternatives, application process, location of use, extent of exposure, and cost.

TESC supports the concept of a fragrance-, and pollutant-free environment on its properties and in its programs. The college seeks to maintain the best possible air quality attainable within fiscal, legal and regulatory constraints. In pursuit of that goal, these procedures will be implemented.

II. Procedures

1. Air Supply. Community members are expected to exercise care when undertaking projects which may affect building air quality by mitigating or eliminating pollutants from, for example, idling vehicles, construction projects, sign-making.

2. Approval/Adequate Notice. A product evaluation must take place whenever there is a potential for hazardous chemicals being present in a manner that community members may be exposed. Plans for using potentially hazardous products or new applications of products which were previously approved must be submitted to the Coordinator of Environmental Health and Safety for evaluation. Material safety data sheets (MSDS) must accompany the plans.

Product evaluation will include any possible route of human and environmental exposure as well as physical hazards which could cause an accident or injury. Plans and MSDS must be submitted at least five working days in advance with the understanding that approval may not be granted in that time period due to testing requirements, searches for alternative products or a requirement that work be performed under special circumstances. When required, approval will be contingent upon the user notifying members of the community about the location of areas which may be affected.

3. Training. The Director of Human Resource Services will develop information and training for faculty, staff, students, and other members of the community who use college facilities. Subjects covered will include: the appropriate uses for and alternatives to chemicals; reduction of chemical exposure, and; the effects of scented products, including personal care products, on sensitive individuals.

4. Information Posting. The Coordinator of Environmental Health and Safety will post air quality guidelines on safety bulletin boards located in each building except in student housing.

5. Inspection and Updating. The Director of Facilities will ensure that air delivery systems are regularly maintained and inspected.

6. Use of Scented Products. Community members are asked to refrain from using or wearing scented products.

7. Policy Dissemination. On a continuing basis, the Purchasing Office and those with purchasing authority will notify vendors and contractors about this policy. Annually, the office of the Vice President for Finance and Administration will inform students, staff and faculty about this policy. Human Resource Services will provide all new employees with a copy of this policy.

8. Facilities' Use. Staff who make arrangements for use of TESC facilities will provide non-college groups with written information about this policy. Groups using college facilities will be expected to observe this policy.

9. Complaint Process. A complaint process (attached) is available for addressing air quality concerns.

10. Records Maintenance. The Coordinator of Environmental Health and Safety will maintain a data base record to monitor all air quality complaints and their resolution(s).

III. Complaint Process


The goals of these guidelines are improved communication and effecting fair, uniform and timely resolution of air quality complaints and concerns.


Steps you may use are listed separately based on the source of the problem. Any of the persons receiving a complaint which requires other resources may call on other offices within the college.

1. Environmental (Chemical Spill, Odors) as Source

In case of injury to a person, call 911 first. Campus phones dial: 9-911

Call the Coordinator of Environmental Health and Safety (ext. 6111) if a chemical spill occurs or if an odor is present which is causing health effects. The Coordinator of Environmental Health and Safety will implement safety procedures, mitigate resulting harm from a spill or mishap, coordinate assistance of on-campus personnel, and notify appropriate authorities as is prudent and as required by law.

2. Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) System as Source

This refers to temperature and air draft problems, inadequate ventilation rates, and other problems that seem related to the air delivery and exhaust systems. Included are both minor problems that can be remedied easily, and more complex issues that may be difficult to define and resolve.

  1. Report all HVAC problems to Facilities (ext. 6120). This line is personally attended at times, but is often used as a message line. Messages are noted frequently during the day, creating a written record to help monitor and improve service.
  2. When the problem is chronic, serious, or unusual, call the Facilities Engineer (ext. 6136).
  3. Call Public Safety (ext. 6140) in case of an emergency.

3. Individual as Source

This refers to a personal source, such as an individual who uses scented products that cause adverse health affects.

  1. Approach the individual, explain the problem, and ask for consideration or changes in behavior that can improve the situation. This step is consistent with the TESC social contract. If no resolution results,
  2. Request the assistance of your supervisor, faculty or dean. If no resolution is reached,
  3. Report the problem to your Grievance Officer if you are a student, or to Human Resource Services if you are a staff member.

4. Source Unknown

Call the Coordinator of Environmental Health and Safety (ext. 6111).

5. After-hours Emergency

Call the Public Safety Office (ext. 6140) for assistance.

Other resources available are Human Resource Services, Access Coordinator for Students, TESC grievance and appeals process, Union Shop Stewards, Mediation Services, Affirmative Action Office, Civil Rights Office, and the Health and Safety Committee.

If the above process does not lead to a successful conclusion, contact the Director of Human Resource Services, who will establish a team to assist in finding a suitable resolution. The team will include the Director of Human Resource Services, the Director of Facilities, the Space Management Coordinator, the Coordinator of Environmental Health and Safety, the affected person and his/her supervisor, faculty or dean.