The Southwest Clean Air Agency (SWCAA) is responsible for enforcing federal, state and local outdoor air quality standards and regulations in Clark, Cowlitz, Lewis, Skamania and Wahkiakum counties of southwest Washington state. Our mission is to preserve and enhance air quality in southwest Washington.
SAFETY BURN BAN STATUS
Stage 2 Burn Ban Lifted for Clark County
Monday, December 02, 2013 - Due to the onset of favorable weather patterns and improved air quality conditions, the Southwest Clean Air Agency (SWCAA) is removing the Stage 1/Stage 2 Burn Ban for Clark County effective 10:00 a.m. on Monday, December 2, 2013. The restrictions on using wood stoves and fireplaces in Clark County are being lifted. Residents may once again use their wood stoves and fireplaces, but are asked to burn as cleanly as possible. However, the relief may be short lived as another high pressure system is building to the north and a cold air mass is expected to begin moving in Tuesday bringing drier conditions and more clearing as the week progresses. Uncertainty in the forecast for precipitation remains high for later this week, but SWCAA will monitor the weather and air quality and communicate any changes.
For those who heat with wood, please remember that it is always illegal to produce excess chimney smoke and to 'smoke out' your neighbor. You are burning properly when you do not see any smoke coming from your chimney. "This past week of poor air quality has demonstrated how wood smoke from individual households can affect an entire community," said Robert Elliott, Executive Director of the Southwest Clean Air Agency, "so we ask that if people must burn, that they use only dry, seasoned firewood and follow clean burning practices."
As of Monday morning, in areas of Clark County where burning has not been permanently banned, outdoor burning will again be allowed with the proper permits. However, burning at any time adds to the air pollution levels in your local community, and residents are encouraged to seek alternatives to burning throughout the year. When outdoor burning does take place please note that only natural vegetation may be burned and a smoke nuisance may not be caused. State law prohibits the burning of garbage, home-repair debris, and other prohibited materials at any time. Burn barrels of any kind are also prohibited by state law.
SWCAA Woodstove Replacement Program
Saturday, June 01, 2013 - Woodstove Replacement Program now includes Vancouver Urban Growth Boundary!!!
Sunday, October 13, 2013 - You can tell fall is in the air with the crisp mornings and cold evenings. This means the leaves are turning and starting to fall into our yards, streets and coating our neighborhoods. There are options for air friendly and healthy ways to dispose of those pesky leaves and other fall yard clean-up debris.
You can put leaves and yard debris in your recycle bin for pick up, chip it or compost it. If you have curbside recycling service in your neighborhood and have not signed up; now is the time. If you do not have curbside service, consider easy backyard composting, or haul the debris to your nearest recycling facility.
To help residents take care of the fallen leaves, the City of Vancouver is again offering Fall Leaf Coupons. Vancouver and Clark County Residents can redeem the free leaf disposal coupons beginning October 1 through December 20. Please note that this coupon is for LEAVES ONLY.
Call today to have your coupon mailed out; or stop by and pick one up at SWCAAs office. We are conveniently located close to H & H Wood Recyclers and McFarlanes Bark, both of whom are participating in this program.
Remember no matter what option you choose, there are two things to keep in mind: (1) it is illegal to smoke out your neighbors, and (2) outdoor burning is permanently banned in urbanized areas (incorporated cities, suburbs and adjacent areas) throughout our region. If in doubt, call SWCAA at 360-574-3058 x 110.
CLEAN AIR TIPS
Get Your Home Ready for Cooler Weather
Sunday, December 01, 2013 - The coming cold weather means it is time to weatherize your house for energy savings and comfort.
Energy-efficient windows can reduce heating and cooling costs by 20 to 30 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Energy-efficient double-paned windows are the ultimate solution, but there are other steps that will reduce heat loss. Check windows for leaks by turning off all heating, cooling or ventilating systems, then carefully holding a lit candle four to six inches from the frame. If the flame wavers or flickers, you have air leaks. Inspect exterior calking for cracks or gaps. If the leak persists after resealing, call a professional. Cover the outside of the windows with heavy plastic or place shrink plastic on the inside. Read instructions that come with these materials for the best applications or talk with a hardware store expert. Blinds or window coverings also can help insulate your house by preventing warm air from escaping at night. Open blinds during the day to let in light and capture heat.
Click to read more information on getting your home ready for cooler weather. Read More...