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Comments sought on updated air quality standards

OLYMPIA – The public is invited to comment on proposed changes to state air quality standards for specific pollutants so they align with federal standards.

The Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) also is seeking comments about incorporating the updated standards in Washington’s federally required State Implementation Plan. The plan details how the state protects and maintains air quality.

The public comment period continues through Sept. 19.

In recent years, the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) have been updated to better protect people from air pollution. The health-based standards are required by the state and federal Clean Air Acts. They apply to lead, fine and coarse particles, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, and sulfur dioxide.

Comments are welcome on the following documents, which are available on Ecology’s Air Quality rules website:

• Proposed changes to the updated rule.

• A Determination of Nonsignificance under the State Environmental Policy Act.

• Preliminary cost-benefit and least burdensome alternative analyses.

• Proposed changes to State Implementation Plan language.

Ecology will hold two consecutive public hearings starting at 10:30 a.m. on Sept. 10, at Ecology’s headquarters at 300 Desmond Dr. SE in Lacey.

During the first hearing, Ecology staff will explain the updated rule, answer questions, and invite comments on the proposed rule. Immediately following, a second hearing will begin for comments on changes to the State Implementation Plan.

Written comments should clearly say whether they are addressing the rule, the State Implementation Plan, or both. Here is how you can submit comments:

• Email them to AQComments@ecy.wa.gov.

• Fax comments to 360-407-7534.

• Mail them to Margo Thompson, Department of Ecology, P.O. Box 47600, Olympia, WA 98504-7600.

 

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