Looking Ahead With CleanAIRE NC

The fight against climate change, air pollution, and environmental injustice leaves us little time to slow down. CleanAIRE NC will continue to support the innovative programming and partnerships that have long been Clean Air Carolina’s calling card. Through advocacy, education, and community-driven research, we are working to ensure that all North Carolinians have clean air to breathe and a stable climate to thrive in.

CleanAIRE NC Advocacy

Joel Porter
Program Manager, CleanAIRE NC Advocacy

Over the course of the last fifteen years, Clean Air Carolina has striven to accomplish its mission of reducing sources of pollution. In that pursuit, we’ve had victories big and small. Clean Air Carolina has secured pollution controls on large industrial plants in the Southeast, helped to close down electric generation plants burning tires as fuel, fought for smart transportation options for the RTP region, worked to ensure toxic chemical emissions are regulated to safeguard public health, and offered comments on countless rulemakings in an effort to make air quality programs stronger. 

Ultimately, all of those efforts have been undertaken to help protect our state’s environment, ensure healthy communities, and grow a strong and sustainable economy.

Our mission is not complete.

We are seizing the moment: Over the past few years we have been pushing the state to finally address greenhouse gas emissions. We are holding polluters accountable and working to ensure that clean energy is just that – clean – and not the product of corporate greenwashing. And we are working with local advocates to ensure that the clean energy transition is affordable and continues to ensure access to reliable electricity for all North Carolinians. 

Our organization is changing to reflect the world we find ourselves in, and to better position ourselves to address the goals we want to meet next.

Today we become CleanAIRE NC. We are continuing our mission of reducing sources of air pollution in the state, but with this new name we are emphasizing the need for Action and Innovation to Restore the Environment (AIRE). 

Fossil fuels, and the hard-working men and women who have worked in these industries, are a powerful part of our nation’s history. But there is now a clear, and growing, clarion call to address lingering injustices in minority and economically disadvantaged communities that have borne the brunt of environmental degradation for far too long. That is why environmental justice has become a centerpoint in our advocacy efforts.

We realize that this is an ambitious undertaking. But to meet the climate challenge head on, we have to be a little nimble, ambitious, and optimistic.

There is an old saying; a rising tide lifts all ships. As we emerge from the pandemic, there is a tide coming in. We will take innovative action that will prove that age-old aphorism.

It’s an exciting time for CleanAIRE NC, and we hope you will continue to support our efforts as we turn toward a cleaner, brighter future. 


CleanAIRE NC Citizen Science

Maria Sharova
Program Manager, CleanAIRE NC Citizen Science

The Clean Air Carolina Citizen Science Program started in 2016, and has grown across the state over the last five years. As our organization has grown, so has our work, and we are committed to fighting climate change and environmental injustices while advocating for clean air. As part of the name change to CleanAIRE NC or “Action and Innovation to Restore the Environment,” we wanted to do a thorough review of the Citizen Science monitoring program. How many monitors have we sent out? How successful have we been? Where should we focus on next? 

We worked with Eastern Research Group (ERG) to assess the existing network of PurpleAir monitors across the state. ERG also helped develop a way for us to be able to tell which monitors are up and collecting data, and made suggestions for areas where we should focus our monitoring efforts next. ERG’s findings confirmed most of our monitors are at private locations, and monitors that are up and running are collecting data in neighborhoods near emission sources like roadways.

You can read a summary of the report here. The full report is available upon request. To access the full report please email me at [email protected].

Over the coming months we will be working to get the monitors that are down back up and running, and will be increasing the number of organizational monitor hosts like schools and libraries. We are also developing a support network for citizen scientists to answer questions and provide regular reports on their monitors.

CleanAIRE NC will continue to advocate for the health of all North Carolinians (check out our NC Clinicians for Climate Action network), and we want to advance this driving force in the Citizen Science program too. We will be placing future monitors in counties with lower health rankings, near sources of emissions (like Animal Feeding Operations, and Title V facilities), and near vulnerable groups (like schools and daycare centers). If you’re interested in supporting our work, or becoming a monitor host please email [email protected] to learn more.

We are excited about the future direction of our Citizen Science program, and will be incorporating the feedback you’ve given us into the next phase of the program.  Thank you for your continued support – we could not do the work we do without you!

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