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Complaints

Clean air is vital to everyone’s health. If you notice an air quality problem in your community, you can submit a complaint using one of the methods below. Because of the number of complaints we receive, we focus our responses on incidents that affect multiple people and properties.

We respond to complaints in Island, Skagit and Whatcom counties. To submit a complaint in another county, locate the clean air agency for that county using this map.

Important: All complaints become public records. As a public agency, we are required by regulations and state law to provide access to all complaints, including contact information, if we receive a public records request. To learn about filing an anonymous complaint, visit our frequently asked questions.

For more information, contact our front desk.

Talk to your neighbor

Many times, people are unaware of the effect of their behavior is having on their neighbors. So if you feel your neighbor is creating an air quality problem for you, we suggest talking to them first. We find that, in general, neighbor-to-neighbor talks are a helpful way to assist each other in changing behavior and these conversations are often more effective than regulatory action.

Always call 9-1-1 if you or someone else needs immediate medical attention due to an air quality problem. Also, call 9-1-1 if you see an illegal outdoor fire.

File a complaint online

The fastest way to submit an air quality complaint to us is to complete an online complaint form.

The online form allows you to submit a complaint about:

If you see an illegal outdoor fire, call 9-1-1.

 

File a complaint by phone, mail or email

To file a complaint by phone, mail or email, have the following information ready:

  • Date and time of incident
  • If it is happening right now
  • Address of incident including city and ZIP code
  • Who you think is responsible
  • Your contact information – name, address and daytime phone number

Phone complaints: Call 360-428-1617 and leave a message with the complaint information when prompted.

You can find other options to contact us here.

 

Frequently asked questions

 

Can I file an anonymous complaint?

Yes, although we do not respond to anonymous complaints about dust or odor. (See related question below.)

Because of the number of complaints we receive, we focus our responses on incidents that affect multiple people and properties.

Important: If you provide your contact information, we cannot keep it anonymous. Your complaint will become a  public record. As a public agency, we are required by regulations and state law to provide access to all complaints, including contact information, if we receive a public records request.

Why is my contact information required for complaints about odor and dust?

We need your contact information for complaints about odor or dust if we decide to take enforcement action against the offending party and need you as a witness.

Why do I call the fire department about an outdoor burning complaint?

Fire departments are the main contact for outdoor burning because they know where outdoor burning is allowed and banned. Where it is allowed, they issue burning permits with requirements that certain conditions be met. One of these conditions is that the fire not adversely affect neighbors. Contact your local fire department if your neighbor’s outdoor fire, permitted or not, is creating a problem for you.

 

Other contacts for air quality complaints

 

Agricultural/farm

If an odor is a result of agricultural activities, as defined by law, it may be exempt under RCW 70.94.640

Pesticides:

Washington State Department of Agriculture: website, 877-301-4555

Airplanes and helicopters

Noise

Federal Aviation Administration: noise, 202-267-3521

Naval Air Station Whidbey Jet Noise: 360-257-6665, comments.naswi@navy.mil

Fuel odors

Federal Aviation Administration: emissions; message line: 425-227-2000; 24-hour staffed line: 425-227-1999

Indoor air

Workplace:

Washington State Department of Labor and Industries: website, 360-902-5316 or 866-219-7321

Mold:

NWCAA indoor air quality resources

Washington State Department of Health: website, 360-236-4700

American Lung Association: website, Seattle: 206-441-5100 or 800-732-9339; national: 800-548-8252

Lead abatement

Washington Department of Commerce: website, lbpinfo@commerce.wa.gov,  360-586-5323

Your local health department: website

Natural gas odor

Cascade Natural Gas: For emergencies call 911. Non-emergencies: website, 888-522-1130

Noise complaints

Contact your local city or county government offices.

Outdoor burning

Except for small recreational fires, outdoor burning to dispose of residential yard debris and for land clearing is prohibited year-round in city limits and urban growth areas, and during periods of high fire danger.

If you observe illegal outdoor burning within a UGA or during a burn ban, call the local fire department or 911 to report it.

Fire danger burn ban announcements and information for permitting and allowances of outdoor burning are available at the links below. If you are being affected by smoke from outdoor burning that is outside the UGAs, not during a burn ban and not an emergency, call your local fire official listed below.

Island County: website

  • Verbal burn permits: 360-240-5526
  • Whidbey Island: 360-221-8880
  • Camano Island: 360-387-0184

Skagit County: website, 360-416-1841 or Skagit County Outdoor Burning Hotline: 360-416-1840

Whatcom County: website, 360-778-5903

 

Restaurant smoke and odors

The Northwest Clean Air Agency has extremely limited ability to regulate restaurant emissions.

Contact your local city or county permit office.

Wood-fired commercial-cooking best practices

Trains

Washington State Department of Transportation Rail System Map

Freight rail contacts: website

Passenger rail: Amtrak Cascades, website, 800-872-7245

Vehicle exhaust

Washington Department of Ecology: website; emission check information line: 800-272-3780; Northwest Regional Office: 425-649-7000