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Air Quality

Air Pollutants and Monitoring

Sources of Air Pollution

Air pollution can take many forms, all of which can cause harm to our health and our environment. The Bureau of Air Quality is tasked with monitoring air pollution in South Carolina, and part of that process involves identifying the sources of pollution in the air we breathe.

About 75 percent of air pollution originates from human-made (or anthropogenic) sources, and their emissions are controlled through the Clean Air Act and individual state laws and regulations. The remaining 25 percent comes from natural sources.

To assist in organizing air pollution controls and their reductions, air pollutants are organized into three 'source' categories; Mobile, Nonpoint, and Point. Learn more about the three recognized sources of air pollution by using the links below.

Point Sources

Point Sources include major industrial facilities like chemical plants, steel mills, manufacturing plants, power plants, and hazardous waste incinerators.

In South Carolina, the Bureau of Air Quality (BAQ) uses a permitting process to monitor point source air pollution. Safe limits and conditions are established for a business, facility, or industry that has an air permit, requiring regular reporting of the amount of air pollutants they use, produce, or store. BAQ inspectors are also sent to these facilities to assess compliance with their air permit's conditions. If the permit conditions are not met, State and Federal laws can require stiff penalties in the form of fines, requiring additional pollution control devices, or even suspension of their permits and facility shut-downs.

Related Links

Documents linked below are in pdf format.


For more information please contact the Bureau of Air Quality at (803) 898-4123 or by email.