Department of Ecology News Release - February 14, 2014

14-020

Ecology seeks comment on proposed air quality plan for lead

OLYMPIA – The Department of Ecology (Ecology) invites the public to comment on Washington’s proposed air quality plan for lead (plan).

Comments on the plan will be accepted through March 24, 2014.

The proposed plan

As required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the plan demonstrates that Washington has the authority, rules and programs in place to ensure Washington continues to meet the federal lead standard. The plan does not add rules or change requirements for controlling lead and is available for public review on Ecology’s website.

After the public comment period has closed and comments have been reviewed, Ecology will submit the plan to EPA for approval.  Once approved, the plan will be added to Washington’s comprehensive State Implementation Plan for protecting air quality.

Public comment and hearing details

Comments will be accepted through March 24, 2014.The public can submit comments by email or regular mail.

Email: AQComments@ecy.wa.gov

Regular mail: Laurie Hulse-Moyer, Washington Department of Ecology, PO Box 47600, Olympia, WA 98504-7600.

The public can request a hearing. Public hearing requests must be received no later than March 17, 2014.  Requests should be submitted to Laurie Hulse-Moyer by email at laurie.hulse-moyer@ecy.wa.gov or by phone at 360-407-6783.

If a hearing request is received by the deadline, the hearing will be held March 20, 2014, at 10:00 a.m. at Ecology Headquarters: 300 Desmond Drive, Lacey, Wash.

Ecology will review and consider all comments before submitting the plan to EPA for approval. All comments and Ecology responses will be summarized and published on the agency’s website.

About lead pollution

Lead air pollution levels decreased dramatically, 94 percent, between 1980 and 1999. The reduction was primarily because lead was removed from gasoline. Today, the larger sources of lead emissions to the air are from ore and metals processing and small aircraft that use leaded aviation gasoline. Lead levels are low in Washington state. Washington currently does not have any areas that violate the federal air quality standard for lead.

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Media Contacts:

Camille St. Onge, 360-584-6501, camille.st.onge@ecy.wa.gov

For more information:

Ecology’s Air Quality website (www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/air/sips/plans/infrastructure.htm)

Ecology’s social media (www.ecy.wa.gov/about/socialmedia.html)