About YRCAA

About YRCAA

Our Vision
"All those who reside in, visit or neighbor Yakima County enjoy continuously improved air quality."

 

HOW WE'RE ORGANIZED - WHO'S IN CHARGE

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.

OUR GOVERNING BOARD OF DIRECTORS: ITS MAKE UP

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 Wednesday of each month.  Special Board Meetings are scheduled as needed. 


OUR WEB SITE

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 stake-holders.


A LONG TRADITION

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, and Gary Pruitt assumed the directorship in October, 2006, and continues to serve to the present time.

JURISDICTION

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. 


AIR POLLUTION: A GROWING PROBLEM

The air quality in Yakima County is fresh, clean and healthy most of the year, yet at certain times it faces  challenges as our valley experiences the natural expansion of its many rural communities.  With a long tradition of wood-fueled home heating during the cold winter months combined with frequent weather inversions, wood smoke has threatened PM2.5 (particulate) emissions compliance with federal air quality standards. 

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.

WHAT WE DO

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:


FUNDING SOURCES AND USES

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 fund both our air program and public education.


HOW TO REACH US

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 partnership in a common goal.


The new Yakima Regional Clean Air Agency Office is located at 329 N. 1st St., right across the street from Mel's Diner, next to the Brad Mellotte Law Office.  Stop in and meet our staff.

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Yakima Regional Clean Air Agency
329 North First Street
Yakima, WA. 98901-2303
Phone: (509) 834-2050

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