The National Council for Air and Stream Improvement (NCASI) is an independent, non-profit research institute that focuses on environmental and sustainability topics relevant to forest management and the manufacture of forest products. NCASI's mission is to undertake scientific studies that will enhance the technical understanding of environmental and sustainability issues associated with forest management practices and the use of wood-derived materials to manufacture forest products. An important part of NCASI's mission is to characterize, and help improve, the effectiveness of pollution control measures employed by forest products manufacturing facilities.
NCASI was established in 1943 by a consortium of pulp and paper companies that were committed to lowering the ecological impact of pulping and papermaking operations. In the first decades of operation, NCASI was at the forefront of the pioneering development of wastewater treatment practices that are widely utilized today, not only for treating mill effluents, but also for treatment of municipal and other wastewaters. In the years since, NCASI has developed technical expertise that encompasses the full spectrum of environmental topics of interest to the broad forest products industry, including wood products manufacturing and forest management. NCASI is today recognized as the leading source of reliable data on environmental issues that pertain to forest products.
NCASI is funded largely by voluntary contributions made by its member companies — primarily forest products companies and industrial timberland owners in North America — that are committed to the goal of reducing the ecological footprint of this important manufacturing sector. Nearly every leading forest products company in the United States supports NCASI's work via membership in NCASI, and a large fraction of Canadian forest products companies participate as members of NCASI, as well. In addition to the research supported by membership dues, NCASI also coordinates and executes research that is sponsored by various government agencies, private foundations, industry consortia and other stakeholders that value scientific knowledge as a basis for environmental regulation and informed decision-making.
NCASI's staff has expertise in many disciplines that cover the full range of technical issues related to environmental and sustainability topics, including analytical chemistry, chemical engineering, paper science, computer modeling and simulation, statistics, toxicology, forest biology, forest ecology, wildlife biology and aquatic biology. Through research investigations, surveys, and other information gathering activities, NCASI helps ensure that the ongoing dialogue concerning environmental policies affecting the forest products industry, and environmental decision-making at many different levels, are grounded in technical information of the highest possible quality.
Research activities are conducted at several facilities located throughout the United States and Canada, including three regional centers, two aquatic biology facilities, and numerous forestry-related field study sites in the U.S. NCASI also maintains a research office in Montreal, Canada. NCASI’s Corporate Office is located in Cary, North Carolina.