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The Western North Carolina Regional Air Quality Agency (WNCRAQA) is one of three local programs in North Carolina. The Agency enforces Air Quality regulations in Buncombe County and the City of Asheville. Regulations cover everything from open burning to asbestos demolition, as well as industrial facilities.

The WNCRAQA is responsible for regulating all stationary and area sources of air pollution in Buncombe County and the city of Asheville. Regulatory activities include permitting, compliance inspections, and enforcement proceedings. Stationary sources are categorized into three groups: Title V facilities, synthetic minor facilities, and small facilities.

Other facilities that are regulated by WNCRAQA include gas stations and dry cleaners. Gas stations are regulated through the Stage I Vapor Recovery program, and Dry Cleaners are monitored and inspected annually.

WNCRAQA also has an air monitoring program that measures ozone and particulate matter in the county. The Agency is overseen by an independent board of five members, of which three are appointed by the Buncombe County Commission, and two by the Asheville City Council.

There is one ozone monitor and three PM2.5 monitors that are operated in accordance with EPA requirements. Air Monitoring is an important part of protecting the health of the citizens of Western North Carolina.

Board & Schedule

Air Quality Board

Table: Air Quality Board
Name Appointment End of Term
Vonna Cloninger Buncombe County 7/1/2022
Joel Storrow - Chair City of Asheville 7/1/2022
Karl Koon - Vice Chair Buncombe County 7/1/2026
Evan Couzo City of Asheville 7/1/2026
Garry Whisnant Buncombe County 11/1/2026

The Air Quality Board's primary responsibility is to govern the overall operations of the Agency, including approval of industrial permits, oversight of the Agency budget, and final judgment on appealed Notices of Violation. In order to accomplish these duties, the Air Quality Board meets bi-monthly and at other times as warranted.

Air Quality Meeting Schedule

Locate & Contact

WNC Air Quality Advisory Board


Air Quality
Main Line
P: (828) 250-6777
F: (828) 250-6222

Open Burning Hotline
P: (828) 250-6767

WNC Air Quality
30 Valley Street
Asheville, NC 28801

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Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 2749
Asheville, NC 28802


Monday through Friday
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

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Air Quality Staff