Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Air Time: An 'A' for efforts to limit harmful wood smoke

By Seth Preston, Communications Manager, Air Quality Program

A group called the Alliance for Green Heat says Washington earned the nation’s highest marks for efforts to protect residents from harmful smoke caused by burning wood for home heating.

Washington is one of only three states that earned an “A” grade. In fact, Washington scored the highest marks of those states, according to the alliance “report card.” (The others, in order, are Oregon and New Hampshire.)

You can read the full report card.

California and Colorado earned “A-” grades. At the other end of the spectrum, several states received “D” grades.

The nonprofit alliance based in Maryland graded each state on six categories, including policies that help reduce wood smoke, promote the cleanest appliances and restrict the most polluting ones, and provide educational information on best wood heat practices.

The alliance notes that Washington is “the model for strict state emission standards.”

You can learn more about what Ecology’s Air Quality Program and our partners do to protect you and your family from breathing harmful smoke.

Here’s some more information on the health risks posed by wood smoke. Also, you can find timely information on air quality in your area using the Washington Air Quality Advisory (WAQA). Here’s an explanation of WAQA.

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