Monday, August 30, 2010

Join the discussion on water management reform

UPDATE: The Water Smart Washington online forum is now open for comments (8/30/10)

The Washington Department of Ecology’s Water Smart Washington Online Forum has been activated and will take your comments now on ways to improve the management of water resources in Washington state.

We invite you to contribute your ideas and join the discussion in the forum!

This blog will keep you informed on the suggestions and ideas collected in the Forum and share the answers our water resources experts provide to questions posed by the public.

For more information, see Ecology’s Aug. 25, 2010, news release.

Around the Sound: News to start the week

By Seth Preston, Communications Manager, Toxics Cleanup Program

Let’s start off the new work week with some recent news items related to Puget Sound:
  • The Kitsap Sun has this piece updating a recent oyster kill along Hood Canal.

  • Also from the Kitsap Sun comes news that a local tribe may challenge a developer’s plans for a major project in the Port Gamble area. Port Gamble Bay is one of Ecology’s high-priority bays identified for cleanup under the Puget Sound Initiative.


  • The Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) sent out this news release about its on-going efforts to remove derelict vessels from Puget Sound waters. Here’s more information about DNR's program.

  • Investigate West, an online publication focusing on investigative journalism, recently took a look at how cruise ships deal with waste while at sea.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Fecal Matters: Swimming Advisory at Pomeroy Park

BEACH Program Update

Marine water samples collected August 23rd and 25th at Pomeroy Park in Manchester, WA (Kitsap County) showed elevated counts of fecal bacteria. Based on the confirmation results, Kitsap County Health District issued a swimming advisory.

Increased pathogen and fecal bacteria levels in marine waters can come from both shore and inland sources. Inland sources can consist of stormwater runoff, sewer overflows, failing septic systems and even animal waste from livestock, pets, and wildlife. Shore sources can consist of swimmers, boats, marine mammals, birds, and other wildlife. We often observe high bacteria results following rain events. In general, the BEACH Program recommends avoiding contact with marine waters 48 hours following rainfall.

Contact with fecal contaminated waters can result in gastroenteritis, skin rashes, upper respiratory infections and other illnesses. Children and the elderly may be more vulnerable to waterborne illnesses.

An advisory has been issued for this beach. Visit the BEACH Map to see beach closures across the coast and sound. Surf the web before you surf the beach!

Jessica Bennett is the BEACH Program Data Manager.
She is available at 360-407-6159 or jessica.bennett@ecy.wa.gov for questions.



Thursday, August 26, 2010

Fecal Matters: Swimming Advisory Lifted From Purdy Spit County Park

BEACH Program Update

Tacoma - Pierce County Health Department has lifted the swimming advisory from Purdy Spit County Park. Last week marine water sampling showed elevated levels of enterococcus, a type of fecal bacteria. Additional monitoring has shown the level of bacteria is now at safe levels.

Visit the BEACH web site to find the latest results for this and other saltwater beaches: http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/eap/beach/

Purdy Spit is now open to water contact. Visit the BEACH Map to see the status of other beaches.

Jessica Bennett is the BEACH Program Data Manager. She is available at 360-407-6159 or jessica.bennett@ecy.wa.gov for questions.


Around the Sound: Rayonier cleanup team coming to StreamFest

by Hannah Aoyagi, Public Involvement Coordinator


Ecology will be in Port Angeles for StreamFest on Sunday August 29th!

Stop by our table and talk with Rayonier Mill Site Manager Marian Abbett and Connie Groven, Project Manager for the Harbor Sediments Investigation and Soil Dioxin Study. We'll have information about several local environmental issues Ecology is working on.

Many thanks to the North Olympic Land Trust for hosting us.

Please visit their website for more information about the event.


Air Time: King County honors state's vehicle emissions contractor

By Seth Preston, Communications Manager, Air Quality Program

King County recently honored the state’s contractor for vehicle emissions checks for its “green” practices, including recycling.

Ecology contracts with Applus Technologies Inc. to run the vehicle check program in Clark, King, Pierce, Snohomish, and Spokane counties. Emissions tests are required in urban areas of those counties because of the amount of air pollution caused by motor vehicles there.

Motor vehicles cause more than half of Washington’s air pollution. This pollution causes cancer, asthma and other health problems. More than 50 percent of Washington’s residents suffer from at least one medical condition that air pollution makes worse.

