Working with other agencies
ORCAA works cooperatively with the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) and the regional United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). While ORCAA monitors ambient air quality within our 6-county jurisdiction, Ecology’s Air Quality program and EPA’s program focus on the broader regions.
Ecology maintains a map-based tool providing near real-time air quality information for all of Washington state. ORCAA’s air quality monitoring program is part of the state-wide network. The goal of this effort is to provide information to help protect health. The monitoring network is also used to determine if air quality meets health-based federal standards.
AirNow is a partnership of EPA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Park Service, NASA, the Centers for Disease Control, and tribal, state, and local air quality agencies. These agencies from all over the country send their monitoring data to AirNow for display. What’s more, the Department of State provides data from U.S. Embassies and Consulates to inform personnel and citizens overseas, and the U.S. Forest Service and NOAA provide fire and smoke data.
AirNow data is also reported through an interactive map. The data is shown using the Air Quality Index (AQI), a color-coded index designed to communicate whether air quality is healthy or unhealthy for you.
Local Clean Air Agencies in Washington
ORCAA is one of seven local clean air agencies in Washington. With the passage of the state Clean Air Act, all counties were provided the option of selecting either local authority over the provisions of the act, or letting the state Department of Ecology (Ecology) retain authority. Many counties, therefore, are represented by regional offices of Ecology.
Northwest Clean Air Agency – Jurisdiction includes Island, Skagit, and Whatcom Counties
Puget Sound Clean Air Agency – Jurisdiction includes King, Kitsap, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties
Southwest Clean Air Agency – Jurisdiction includes Clark, Cowlitz, Lewis, and Skamania Counties
Yakima Region Clean Air Agency – Jurisdiction includes Yakima County
Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency – Jurisdiction includes Spokane County
Benton County Clean Air Agency – Jurisdiction includes Benton County
NW Regional Office, Ecology –Jurisdiction includes San Juan County
Central Regional Office, Ecology – Jurisdiction includes Chelan, Douglas, Kittitas, Klickitat, and Okanogan Counties
Eastern Regional Office, Ecology – Jurisdiction includes Adams, Asotin, Columbia, Ferry, Franklin, Garfield, Grant, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Stevens, Walla Walla, and Whitman Counties
Other Air Quality Programs
- British Columbia: AirMap, Metro Vancouver’s air quality monitoring website, shows air quality and weather data from the Lower Fraser Valley air quality monitoring network, the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI), and information about residential indoor wood burning.
- Colville Reservation: The Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation maintains a strong air quality program in northeastern Washington state.
- Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ): Idaho maintains a state-wide air monitoring network that can be viewed on an interactive map.
- Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ): Oregon maintains a state-wide air monitoring network that can be viewed on an interactive map.