On March 24, the Washington Department of Ecology will host two virtual listening sessions for Yakima area residents to hear about their concerns with air quality issues in their communities, and the impact that air pollution has had on their lives.
These listening sessions are part of Ecology’s work on the Improving Air Quality in Overburdened Communities Initiative, a new program focused on addressing air quality concerns in Washington communities that bear a disproportionate share of the negative impacts of air pollution.
The first step in that mission is building an expanded air quality-monitoring network in ‘overburdened communities’ around the state. In a future public process, the agency will also develop methods that address air quality concerns within these communities.
Determining which communities are ‘overburdened’ under the CCA requires a rigorous criteria-based public process. As part of their work developing these criteria, Ecology is reaching out to hear from residents about their experiences around air quality and the impact it has had on their communities, health, and environment.
Ecology held several public listening sessions in January, with separate sessions focused on eastern, central and western Washington. This session in the Yakima area is a continuation of this outreach in response to public interest from the region.
Ecology will host two virtual listening sessions on the same day, both covering the same topics and conversational prompts. Anyone that cannot attend is encouraged to share feedback through an online survey.
Join the listening sessions
The Improving Air Quality in Overburdened Communities Initiative is part of the Climate Commitment Act, a Washington law passed in 2021 that seeks to limit greenhouse gas emissions from major sources across the state. Along with reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the Climate Commitment Act also seeks to reduce other types of air pollution, such as fines particulates and ozone, particularly in the communities most impacted by air pollution.
Interpretation services are available. Please contact Caroline.Mellor@ecy.wa.gov if a language other than English or Spanish is needed.