Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Initial Non-attainment Boundaries Proposed

The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency's recommendation for fine particulate (PM2.5) nonattainment boundaries for Tacoma is released. That recommendation was forwarded to Washington Department of Ecology's Air Program (Ecology) Friday, October 26.

Ecology will hold a public hearing on the proposed boundaries in Tacoma on

Wednesday, December 5, 2007, 7:00 p.m.
Pierce County Library and Administrative Center (PAC Building)
3005 112th Street East
Tacoma, WA 98446

After considering the feedback from the Chamber and others, PSCAA eliminated some areas from their original proposal. A map is below of their proposal to Ecology.

You may provide your comments by 5:00 p.m. December 10, 2007. You can comment in person at the hearing, or mail, email or FAX your comments to:

Doug Schneider
Department of Ecology
P.O. Box 4700
Olympia, WA 98504-7600
FAX: (360) 407-7534

Following the hearing, Ecology will transmit the recommendation to EPA by December 18th. EPA will begin their rulemaking process which will take approximately one year.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Implementation of New Federal Clean Air Act Standards

Today, the Chamber's Board of Directors adopted policy guidance for Chamber advocacy in implementation planning for the new federal Clean Air Act standards.

POLICY: In defining non-attainment areas, the Chamber supports:

  • areas not contributing pollutant by type or timing not to be included
  • areas not out-of-attainment not to be included based on trend projections
  • decisions based on scientific data (human health-based and/or environmentally-based criteria ((science-based guidelines)) for setting permissible levels) rather than popular expressions

The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency (PSCAA) is in the process of developing an implementation plan for the new federal standards for clean air, considering such factors as ozone and particulate matter (PM2.5) (2.5 microns or smaller).

The federal Clean Air Act requires “transportation conformity,” federally supported transportation plans, transportation improvements and projects conform to the Clean Air Act. Current data locally indicates that new emphasis will not be on stationary sources (plants), but on transportation conformity (trucks, locomotives, ships) for diesel engines.

Also, the area exceeds the new federal limit on PM2.5, in an area centered on South 78th & L Streets. This pollutant is determined by its characteristics and timing to come from wood smoke (residential).

This seemingly obscure decision to designate the boundaries of a non-attainment area, separated by a few years from potential effects, carries real consequences. A non-attainment designation can adversely affect economic development, transportation infrastructure development and growth in military installations as both the BRAC evaluations and environmental assessments evaluate air quality.


  • October 26, 2007 PSCAA completes initial analyses for designation and informal consultation with Tacoma/Pierce County stakeholders
  • November-December
    WADOE holds public comment sessions
    Draft recommendations to Governor
  • December 1
    Legislative Workgroup to recommend wood smoke reduction plan
  • December 18, 2007
    Governor submits designation areas to EPA
    Based on monitoring data from 2004 - 2006
  • December 18, 2008
    Could consider data from 2005 – 2007
  • States have 3 years after designation to develop a plan and two or more years longer to meet the standards

Friday, October 19, 2007

Support Proposition 1 on November 6th!

The Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber joins the Boeing Company, Microsoft, the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Seattle Association, Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce, Washington Roundtable, Everett Area Chamber of Commerce, Washington Mutual, WSA, Washington Association of Realtors, and other businesses and business organizations across Puget Sound in supporting a "Yes" on the Roads and Transit proposal (Proposition 1) on the November 6 ballot.

Decades of deferred investment in the region’s transportation infrastructure will be addressed by passage of this proposal, which improves many of the most congested traffic choke points, builds 50 miles of new light rail service, and increases access to commuter rail and express bus services throughout the central Puget Sound. The plan also builds new HOV and general purpose lanes in major highway corridors and improves safety on key regional bridges.

Central Puget Sound residents and businesses are experiencing less predictable traffic, more congestion and longer commute times every year. The challenges will increase as population growth adds an estimated 50,000 to the region each year over the next 20 years. Sound Transit and the Regional Transportation Investment District (RTID) have teamed up to propose an integrated long-term proposal for improving the region's transportation system. The measure proposes to connect the busiest population and job centers in Pierce, King, and Snohomish counties to provide a more reliable transportation network for the movement of people and goods.

For more information about Proposition 1, visit the website: