Ecology Partners with Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency to Gather Community Input on Air Pollution Concerns
The Washington Department of Ecology is taking steps to tackle air pollution in overburdened communities by expanding the state’s air monitoring network. In collaboration with the Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency, Ecology is organizing in-person open houses to engage with community members and gather their input on air pollution concerns. These events aim to address the health, social, and environmental inequities faced by historically burdened communities and to identify additional monitoring locations. The open houses will take place in Spokane, George, and Mattawa, offering an opportunity for residents to voice their concerns and contribute to the development of a more comprehensive air quality program.
Spokane Open Houses: Addressing Community Concerns
Spokane, a city in eastern Washington, will host the first set of open houses. The meetings will be held on November 8th and 9th at the Central Spokane Public Library and The Hive – Spokane Public Library, respectively. Community members are encouraged to attend these events and share their experiences with outdoor air pollution. The open houses will provide valuable insights into the specific concerns and challenges faced by residents in Spokane, helping Ecology and its partners to develop targeted strategies to address air pollution in the area.
George and Mattawa: Extending Community Engagement
After addressing community concerns in Spokane, Ecology will proceed to George and Mattawa, two towns in eastern Washington. On November 15th, an open house will be held at the George Community Hall, followed by another on November 16th at Wahluke High School in Mattawa. These events will provide an opportunity for residents of these communities to voice their concerns and contribute to the development of a comprehensive air quality program. By extending the open houses to George and Mattawa, Ecology aims to ensure that the voices of all affected communities are heard and considered in their efforts to address air pollution.
Air Quality and Environmental Justice Work
The open houses are part of a larger initiative funded under the Climate Commitment Act (CCA), focusing on communities burdened with health, social, and environmental inequities. The goal is to address the disproportionate impact of air pollution on these communities and work towards environmental justice. By engaging with community members and gathering their input, Ecology aims to ensure that resources and efforts are directed where they are most needed. This community-centered approach is crucial for the success of the program and reflects Ecology’s commitment to inclusivity and equitable environmental practices.
Informative Sessions and Anonymous Surveys
During the open houses, attendees will have the opportunity to engage with Ecology staff and air quality experts. These experts will provide information on air quality and the new program, as well as listen to the public’s input. The sessions will facilitate informal conversations and allow community members to express their concerns, providing valuable insights for Ecology’s future actions. In addition, attendees can participate in an anonymous air quality survey, sharing their experiences with air pollution and contributing to the data collection process.
The Washington Department of Ecology’s expansion of the air monitoring network and the engagement with overburdened communities through open houses mark a significant step towards addressing air pollution and promoting environmental justice. By actively involving community members in the decision-making process, Ecology aims to ensure that resources are allocated where they are most needed. The open houses in Spokane, George, and Mattawa provide an opportunity for residents to voice their concerns and contribute to the development of a comprehensive air quality program. Through these efforts, Ecology is working towards a cleaner and healthier environment for all Washington residents.