Westchester County

Air Quality Overview

Air quality is influenced by many factors - man-made pollution being one of them. Air pollution consists of hazardous substances in the air that can increase your chances of experiencing health problems if exposed to them.  The two most common pollutants are ozone (smog) and particulate matter (pollen, soot, dust, etc.). Ozone is an air pollutant that irritates the respiratory system and may cause decreased lung function. Ozone alerts are occasionally issued by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, usually on hot summer days when the air is stagnant.

Air pollution comes from many different sources: factories, power plants, local industries, incinerators, cars, buses, planes, trucks, and naturally occurring sources such as wind-blown dust.

Everyone can be affected by poor air quality. However, children and those with chronic respiratory problems are the most sensitive to air pollution. Childhood asthma is on the increase nationally, and environmental pollutants may contribute to this trend.  People with chronic respiratory problems experience an aggravation of their symptoms with air pollution.

What can I do to reduce air pollution and thereby improve air quality? You, as an individual, can do a number of things, such as:

  • Conserve energy
  • Drive less, ride your bike or walk
  • Carpool
  • Make sure your car is well-tuned
  • Take care not to spill gasoline when filling the tank of your car, lawn mower or recreation equipment
  • Make sure that chemical product lids are closed tightly

Find out How clean is the air you breathe?
Environmental engineers and sanitarians monitor the permitted releases from industrial and commercial facilities to ensure compliance with State regulations. They seek to protect our ambient air quality through plan reviews and approvals of industrial processes, as well as through inspections in response to complaints from County residents.

Air Quality Program Guidelines and Forms:
When submitting plans for review by Westchester County, select the plans below which will complete the submission as required by Westchester County and New York State Regulator codes. If all the submitted documents are in order, an efficient review and timely approval of the project can be realized.

The application forms and guidelines provide the minimum requirements for a submission to this department regarding various projects; however, the reviewer of the project may require additional information to be submitted to complete the review and approval process.