breathing problem in tacoma

Discussion on health consequences of air particulates

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breathing problem in tacoma

Postby bodhi » Thu May 31, 2007 8:27 am

Breathing in a problem
Tacoma on pace to violate revised federal standards for air quality
The News Tribune
Published: May 29th, 2007 01:00 AM

When federal officials announced a new limit on soot under the Clean Air Act eight months ago, attention focused on Tacoma’s South End, where a permanent air quality monitor had recorded a history of pollution.
But now the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, which regulates Tacoma-area polluters, has concluded that the city’s dirty winter air isn’t exclusive to a single neighborhood, or even confined to Tacoma.

Last fall, Puget Sound Clean Air Agency officials set up four temporary air-quality monitoring stations in the South End, East Side, South Tacoma and Lakewood. They operated for six months, until March 1.
It’s worth pointing out that the federal standard is based on a three-year average, not just six months. And Tacoma’s summer air quality is ordinarily pretty good, Kircher said.
But if last winter’s outcome held true for three years, the average concentrations of soot recorded at five sites would exceed the new federal limits, officials said.

WOOD STOVES A LIKELY SUSPECT

Experts don’t know the boundaries of the air pollution problem. And while they suspect that wood-burning stoves contribute to it, they don’t know to what extent.

In the meantime, Clean Air Agency officials plan to assemble an inventory of likely pollution sources, including everything from industrial polluters and oceangoing freighters to diesel trucks on Interstate 5. As part of its data gathering, the agency also plans to poll residents about winter heating practices, particularly involving wood burning.

Wood-burning stoves, especially older, uncertified models, each can emit hundreds of pounds of soot every year, far more than cleaner-burning pellet stoves and oil and gas furnaces.

South End Neighborhood Council members told Kircher and other Clean Air Agency officials they want the agency to crack down on burn-ban violators as well as assist low-income residents who want to upgrade to cleaner-burning fuels. “People who burn wood tend to burn garbage in stoves,” complained board member Esther Day.

“Every source has to be looked at. Fort Lewis, McChord,” said board member Tony Caldwell. “If we come to find out wood stoves are the main source, let’s do something about it.”

Over the past year, the Clean Air Agency has spent more than $1.25 million to reduce particulate pollution from wood stoves, outdoor burning and diesel engines. Most of the money was devoted to retrofits of school and transit bus fleets, said Himes, of the Clean Air Agency.

The agency’s next budget is expected to include money to reduce problems associated with wood smoke and fine particles, Himes said.

The state Ecology Department could provide additional funding to help people swap old-fashioned wood stoves for heaters that pollute much less, she said.

http://www.thenewstribune.com/news/loca ... 73327.html
bodhi
 
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