For the second year in a row, King County’s Solid Waste Division named Applus as a 2010 Best Workplace for Recycling and Waste Reduction.

Applus earned the recognition by taking nearly 30 actions to reduce waste and increase recycling at its King County facilities. Actions included:
  • More use of electronic documents and e-mail to reduce printing.
  • Forming recycling teams made up of employees.
  • Providing composting, recycling and food waste bins at all Applus locations.
  • Verifying that any new items could be recycled or were made from recycled materials.
Separately, Applus employees worked with the Arbor Day Foundation to plant more than 1,000 trees in the Plumas National Forest in northern California.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Around the Sound: Sharing Rayonier cleanup updates in Port Angeles

by Hannah Aoyagi, Public Involvement Coordinator

Ecology’s Rayonier Mill team spent three days last week in Port Angeles, sharing cleanup updates with the community. Our packed schedule included an event with the Olympic Environmental Council and a brown bag lunch at the library, a presentation to City Council, several meetings, and a site visit. A highlight was attending the public unveiling of a conceptual plan for restoring Ennis Creek by the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe and Rayonier.

So what’s the update?

We reached the first major milestone in the cleanup process by giving Rayonier the go-ahead to start sampling the mill property. About every four weeks over the next six months, Rayonier will have workers onsite collecting groundwater, surface water, and soil data. This work will include:

  • Taking samples from groundwater wells and drilling new wells.
  • Digging pits to take soil samples from.
  • Walking the shoreline to find and sample places where groundwater is seeping into the harbor.
  • Taking surface water samples from Ennis and White creeks.

We also gave updates on the Port Angeles Harbor Sediments Investigation and Rayonier Mill Off-Property Soil Dioxin Study. Within the next few weeks, we are expecting a draft of the soil dioxin report that we can review and then release to the public around the end of the year. The harbor sediments report is being reorganized and will likely come out in early 2011.

What did we hear?

Many stakeholders we spoke with were pleased to hear that sampling was beginning, but still very concerned about the cleanup staying on track. Of particular concern is that we still have not released the harbor sediments or soil dioxin reports. We heard a great deal of support for incorporating Ennis Creek restoration into the cleanup, especially removing the dock and jetty, which will be an integral part of the restoration process.

Your source for cleanup information

As work gears up at the site, it’s important that we keep you informed and involved. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns about the cleanup or related issues.

  • Questions about the Rayonier Mill cleanup – Marian Abbett Marian.Abbett@ecy.wa.gov or 360.407.6257
  • Questions about the Port Angeles Harbor Sediments Investigation or Rayonier Mill Off-Property Soil Dioxin Study – Connie Groven Connie.Groven@ecy.wa.gov or 360.407.6254
  • Not sure? Hannah Aoyagi, Public Involvement Coordinator Hannah.Aoyagi@ecy.wa.gov or 360.407.6790

Did you miss us last week?

We'll be at StreamFest in Port Angeles on Sunday, August 29th!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Sampling has started at cleanup site in Bellingham’s Boulevard Park

By Katie J. Skipper, Ecology communications manager, Bellingham Field Office


If you’re in Boulevard Park in Bellingham in the next few weeks, you’ll probably see crews operating some noisy equipment and examining soil, sediment and water samples. If you can’t make it to the park to see the action, check out the photo gallery of the week’s work in the right-hand column of the site Web page.

They’re collecting samples as part of a comprehensive environmental study of the area, looking for the location and concentration of contaminants from a gas plant that operated from the 1890s to the late 1940s. The plant made gas from coal for home heating and cooking. The only visible structures remaining are in the upper park: A small brick building (PDF 4.7 MB) near South State Street, and the concrete gas-holding tank (PDF 1.84 MB) that now has a gazebo on top of it.

The South State Street Manufactured Gas Plant site is one of 12 cleanup sites in the Bellingham Bay Demonstration Pilot. It’s about 6 acres at the north end of Boulevard Park.

Sampling at the park will continue into mid-September, and is being performed according to an Ecology-approved work plan (PDF 937 KB). Results of the sampling effort and an evaluation of cleanup options will be assembled into a report, which Ecology expects to present for public review in 2012.

Site work is being done under a legal agreement between Ecology, the city of Bellingham and Puget Sound Energy.

For more information about the sampling work, you can read the news release.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Fecal Matters: Swimming Advisory Issued for Purdy Sandspit

BEACH Program Update

Marine water samples collected Tuesday, August 17th at Purdy Sandspit in Pierce County showed elevated counts of fecal bacteria. Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department has issued a swimming advisory. Officials have collected follow up samples and an update will be available next week.

Increased pathogen and fecal bacteria levels in marine waters can come from both shore and inland sources. Inland sources can consist of stormwater runoff, sewer overflows, failing septic systems and even animal waste from livestock, pets, and wildlife. Shore sources can consist of swimmers, boats, marine mammals, birds, and other wildlife. We often observe high bacteria results following rain events. In general, the BEACH Program recommends avoiding contact with marine waters 48 hours following rainfall.

Contact with fecal contaminated waters can result in gastroenteritis, skin rashes, upper respiratory infections and other illnesses. Children and the elderly may be more vulnerable to waterborne illnesses.

An advisory has been issued for this beach. Visit the BEACH Map to see beach closures across the coast and sound. Surf the web before you surf the beach!

Jessica Bennett is the BEACH Program Data Manager.
She is available at 360-407-6159 or jessica.bennett@ecy.wa.gov for questions.


Help us improve the way your water is managed and protected

By Dan Partridge, Communications manager, Water Resources Program

UPDATE: The Water Smart Washington online forum is now open for comments (8/30/10)

Where does your water come from?


For many people, the answer is simple: the faucet in my kitchen sink.

In fact, your drinking water, the water used to grow crops, and the water that fish and wildlife depend upon, comes from the rivers, lakes, streams, and groundwater of Washington state. The average person takes water for granted and assumes it will always be here: clean, abundant and cheap.

Let's discuss this online!



Those of us who work in the Water Resources Program at the Department of Ecology are reaching out to the public to challenge those assumptions. We’d like to invite you to join us in a major effort to change the way water is managed in Washington state so that water for current and future needs will always be available.

On Monday, Aug. 30, 2010, Ecology will open the Water Smart Washington Online Forum to engage the public in water management discussions.

Growing demands for water fueled by population growth, the need for economic development, and finding ways to cope with climate change, means we will be facing declining water supplies unless we change the way we do our work in Water Resources and find better ways to pay for that work.

Finding new and better ways to manage water


Water Resources’ ongoing mission is to partner with Washington communities in support of managing sustainable water resources for the benefit of people and the natural environment. Efforts to fulfill that mission, however, have been handicapped in recent years by inconsistent funding resulting from dependence on the State General Fund and the need to update 19th century water laws which are inadequate for regulating water use in the 21st Century.

Budget cuts and staff reductions have left us with antiquated data systems and have put us way behind in processing water right applications. You need a water right to use the water of Washington but our backlog has left thousands of applicants waiting in line for their applications to be processed.

The Water Smart Washington Online Forum will feature a 'Question of the Week' about how the Water Resources Program can become more efficient and self-sustaining. A sample question:
“Currently state taxpayers pay for more than 98 percent of the cost of processing water right applications for agriculture or commercial uses, with the cost of processing averaging about $10,000 per application. Should those who want to use the water of Washington pay a larger portion or even the full cost of processing their water right applications?”

Your comments and suggestions will be posted online in the Forum and your questions will be answered. Your participation in the Forum will help shape the policy initiatives Ecology is considering and the proposed legislation that Ecology will be requesting to reform water resource management in Washington state.

So please check our website on Monday, Aug. 30 and join in the discussion. In the meantime, the introductory video for the Online Forum is currently available on YouTube.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Closing 177 Hanford Tanks: A Tough Task

By Jeff Lyon, Tank Waste Storage Project, Nuclear Waste Program

The Ecology Nuclear Waste Program provides oversight for cleanup of Hanford, a federal government site covering more than 500 square miles! About ten percent of it is contaminated with dangerous radioactive or chemical waste, and sometimes both. One part of the cleanup is treating the waste stored in large underground tanks. To treat the waste, the U.S. Department of Energy (USDOE) is building a Waste Treatment Plant (WTP).

The WTP is the biggest of its kind, incorporating thousands of miles of rebar and wiring and hundreds of thousands of tons of concrete. The unique facility will permanently combine the most radioactive waste with glass, immobilizing it and keeping it out of the environment. USDOE plans to start using the WTP in about 10 years.

