Department of Ecology News Release - March 2, 2015

Updating the clean air plan for Spokane County
Review and comment on the plan now through April 3

SPOKANE –Wood smoke is a common contributor to air pollution in Washington. Keeping air clean for everyone requires routine monitoring and careful management.

An updated clean air plan for managing pollution from solid-fuel burning devices like wood stoves, fireplaces, pellet stoves and fireplace inserts to protect air quality and public health in Spokane County is available for public review.

The Department of Ecology is seeking comments on Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency’s updated plan that reflects changes made to local rules in 2014 for solid-fuel burning devices.

The proposed clean air plan for Spokane County allows air quality managers to issue burn bans at a lower threshold to help improve overall air quality. It also contains updated criteria for individuals to obtain an exemption to use solid-fuel burning devices during a burn ban.

After the public comment period has closed and comments have been reviewed, Ecology will submit the plan to the Environmental Protection Agency for approval. Once approved, the plan will be added to the statewide plan for protecting air quality.

Washington, along with other states, is required to maintain a statewide plan that ensures federal air quality standards are met.

Public comments on the plan are being accepted through April 3, 2015. Comments can be submitted by email to AQComments@ecy.wa.gov or by mail to Joanna Ekrem, Washington Department of Ecology, P.O. Box 47600, Olympia, WA 98504-7600.

The public can request a hearing by contacting Joanna Ekrem by email at joanna.ekrem@ecy.wa.gov  or by phone at 360-407-6826. Requests must be received no later than March 23, 2015.

If a hearing request is received by the deadline, it will be held at 9:30 a.m. on April 2, 2015, at Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency office: 3104 E. Augusta Avenue, Spokane, WA 99207. If a hearing request is not received, Ecology will announce a cancellation of the April 2 hearing on its public involvement calendar

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Contact:

Brook Beeler, communication manager, 509-329-3478, @ecyspokane

Margee Chambers, public information and business assistance, 509-477-4727 x114