Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Chamber Joins Local Clean Air Task Force

If you’ve not heard of the Wapato Hills-Puyallup River Valley PM2.5 Non Attainment Area, it’s not surprising.

Those with excellent memories may recall that the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency (PSCAA), under the direction of the Washington Department of Ecology in 2008 designated much of the Tacoma metro area as non-attainment in order to comply with U.S. EPA guidelines. The Chamber, the Pierce County Executive and the Port of Tacoma were foremost among local advocates to manage that designation so that it addressed the health implications and minimized the negative economic impacts.

The PSCAA has formed a stakeholders’ group called the Tacoma-Pierce County Clean Air Task Force, the task force will be responsible for recommending to the PSCAA solutions to achieve attainment in our air quality. The Chamber joins Port and County and many other representatives to accomplish this task.

While the original cause of non-attainment is overwhelmingly residential wood stove and fireplace emissions, any other sources of particulate emissions will be expected to contribute to resolving the issue. And, while the single area most negatively impacted by the air quality is South Tacoma, all areas of the Tacoma metro will be included in any solutions.

If you wish more information or to be kept within the loop, contact Gary Brackett or 253-682-1720. Gary also would like to identify Chamber members who can advise him on consequences and solutions as the stakeholders task force develops its recommendations.

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