Air monitoring

FILE — Kelsey Sanford, air monitoring technician with the Yakima Regional Clean Air Agency, removes a gravimetric sample from an air monitoring station on the roof of Comprehensive Healthcare in Yakima, Wash., Thursday, March 2, 2017.

To the editor — The five members of the Yakima Regional Clean Air Agency Board of Directors are responsible for implementation of the Clean Air Act in Yakima County. On June 13, 2019, this board approved a $1.5 million budget.

Only one board member and one alternate attended the May budget workshop. They asked one question. At the June board meeting, Commissioner Norm Childress asked one question. Other board members were silent and simply voted to pass the proposed budget unanimously. YRCAA has now downsized from 11 employees to 10 – they eliminated one inspector position.

During the 30-day comment period, the Friends of Toppenish Creek asked clarifying questions. YRCAA Director Keith Hurley told the YRCAA Board that no one told him to answer the questions, and that he is not required to answer them, so he did not.

FOTC asked:

• Is air quality in Yakima County getting better or worse?

• Are we at risk for non-compliance with federal air standards?

• Is it correct to say that pay increases were accomplished by decreasing pay for two positions and eliminating another?

• With fewer inspectors can the public expect decreased enforcement?

JEAN MENDOZA

White Swan