Where to Start?
The first step in preparing the waste for treatment and meeting the Washington Dangerous Waste Requirements is to retrieve the waste from the older tanks and put it into newer tanks. There are 177 underground tanks grouped together in “Farms” or “Waste Management Areas” (WMAs). Many of the tanks (149) are old and no longer reliable. There are 28 newer tanks that we consider fit for use.

Closing the Farm
The first farm to be retrieved and closed is WMA-C or C-Farm. C-Farm has 16 tanks, and we hope to retrieve waste from all of them by September 2014. Our goal is to close C-Farm by 2019. We will be monitoring progress and approving the actions that will complete tank farm closure. We plan to have all of the older tank farms (7 total) closed by 2043 and all of the tanks closed by 2052.

We Need Your Input
This is a complex project, so communication with the public and tribal nations is important. We are issuing periodic C-Farm Updates describing tank-related cleanup work. We also developed Tank Closure 101 and Retrieving Tank Wastes at Hanford: The Basics to explain some of the general complexities of closing the tank farms.

I plan to post regular updates on progress at the tank farms, so let’s start a conversation. Take a look at our tank farm publications and send me your thoughts, opinions, and questions about this part of the cleanup. Hearing from the public will help the agencies make the best decisions possible.



Around the Sound: Oysters rescue and cleanup work

By Seth Preston, Communications Manager, Toxics Cleanup Program
  • Chris Dunagan of the Kitsap Sun offers continuing coverage of efforts to rescue oysters that the wake from a Navy ship may have washed up on a beach along Hood Canal.

  • John Dodge of The Olympian writes about the cleanup work at the old Hardel Mutual Plywood site on Budd Inlet in Olympia. Here’s more background on the site from Ecology.

  • The Peninsula Daily News has these two articles related to the former Rayonier mill site in Port Angeles. The first focuses on the city’s ongoing attempt to acquire some Rayonier property and a water tank to help deal with sewage overflow problems. The second looks at the Lower Elwha tribe’s ideas for restoring the Ennis Creek estuary.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Free (almost) Greener All-Purpose Cleaner!

By Michael Bergman, Toxic Free Tips coordinator, Hazardous Waste and Toxics Reduction

UPDATE 8/23/211: Ecology is pulling this popular video from its YouTube site over concerns about borax. Find out more...






Hey, we’ve got a cool, fun, clever new video that’s ready to go “viral”. It’s a spoofy, infomercial style clip about the soon-to-be famous Greener All-Purpose Cleaner: a great product that people can whip up at home for pennies. Please check it out at Ecology’s YouTube site.

And then tell your friends, family and neighbors about it, in addition to co-workers, pets, plumber, psychiatrist, pastor or anyone else you can think of. Right now, send that link to all your e-mail contacts. Please. Better for you, better for your pocket book, better for the environment. And also fun and a little whacky. What’s not to like? (And thanks for spreading the word).

Here’s the story behind it:

I coordinate the Toxic Free Tips service at Ecology. We tell households how they can protect themselves and their families (and pets) from toxics in everyday products. There are effective, inexpensive and environmentally friendly alternatives out there. But it’s tough for people to change old habits and of course commercial cleaners — and the unrealistic mentality of killing every germ everywhere all the time — are heavily advertised.

So, I asked myself if it would be possible to use some of the same media techniques to give consumers information about alternatives to harsh or toxic cleaners. Fortunately, due to the dramatic expansion of what folks call “social media” – My Space, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and all the rest – there is a way for a public agency using only in-house resources and a low budget to get its message out to a mass audience.

Contact us any time at about any questions you might have about toxics in everyday products. Toll-free at 1-866-939-9991 or email: ToxicFreeTips@ecy.wa.gov Also, check out Toxic Free Tips online.





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Monday, August 16, 2010

Around the Sound: Ratfish in the Sound and other news

By Seth Preston, Communications Manager, Toxics Cleanup Program

In its Pacific Magazine, the Seattle Times presents an in-depth look at the large population of ratfish and other species in Puget Sound.
  • The Bellingham Herald has this piece on sampling planned at a cleanup site in Bellingham’s popular Boulevard Park. And here’s Ecology's original news release on the work.

  • The Peninsula Daily News has this take on a tribal vision for the former Rayonier mill cleanup site in Port Angeles. The Rayonier site is drawing a lot of attention in Port Angeles these days – here’s some background on the site.


