South Seattle air quality - subject of public meeting
OLYMPIA - An air quality study on potential health effects will be discussed with residents of South Seattle communities at a meeting tomorrow.
The state Department of Health will host the meeting Tuesday, Oct. 21, and explain the findings of the health consultation, "Summary of Results of the Duwamish Valley Regional Modeling and Health Risk Assessment."
The findings show what we already know throughout the state and the nation - the potential health risks are higher for people who live near pollution sources such as major roads and highways. Soot, particles emitted from diesel engines, and wood smoke from woodstoves are clearly a health concern.
A petition by residents of the South Park and Georgetown communities led the state health department to look at chemical and environmental contaminants in the area. The report analyzed information from an air modeling study of the area that was conducted for the Department of Health. According to the report, diesel emissions, and smoke from fireplaces and woodstoves are major contributors to air contamination that pose a public health concern.
Agencies are working to reduce the amount of emissions released into the air. The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency has a Diesel Solutions program that began in 2001. The program encourages the use of cleaner fuels and reduced vehicle idling, and installs equipment on vehicles to reduce emissions. The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency and Washington Department of Ecology are also working to reduce wood smoke emissions. These programs include "burn bans" during unhealthy air periods, as well as outreach and education programs to encourage clean home heating practices.
The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency and the Department of Ecology will also attend and present at the community meeting.
The meeting will begin with an open house at 6 p.m. at the South Seattle Community College Georgetown Campus, Gene J. Colin Education Building, Room C110-111, 6737 Corson Ave. S. A combined agency presentation will begin at 7 p.m., followed by a question and answer session.
Source: Washington State Department of Health
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