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.
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.
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
- Describe what the odor smells like
- 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
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.
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.
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
Washington State Department of Labor and Industries: website, 360-902-5316 or 866-219-7321
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
Cascade Natural Gas: For emergencies call 911. Non-emergencies: website, 888-522-1130
Contact your local city or county government offices.
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
The Northwest Clean Air Agency has extremely limited ability to regulate restaurant emissions.
Contact your local city or county permit office.
Freight rail contacts: website
Passenger rail: Amtrak Cascades, website, 800-872-7245
Washington Department of Ecology: website; emission check information line: 800-272-3780; Northwest Regional Office: 425-649-7000