Friday, August 13, 2010

Fecal Matters: Update on earlier high bacteria results

BEACH Program Update

Further sampling at the five beaches showed normal fecal bacteria levels. The beaches will remain open to swimming. Four beaches in Kitsap County and one Snohomish County beach had elevated fecal bacteria results at the beginning of the week. The high results were most likely due to rain after the long dry period. Runoff washes everything down to our waterways, increasing you chance of getting sick if you play in the water. The BEACH Program recommends avoiding water contact 48 hours after rainfall.

Visit the BEACH web site to find the latest results for this and other saltwater beaches: http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/eap/beach/

While these beaches are staying open to swimming there are still several beaches in WA closed or posted with an advisory. Visit the BEACH Map to see the current status of our beaches.

Jessica Bennett is the BEACH Program Data Manager. She is available at 360-236-3060 or jessica.bennett@ecy.wa.gov for questions.

Air Time: Heat + air pollution = problems with ozone

By Seth Preston, Communications Manager, Air Quality Program

If you’re venturing out and about during the next several days, you might want to ditch your car and use some air-conditioned public transit.

The expected heat — high temperatures in the 90s and even topping 100 degrees in some locations — can combine with air pollution such as vehicle emissions to produce elevated levels of ozone.

We could see a build-up of ozone, especially on Sunday and early next week, in several western Washington communities.

Unhealthy ozone levels can affect people with lung disease, children, older adults, and people who are active. Breathing ozone can:
  • Trigger airway irritation, coughing and pain when taking a deep breath.
  • Cause wheezing and breathing difficulties during exercise or outdoor activities.
  • Inflame lung tissue.
  • Aggravate asthma.
  • Increase susceptibility to respiratory illnesses like pneumonia and bronchitis.
  • Permanently scar lung tissue after repeated exposures.

There are two kinds of ozone. “Good” ozone forms naturally about 10 to 30 miles above the Earth’s surface. It helps protect life on Earth from the sun’s harmful rays. But ozone at ground level is considered “bad.” It is the main ingredient of smog, and can cause health problems.

Ground-level ozone is a gas created by a chemical reaction between nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the presence of sunlight. Vehicle and industrial emissions, gasoline vapors, chemical solvents, and natural sources emit NOx and VOCs that help form ground-level ozone. Many urban areas tend to have high levels of ozone. But high ozone levels can also be found in rural areas, because wind carries ozone and ozone-forming pollutants hundreds of miles away from their sources.

You can help reduce air pollution during these hot days:
  • Drive less. Combine errands.
  • Wait to travel during cooler evening hours, if possible.
  • Don’t use lawnmowers or other small engines that emit air pollutants.
  • Don’t burn outdoors because of high fire danger and health protection.
  • Don’t idle your engine. Turn it off while your vehicle is parked or waiting in line.
  • Wait for cooler morning or late-evening hours to refuel your vehicle.
  • Don’t paint or use aerosol sprays until temperatures cool off.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Fecal Matters: High Fecal Bacteria Results at Five Beaches

BEACH Program Update

Marine water samples collected on Monday from the beaches listed below showed high levels of Enterococcus, a type of fecal bacteria. The beaches will be resampled tomorrow. At this time, the beaches will remain open for swimming.
  • Mukilteo Lighthouse Park - Snohomish County
  • Silverdale Waterfront Park - Kitsap County
  • Illahee State Park - Kitsap County
  • Evergreen Park, Bremerton - Kitsap County
  • Pomeroy Park, Manchester - Kitsap County
We often observe high bacteria results following rain events (especially after a dry period). In general, the BEACH Program recommends avoiding contact with marine waters 48 hours following rainfall.Contact with fecal contaminated waters can result in gastroenteritis, skin rashes, upper respiratory infections and other illnesses. Children and the elderly may be more vulnerable to waterborne illnesses.

Visit the BEACH web site to find the latest results for this and other saltwater beaches: http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/eap/beach/

Jessica Bennett is the BEACH Program Data Manager. She is available at 360-407-6159 or jessica.bennett@ecy.wa.gov for questions.


