Treasure Valley air – just a fair weather friend?

10th of Apr 2015

When beautiful spring weather arrives in Boise, it’s easy to forget about the dismal days of winter inversions. As we all enjoy the clean, crisp air of springtime, Advocates for the West will be hard at work – ensuring improved air quality for every season!

It’s no surprise to locals that air quality can be less than pristine in the Treasure Valley, particularly during winter inversions. However, we were surprised to learn that fine particulate pollution has skyrocketed in recent years – to the point that national air quality standards are no longer being met.

In fact, during the most recent reporting period (2011-2013), short-term fine particulate pollution levels in Ada County substantially exceeded EPA’s standards and were seventh highest in the nation.

We are teaming up with Idaho Conservation League to challenge the Environmental Protection Agency’s current assessment of the Treasure Valley’s air quality.

In February, we petitioned the EPA and Governor Otter to take urgent action on this issue. The agency is currently reviewing our petition, however we have yet to hear back from the State.

Our petition urges EPA to designate the Treasure Valley as a “nonattainment area” under the Clean Air Act. Doing so will trigger a process under CAA by which the State of Idaho and EPA will work together to develop a plan to bring the Valley’s air quality back to healthy levels within 5 years.

So breathe easy and enjoy the spring air, Treasure Valley residents – Advocates for the West is fighting for your right to safe, clean air!

Read the Idaho Statesman’s April 18th Front Page story on this case.