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Georgia Basin - Puget Sound International Airshed Strategy Doug Brown WA Dept of Ecology

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Georgia Basin - Puget Sound International Airshed Strategy Doug Brown WA Dept of Ecology September 23, 2009. Key AQ issues in GB/PS. Significant ozone levels (esp. summertime ozone highs) Concern about health effects of (esp.) PM Significantly growing population and economy

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Georgia Basin - Puget Sound

International Airshed Strategy

Doug Brown

WA Dept of Ecology

September 23, 2009


Key AQ issues in GB/PS

  • Significant ozone levels (esp. summertime ozone highs)
  • Concern about health effects of (esp.) PM
  • Significantly growing population and economy
  • Degraded visibility & implications for tourism/ quality of life
  • Strong public concern re. threats to air quality

Photo courtesy of Port of Seattle


Emerging AQ issues in GB-PS

  • Area sources (e.g. home heating) increasingly important
  • Outdoor burning (esp. rural)
  • Increased fuel prices
    • shift towards “green” behavior (smaller vehicles, car pooling, etc.) or …
    • shift to cheaper (dirtier) fuels ?
  • New science about pollutant impacts at previously “safe” levels
  • Urban densification or increasing sprawl ?
  • Increasing global inputs to our region (e.g. long-range Hg)
  • Climate Change (GHG & Adaptation)

Emerging AQ issues in GB-PS

Addressing Visibility, Particulate Matter and Ozone

  • PM Annex negotiations in progress under the US-Canada Air Quality Agreement
    • Possible West Coast chapter to focus on Visibility
  • PM 2.5 Non-Attainment designation in Tacoma area
    • Residential wood smoke
    • Vehicle emissions
  • Ozonelevels in Fraser Valley Regional District (FVRD) exceeding or near Canada-Wide Standards for Ozone
  • Ozone levels in Puget Sound region nearing new EPA standards
  • Residential Heating
    • Wood Stove replacement programs
  • Diesel Retrofit Programs ongoing

Goals of the IAS

  • Reduce risk to human health & ecosystems from AQ
  • Improve visibility/Reduce Particulate Matter in airshed
  • Decrease GHG in airshed

History / context of IAS Process (GB-PS transb. cooperation)

  • 1991 U.S.-Canada Air Quality Agreement
  • 1992 BC-WA Environmental Cooperation Agreement
  • 1994 WA-BC-GVRD-NWCAA Interagency Agreement
  • 2000 Statement of Cooperation on GB-PS Ecosystem
  • 2001 1st meeting what would become GB-PS IAS
  • 2002 Statement of Intent on GB-PS IAS
  • 2003 U.S.-Canada Border Air Quality Strategy
  • 2005 IAS document finalized/ ratified
  • 2006 PM Annex discussions begin
United States

EPA (r10)

WA Dept. of Ecology

WA Dept. of Health

Regional AQ Agencies





National Park Service

Whatcom County Cons. Society


Environment Canada (PYR)

BC Min. of Environment

Regional Agencies

Metro Vancouver. (formerly the Greater Vanc. Regional Dist.)

Fraser Valley Regional District

First Nations

Health Canada

Members of the IAS Coordinating Committee


Structure of IAS Coordinating Committee & work groups

Northwest Air Quality


Rebecca Freedman

Laura Curley

Review of New



Vehicles & Fuels

Climate Change






Residential Wood Heating

Marine & Ports




Core activities of GB-PS IAS


(e.g. improved transboundary

A/S management)


(e.g. transboundary

emission reductions)

Coordinate efforts

(e.g. on-road diesel

emission reductions)

Identify priorities/ gaps

& decide on action

(e.g. identify emerging trends, support

transboundary approach to

address marine/ port emissions)



relationships (e.g.

strengthen existing/

develop new)


Reporting out/

Share information

(e.g. presenting new info

at IAS meetings)



Core functions of the Coordinating Committee (GB-PS IAS)

Sharing/ Coordination

(result = information)

  • Info sharing/ Coordination
  • Core function of agency representatives, workgroup leads and invited guests
  • Focus =
    • Discussion of new developments/ priorities,
    • review of projects that cut across organizational boundaries,
    • consideration emerging trends and future options, etc.
  • May require small, more efficient sub-committees for specific themes/ issues/ tasks
  • e.g. Darrington wood smoke efforts, diesel retrofit efforts (in WA, BC)

Research and analysis

(result = recommendations)

  • Research and recommendations
  • Core function of scientists and policy experts
  • Focus = development of new information and path forward
  • Such committees can be dissolved after issuing recommendations
  • e.g. Airshed Characterization, modelling; Analysis of T/boundary AQ management models


(result = decision)

  • Governance
  • Core function of executives/ key managers
  • Focus
    • Allows decision-making/ direction for multi-agency relevant issues
    • To reach agreement on priorities and path forward
  • e.g. decision to pursue marine vessel/ port emissions in transboundary context

Collaboration/ Cooperation

(result = action)

  • Collaboration/ Cooperation
  • Core function of work groups
  • Focus = To coordinate effort towards results (projects) of mutual interest
  • e.g. LFV EI (in GVRD, FVRD, Whatcom Co), BAQS health studies

Results of the IAS Coordinating Committee

  • Improved dialogue & trust between agencies
  • Increased inter-agency resource leveraging (staff support and financial)
  • Improved management of significant issues with overlapping implications
  • Completion of projects to address AQ management and emission reductions

Inter-agency IAS Agricultural wind tunnel project

to reduce nearby PM increases (Abbotsford)

Diesel emission retrofit project to address

on-road emissions (Lower Fraser Valley)


Results of the IAS Coordinating Committee

  • Completion of projects to address AQ mgt and emission reductions
    • Clean vehicles & fuels
      • diesel emission reduction programs – info-sharing & parallel projects
    • EA/ major project notifications
      • review of project procedures in GB-PS & gap analysis
    • Marine
      • early identification of significant transboundary AQ issues, influence of West Coast Collaborative & implementation
    • Communication/ outreach
      • Dev’t of coordinated message products for agency partners; transboundary polling of GB-PS residents re AQ values
    • Science
      • GB-PS Airshed Characterization; prelim. assessment of deposition issues in GB-PS; identification/ gap analysis of visibility science/ monitoring in GB-PS
    • Wood smoke
      • info-sharing re. BMPs to reduce emissions (technical, programs, community/ outreach)
    • Agriculture
      • identification of BMPs to reduce emissions; engagement w industry partners on clean air issues;