Questions for ORCAA and others abound

Sequim Gazette staff

Five peninsula environmental organizations have come up with a list of items they’d like to have addressed when the Olympic Region Clean Air Agency (ORCAA) meets in Sequim on Oct. 15.


The board decided to hold its regular monthly meeting in Sequim to provide residents of Clallam and Jefferson counties with an opportunity to discuss the agency’s plan for air monitoring in the two counties.


Writing for the group, spokesman Bob Lynette addressed ORCAA, Clallam County commissioners and others, saying, “There is a concern that the ORCAA presentation may not answer many of the public’s questions and leave many still frustrated and concerned. To avoid this, we are asking that you, either individually, or acting on behalf of your organization, request that ORCAA cover the attached issues in its presentation.”


The organizations’ requests include:


1) A summary of the health implications associated with all emissions from the biomass boilers with an emphasis on ultrafine particulates. “This should include a summary of the conclusions of the national health organizations such as the American Heart Association, American Lung Association, American Cancer Society and the American Academy of Pediatrics.”


2) The status of EPA’s ultrafine particulates regulations.


3) A summary of which particulate emissions on the peninsula are now being measured and where they are measured.


Lynette asked, “Do current ambient monitoring devices accurately measure the number of ultrafine particulates in the air at the monitoring stations? “


4) A summary of ORCAA proposals regarding particulates monitoring on the North Olympic Peninsula. “If ORCAA had the resources, what would be the ideal number and locations of ambient monitoring devices?”


5) Details on how pollutants from Nippon and Port Townsend Paper will be distinguished from those from home fireplaces.


6) Lynette said emission measurements, both in-stack and ambient, plus historical data should be easily and freely available to the public. He asked for agency plans on how this will be achieved, and further, if an independent entity will be archiving the accumulated data.


The signatories to the letter include the North Olympic Group of the Sierra Club, Clallam County Healthy Air Coalition, Olympic Environmental Council, Protect the Peninsula’s Future and PT Airwatchers.


ORCAA will hold its meeting beginning at 5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 15, at the Sequim Transit Center, 190 W. Cedar St.
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