Improving Air Quality in Overburdened Communities Initiative

balanced justice figure
The Improving Air Quality in Overburdened Communities Initiative is an exciting new effort to reduce air pollution in Washington communities highly impacted by air pollution. While the Climate Commitment Act (CCA) focuses on greenhouse gas emissions, Section 3 of the CCA also requires that we work to reduce other forms of air pollution — such as ozone and fine particulates — in overburdened communities highly impacted by air pollution. The first step in this process is the identification of these communities in Washington.

Once we have identified communities as overburdened by air pollution, we will:

  • Expand air quality monitoring for criteria air pollutants in these communities.
  • Develop standards and strategies for reducing air pollution within these communities.

Environmental justice is at the heart of this initiative. We will be building this initiative over time to best serve the needs of the public.

Fall engagement opportunities

Public comment sessions
We will provide seven online opportunities for public participation. The format for each session is an overview of the air quality initiative, followed by a question-and-answer period, and then public comment.

Date

Time

 Location

 Tue., Sept. 27, 2022

 1:00 p.m.

 Zoom Meeting Link

 Thur., Sept. 29, 2022

 6:00 p.m.

 Zoom Meeting Link

 Wed., Oct.12, 2022

 6:00 p.m.

 Zoom Meeting Link

 Tue., Oct.18, 2022

 1:00 p.m.

 Zoom Meeting Link

 Thur., Oct. 20, 2022

 6:00 p.m.

 Zoom Meeting Link

 Wed., Oct. 26, 2022

 1:00 p.m.

 Zoom Meeting Link

 Tue., Nov. 1, 2022

 6:00 p.m.

 Zoom Meeting Link

*Please note: Registration is required for virtual hearings.

Future work

Input from community members across the state is essential to the "Improving Air Quality in Overburdened Communities Initative." Based on the expanded air quality monitoring network, we will work with local governments, local clean air agencies, Tribes, and other stakeholders to:

  • Review and evaluate air quality in these areas in periodic intervals.
  • Develop new emission control mechanism and potential regulations to address criteria air pollution in the identified communities.
  • Identify the future emission control mechanism that will be developed through separate processes, with additional opportunities for engagement.

2022 Timeline

Jan. - Mar. 2022

Community feedback through survey and listening sessions (informal public process) will be used to develop the draft indicators to identify overburdened communities.
Late Summer 2022 Outreach to communities to share common themes we heard from our first public comment period and the way we used public input to develop draft indicators.
Fall 2022 Public engagement processd. Opportunity for communities to give feedback on the draft indicators and the process to determine overburdened communities.
Winter 2022 After we have finalized the draft indicators, we will use them to identify communities and outreach a third time to share results and begin the monitor placement process in those identified communities.