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Fecal Matters: Semiahmoo Spit Beach Closed to Water Contact

BEACH Program Update

The Whatcom County Health Department sent out the following press release today:

"WHATCOM COUNTY — An immediate closure of Semiahmoo spit southwest of Tongue Point (outside of Drayton Harbor) is being issued by Whatcom County health for recreational water activities (wading or swimming) and department officials are currently posting warnings signs. Recent test results from the Blaine Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) outfall are above acceptable levels for fecal coliform. Representatives from the State Department of Health, Ecology, and Blaine WWTP are working cooperatively to correct the issue. As a reminder, this area is currently closed to commercial and recreational shellfish harvesting due to high PSP levels. The beach closure will remain in effect until further notice."

Contact with fecal contaminated waters can result in gastroenteritis, skin rashes, upper respiratory infections and other illnesses. Children and the elderly may be more vulnerable to waterborne illnesses.

Jessica Archer is the BEACH Program Manager.
She is available at 360-407-6543 or jessica.archer@ecy.wa.gov for questions.
Visit the BEACH web site to find all beach closures: http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/eap/beach/


Monday, August 2, 2010

Air Time: Wildfire smoke spreading across Eastern Washington

By Seth Preston, Communications Manager, Air Quality Program

Wildfires continue to burn in north-central Washington, and smoke from them is spreading throughout Eastern Washington.

That trend is probably going to continue for a few days. Clearing is expected later this week.

Until then, here are some steps you can take to protect your health from wildfire smoke (reprinted from an earlier blog post):

  • When there are wildfires in an area or region, the severity of the smoke impacts depends on weather patterns. If the air isn’t moving, the concentration of fine particles increases in the air.

  • Smoke from a fire can travel rapidly, affecting air quality hundreds of miles downwind.

  • Smoke from wildfires can impact the air you breathe and harm your health, especially if you have existing health conditions.

  • The Washington State Department of Health recommends that people who are sensitive to air pollution limit the time that they spend outdoors.

  • The biggest health threat from smoke comes from the fine particles. These tiny particles can get into your eyes and lungs, where they can cause health problems such as burning eyes, runny nose, and illness such as bronchitis. Fine particles can also aggravate heart and lung diseases.

  • Children also are more susceptible to smoke because:
    Their respiratory systems are still developing.
    They breathe more air (and air pollution) per pound of body weight than adults.
    They’re more likely to be active outdoors.

  • When smoke levels are high enough, even healthy people may be affected. To protect yourself, it’s important to limit your exposure to smoke – especially if you are susceptible.

Here are some steps you can take to protect yourself from wildfire smoke:

  • Pay attention to air quality reports. The Washington Air Quality Advisory (WAQA) is the tool that that Washington State Department of Ecology uses to inform people about the health effects of air pollution. WAQA includes information about ground-level ozone, fine particles and carbon monoxide. WAQA is very similar to the EPA’s Air Quality Index (AQI). Both use color-coded categories to show when air quality is good, moderate or unhealthy. The difference is that WAQA shows the health effects of fine particles at lower levels than the AQI does. In other words, WAQA shows that air quality is unhealthy earlier – when there are fewer particles in the air. Here’s where to find WAQA: http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/air/air_monitoring_data/WAQA_Intro_Page.html

  • Use common sense. WAQA and AQI may not have immediate information on conditions in your specific area. If it looks and smells smoky outside, it’s probably not a good time to go for a jog, mow the lawn or allow children to play outdoors.

  • If you have asthma or other lung disease, follow your doctor’s directions on taking medicines and following your asthma management plan. Call your doctor if your symptoms worsen.

  • If you have heart or lung disease, if you are an older adult, or if you have children, talk with your doctor about whether and when you should leave the area. When smoke is heavy for a prolonged period of time, fine particles can build up indoors even though you may not see them.

  • Some room air cleaners can help reduce particulate levels indoors, as long as they are the right type and size for your home. For more information about home air cleaners, go to www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/residair.html

  • Don’t think that paper “comfort” or “dust masks” are the answer. The kinds of masks that you commonly can buy at the hardware store are designed to trap large particles, such as sawdust. But they generally will not protect your lungs from the fine particles in smoke.


Fecal Matters: Follow Up for Silverdale Waterfront Park, Kitsap County

BEACH Program Update
Resample results at Silverdale Waterfront Park show that bacteria concentrations in marine waters have dropped to normal levels.

Visit the BEACH web site to find the latest results for this and other saltwater beaches: http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/eap/beach/

Jessica Bennett is the BEACH Program Data Manager.
She is available at 360-407-6159 or jebe461@ecy.wa.gov for questions.