Emissions Reporting

Air pollution continues to be an important concern to public health and climate change. A number of air pollutants, originating from a variety of sources, impact the health of North Carolina residents daily. 

We invite you to help us protect North Carolina’s air by identifying and reporting air pollution emissions near you. Whether you smell something foul, observe a plume of smoke, or see soot on your property, it is important to know how pollution is affecting your quality of life! Reporting pollution helps to create a public record of air pollution concerns, which can help strengthen air pollution protections.

In addition to using the form below, we encourage you to use the PurpleAir or AirNow map to find local air quality measurements near you.

Sources of Air Pollution

To understand the best way to report pollution, it’s important to know the sources and causes of air pollution. What we typically think of as air pollution arises from hazardous substances, originating from human behavior and natural events. These pollutants include:

  • Particulate Matter (PM 2.5 and PM 10): Complex mixture that may contain soot, smoke, metals, nitrates, sulfates, dust, and water. The size of particles is directly linked to their potential for causing health problems. Small particles (known as PM2.5 or fine particulate matter) pose the greatest problems because they bypass the body’s natural defenses and get deep into your lungs and potentially bloodstream.
  • Ozone (O3): formed by a chemical reaction between VOCs and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) in the presence of sunlight. Primary sources of NOx and VOC sources include is from cars, power plants, industrial boilers, refineries, and chemical plants.
  • Carbon Monoxide (CO): ​​an odorless, colorless gas formed by the incomplete combustion of fuels. This pollutant is produced whenever material burns such as clothes dryers, water heaters, grills, generators, power tools, lawn equipment, furnaces or boilers and fireplaces, both gas and wood burning.
  • Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): gasses that are emitted into the air from products or processes. Primary outdoor sources of this pollutant includes gasoline, diesel emissions, wood burning, oil and gas extraction and processing, and industrial emissions.
  • Sulfur Dioxide (SO2): a gaseous air pollutant composed of sulfur and oxygen. This pollutant forms during the burning of coal, oil, or diesel.
  • Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2): made up of poisonous and reactive gasses and plays a major role in the atmospheric reactions that produce smog on hot summer days. The primary source of this pollutant is from cars, trucks, buses, construction equipment and agricultural equipment.

These pollutants can cause serious human health problems and damage the environment. Although most air pollutants are invisible, some of these sources may come in the form of dust, haze, smog, chemical fumes, diesel exhaust and smoke. If you see, smell, or experience suspected exposure to harmful air pollution, let us know!

Why Report It?

To help people better understand just how polluted the air is where they live, CleanAIRE NC has deployed dozens of low-cost air quality sensors from PurpleAir throughout North Carolina to provide the public access to real-time air quality data from their local communities. These monitors collect PM 2.5 concentrations and help CleanAIRE build a data set that includes the air quality that citizens see and breathe in their own neighborhoods.

This effort combined with emissions reporting data provided by our communities will aid in a greater understanding of identifying trends around air pollution exposure, building resilience awareness, improving models, and co-creating solutions. Equally importantly, it can also guide in the creation of mitigative air pollution reduction strategies and public policy to protect health. In carrying out this responsibility, you, the public, are serving as custodians of North Carolina’s environment, and have become aware of how your actions can affect the health and welfare of our communities.