Air monitoring plans are up for discussion

Sequim Gazette staff

This Monday the board of the Olympic Region Clean Air Agency will meet in Sequim.


The board moved its monthly meeting from agency headquarters in Olympia in order to provide Clallam and Jefferson residents with an opportunity to discuss the agency’s plans for air-quality monitoring in the two counties.


The issue has been raised repeatedly since Nippon Paper Industries in Port Angeles and Port Townsend Paper both announced plans to utilize biomass burners at their mills.


Critics say the burners will generate hazardous levels of particulate matter and say current ORCAA monitors are insufficient to properly gauge the risk they pose.


Don Nelson, public information officer for ORCAA, said the board members anticipate a substantial number of local citizens will attend the meeting.


ORCAA’s board has discussed purchasing several portable monitors for use in the two counties. Nelson said the portable monitors can provide high-quality measurements but aren’t designed for permanent use.

A permanent monitor can cost $20,000 to $30,000, Nelson said. The meeting begins at 5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 15, at the Sequim Transit Center, 190 W. Cedar St.

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