Air Pollution Sources & Reduction Tips

  • Telework, join a carpool, take transit or ride your bicycle to work.

  • Bring your lunch to work rather than driving to lunch.

  • Plan ahead and combine short trips.

  • Help reduce idling in your community! Skip the drive thru to avoid idling. Park and go inside instead! 

  • Keep vehicles in good working conditions.

  • Use electric or hand powered lawn equipment.

  • Buy energy efficient appliances and LED lighting.

  • Turn off lights, computers and appliances when not in use.

  • Never burn trash or other man-made materials.

  • Install programmable thermostats to save money and energy.

Air pollution emissions are generated by three types of emission sources

Mobile Sources

Mobile Sources are the leading source of air pollution in Mecklenburg County. This category includes vehicles and pieces of equipment that emit pollutants while driving or moving throughout Mecklenburg County.  Examples of Mobile Sources are on-road vehicles (cars, motorcycles, all types of trucks and buses) and non-road equipment (tractors, dozers, locomotives, boats, lawnmowers, mobile generators). 

Area Sources

This broad category includes several smaller sources that emit similar pollutants and are clustered together in one geographical area.  Examples of Area Sources include gas stations, dry cleaners, restaurants with char broilers or grills, open burning, and beneficial prescribed burns. 

Point Sources

Point sources release emissions from a smoke stack or vent, also known as a "point."  Examples of Point Sources include concrete plants, metal fabrication, chemical manufacturing, printing operations, autobody repair shops, petroleum bulk storage and dispensing facilities.  In Mecklenburg County, Point Source are the smallest source of air pollution.  Information concerning permitted point sources can be accessed online at: Air Quality Permit Database.

Air Pollution, Percent Contribution by Source Type
Mecklenburg County, 2020


What Mecklenburg County Air Quality (MCAQ) is doing:

Mecklenburg County Air Quality (MCAQ) provides a variety of services to the residents of Mecklenburg County, all in the name of meeting & maintaining national air quality standards. Our services and resources revolve around the ideas of Measuring air quality and air pollution, Improving local air quality, and Listening & Responding to public concern and/or input, emerging air quality issues, and environmental justice concerns. MCAQ has three teams that work to achieve our goal and provide crucial services to the public; Permitting & Enforcement, Monitoring, and Mobile Sources. Together, these teams strive to provide excellent service and information.