Eastern Washington Dust Storms Trigger Report To EPA; Public Comments Wanted

OLYMPIA – Outdoor dust occurs throughout Washington, but in dry areas like Eastern Washington, dust is a significant air pollution problem.

Throughout the Columbia Plateau high winds can sweep up dust from farm fields and other unstable areas, and produce fierce dust storms. These dust storms can lead to extremely high levels of particle pollution and impact the community’s health and safety.

In 2013, three exceptional storms in Kennewick created high winds and excessive amounts of blowing dust. During these storms, Kennewick’s air pollution levels exceeded the national air quality standard. 

 The Washington Department of Ecology has developed a report showing the dust storms were uncontrollable events. Ecology will submit the report to the Environmental Protection Agency and ask to exclude the high-pollution levels from calculations used to determine if the area exceeded standards.

When standards are exceeded more than three times in a three-year period, local and state air quality agencies are required to take steps to reduce air pollution. The violations may also cause federal impacts that complicate transportation planning and cause stricter business permitting requirements. Plus if plans to return the area to compliance are not adequate, federal highway funds could be at risk.

Members of the public can access the report on Ecology’s Outdoor Dust web page and comment on the report.

How to comment

Comments are being accepted Sept. 3 through Oct. 5, 2015. Submit comments by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or mail to Laurie Hulse-Moyer, Washington State Department of Ecology, P.O. Box 47600, Olympia, WA 98504.

Mason County Commission Meetings Week Of Sep 7, 2015

Sept 7 Briefing cancelled due to the holiday.
Tuesday September 8 Regular meeting 
Wednesday September 9 Special Meeting - Joint Meeting Between Mason County And Thurston County Board Of Commissioners
Agendas below

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Kitsap County Seeks To Amend Code On How Land Is Addressed

(Port Orchard, WA) - Kitsap County's Department of Community Development is seeking to amend County Code 16.66 (Addressing of Land) in an effort to clarify and define a quality address and road name standards, This is in response to the implementation of Next Generation 911 (NG911) in 2017 and improve the ability to find homes and businesses in a reasonably uniform manner.

As part of the process two public meetings are scheduled before the Kitsap Planning Commission.

Tuesday, September 15 at 9 a.m.
Work Study Session in the Port Blakely Conference Room (619 Division Street, Port Orchard)

Tuesday, October 6 at 5:30 p.m.
Meeting in the Board of County Commissioners Chambers (619 Division Street, Port Orchad)

  • Public Hearing on Kitsap County Code Update 16.66 (Addressing of Land)
  • Deliberations on Kitsap County Code Update 16.66 (Addressing of Land)
  • Findings of Fact signed at the Planning Commission Meeting

The proposed changes to the code can be reviewed online.

Upon completion of their findings of fact and recommendations, the proposed code change is submitted to the Board of County Commissioners for another public hearing and deliberations before approving or denying the proposed changes. Those dates have not been established at this time.

September 1, 2015

UPDATE: Aug. 31 & Sep. 1 - Board Of Mason County Commissioners Briefing and Regular Meetings

Both meetings will abe at the Commission Chambers, located at 411 North Fifth Street, Shelton WA 98584. Draft briefing meeting agenda and Regular Meeting agendas:

Update with 8.9 and 8.10

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