Department of Ecology News Release - October 25, 2012
YAKIMA – Got an old dirty woodstove and live in the Ellensburg area?
In an effort to help improve air quality this winter, the Department of Ecology (Ecology) is offering $200 to residents turning in old woodstoves. In 2011, the Legislature designated funds to reduce smoke in communities from revenues generated by the state voter-approved tax on hazardous substances.
The one-day-only event runs from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012, at the Ellensburg Transfer Station, 1001 Industrial Way, in Ellensburg. Participants must be at least age 18. Up to 80 stoves will be accepted under the cash-back program with a limit of two vouchers per customer. To qualify, stoves will be inspected and must be in working order, clean and free of firebricks, ash and debris. Other stoves may be disposed for free.
“Air quality in the Kittitas Valley has been steadily deteriorating during the winter months and one way for residents to help is by reducing emissions coming out of their homes.” said Jay Carmony, an air quality specialist with Ecology. “We hope this cash-back program will provide an incentive for people to consider cleaner home heating options such as a newer, more efficient certified woodstoves or solar, electric, propane or natural gas.”
During last winter’s home heating season (measured from Oct. 1, 2011, to March 31, 2012), the air monitor at the Hal Holmes Center on Ruby Street recorded 17 days when the air was equal to or greater than Ecology’s healthy air goal of 20 micrograms per cubic meter of the small particulate matter (PM 2.5) found in smoke. These fine particles become imbedded in the lungs and are associated with respiratory ailments, cancer and lung disease.
The community also suffered 17 days of dirty air during a long spate of recent wildfires that began in August. Monitored data from Aug. 12 through Oct. 12 shows there were 14 days when PM 2.5 pollution were in the unhealthy category. During this time, there were also two days in the very unhealthy category and one day in the hazardous category.
Pollution information gathered year round at the monitor also showed Ellensburg was in the state’s top 10 locations for high levels of fine particles found in smoke and diesel exhaust. This graphic illustrates statewide averaging data from the past three years.
If you have questions about the program, contact Jay Carmony at 509-454-7660 or email him at email@example.com.
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Joye Redfield-Wilder, Communications Manager, 509-575-2610; firstname.lastname@example.org
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