The Yakima Air Quality Governing Board of Directors is comprised of five elected members. The Board establishes policy and approves new rules. The Board meets the 2nd Thursday of each month. The Executive Director represents and directs the agency on a daily basis and reports directly to the Board of Directors. The Executive Director also supervises the Executive Office Division. YRCAA Division Supervisors oversee the daily workings of the Engineering and Planning and Compliance and Monitoring Divisions.
The YRCAA governing Board of Directors consists of two representatives of County Commissioners; one large city representative (usually the mayor of the City of Yakima); one small city representative (elected by the City Selection committee); and one member-at-large (selected by the other four Board Members). Each Board Member selects an alternate who serves in their place, should they be unable to attend a Board Meeting. Board Meetings are traditionally held the second Thursday of each month. Special Board Meetings are scheduled as needed.
This Web site is designed to be an informational resource for businesses and the general communities of Yakima County. Here we provide information spanning everything from burn ban notices to today's air conditions to permits which can be downloaded right from our site. Our intent to provide customer service is reflected on this website. We encourage and welcome your questions and concerns in order to better serve you, our fellow stakeholders.
In July 1967, Yakima Regional Clean Air Agency (YRCAA), formerly known as Yakima County Clean Air Authority, a municipal corporation, became an activated local air authority per RCW 70.94.081 by the Board of Yakima county commissioners. In February 1968, an official fund for the Yakima County Clean Air Authority was established with the County Treasurer and Auditor. The Authority contracted with Yakima County for its Personnel and Payroll services until December 31, 2003. On January 1, 2004, YRCAA became an independent agency, no longer contracting for support services with Yakima County.
Bill Kramer was the first Executive Director/Air Pollution control Officer (APCO) for the Authority from 1967 to 1972. Bob Crossland served from 1972 to 1989 and Tom Silva served from 1989 to 1995. Les Ornelas served from 1995 to March, 2006. Lawrence Odell served from April to October 2006. Gary Pruitt assumed the directorship from October 2006 through November 2016. Keith Hurley from February 2017 to August 2021.
The YRCAA is delegated to enforce certain Federal Regulations, the Washington Clean Air Act, State Regulations and YRCAA Regulations, within the boundaries of Yakima County. This applies to all areas of Yakima County except for Yakama Indian Reservation lands, which are overseen by the Environmental Protection Agency, and fall under the Federal Air Rules for Reservations (FARR) regulations.
Public programs to replace the older wood-heating devices with cleaner and more efficient heating technologies is part of the on-going solution. So, also, are changing agricultural practices which are helping to solve air pollution problems with new approaches to traditional farming methods.
The air pollutant of greatest concern is particulate matter. The county's sunny climate, pollution-trapping mountains, and valleys, along with the growing population, all contribute to the problem.
Particulate Matter is the fine mineral, metal, soot, smoke and dust particles suspended in the air. For health reasons, we are most concerned with inhalant particulate matter less than 2.5 microns in diameter (PM2.5), which can permanently lodge in the deepest, most sensitive areas of the lung and cause respiratory and other health problems.
Our mission is to protect the people and the environment of Yakima County from the effects of air pollution. The Yakima Regional Clean Air Agency is committed to achieving and maintaining healthful air quality throughout our jurisdiction. This is accomplished through a comprehensive program of planning, regulation, enforcement, technical innovation, and promotion of the understanding of air quality issues.
As part of our clean air strategy, we do the following:
Much of the YRCAA revenue comes through the permitting process, from fees paid by businesses and industries that have the potential to produce air pollution. Other funding sources include state and/or federal grants. Northwest Opacity Certification, an enterprise of YRCAA, also produces revenue, all proceeds of which contribute to funding both our air program and public education.
We are here to serve our stakeholders by protecting and enhancing Yakima County air. Our constituency is made up of private individuals, business and industry and public offices. We invite all interested parties to participate in our desire to improve our program by contributing input and ideas in a collaborative effort to create a partnership in a common goal.
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Yakima Regional Clean Air Agency
186 Iron Horse Court, Suite 101
Yakima, WA. 98901
Phone: (509) 834-2050