Frequent Questions

I'm concerned about air quality issues associated with a nearby business. Are there potential health risks? What can I do?

Emissions is the term used to describe the gases and particles which are put into the air or emitted by various sources. 

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is mainly concerned with emissions which are or could be harmful to people. EPA calls this set of principal air pollutants, criteria pollutants. The criteria pollutants are carbon monoxide (CO), lead (Pb), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), ozone (O3), particulate matter (PM), and sulfur dioxide (SO2). There are also a large number of compounds which have been determined to be hazardous which are called air toxics.

For more information about emissions, see EPA's Air Pollution Emissions Overview web page

Beyond the U.S. EPA, each State has a department of natural resources, environment, or health which deals with air pollution issues in their area. In addition, some counties have their own air pollution agencies which focus on problems at the local government level.

Please use this map to locate your county officesExit EPA Disclaimer

Information Where You Live:

  • AirData gives you access to air pollution data for the entire United States. You can find out if there are sources of air pollution in your area or where air monitoring sites are located.
  • Air Quality Index (AQI) is an index for reporting daily air quality. It tells you how clean or polluted your air is, and what associated health effects might be a concern for you.
  • Enforcement & Compliance History Online (ECHO) -To find compliance information on a specific facility, search the ECHO database. The database allows users to find permit, inspection, violation, enforcement action, informal enforcement action, and penalty information about facilities for the past three years.

For more information about air pollution issues, please use the web form to contact the EPA Office of Air and Radiation (OAR).

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