Earth Day is Every Day at PSCAA
At the Agency, we believe that every day is Earth Day. This year on April 22, we celebrated Earth Day by participating in different community events throughout the region. We provided information about air quality, environmental justice, health impacts from air pollution, and much more. We were able to learn more about what community members are doing to help reverse the impacts of climate change in the communities that make up the Puget Sound region. We work towards advancing our mission of preserving, protecting, and enhancing air quality and public health, enforcing the Clean Air Act, supporting policies that reduce climate change, and partnering with communities to do this work equitably.
We always cherish the moments that we can be in community and this year’s Earth Day events did not disappoint. We have provided a summary of each event and why we believe it is important to support community events and engagement.
Duwamish River Community Coalition's Air Fair
Our Duwamish Valley focus community team members participated in the Duwamish River Community Coalition’s (DRCC) "Air Fair" in celebration of World Asthma and Earth Day. We hosted an educational table that shared information about our programs and progress specific to activities related to the DRCC’s Clean Air Action Plan. In addition, local vendors provided items to attendees that contributed towards improving indoor air quality such as pillow & mattress dust covers, dusters, and more. We also distributed box fan filter kits, which are instrumental in helping clean indoor air and are an important resource particularly during summer wildfire smoke events.
"In my opinion, direct community engagement is an important aspect of building working relationships between government bodies and the communities they serve. It is very easy to focus solely on striving toward our own goals and forget the faces of the millions of people that make our paychecks possible. For that reason, being able to see their faces and listen to their stories remind me how beautiful and diverse our region is and can be. Furthermore, it contextualizes the burdens and hardships they experience every day, which motivates me to strive towards being a better air quality engineer, focus community coordinator, and overall Agency staff member."
- Ivan Acquaah, Air Quality Engineer at the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency
South Sound Sustainability Expo
Agency staff spent Earth Day in Tacoma at the South Sound Sustainability Expo. The Expo is an annual, large event that draws folks from all over the region. The event was held outside, at the UW Tacoma campus. It was an overcast morning but that did not seem to thwart participation. Many local leaders and sustainability advocates stopped by to say hello and give us updates on the latest happenings. We met a great potential partner from the Puget Sound Asthma Coalition. We also met a wide array of residents with questions about everything from wildfire smoke to air monitoring to the Wood Stove Program!
"I LOVE participating in public events! The opportunity to directly engage with the community members we are here to serve is invaluable. They are our eyes and ears throughout the jurisdiction, thus the partners that we should connect with as often as possible. Hearing their questions and concerns in real-time provides us with a map to guide us toward truly impactful work. It also serves us well to have the chance to share what we know and have to offer—be it air quality expertise, compliance support, initiatives and incentives, and connection to resources they may not be aware of. Besides, who doesn’t enjoy a day of engagement?!? Honestly, it is just a delightful and educational addition to any work week."
- Gail Pethe, Air Resource Associate at the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency
King County Repair Event in Kent
We hosted at table at the King County Earth Day Repair Event, hosted at the Kent Library. The annual repair events give residents an opportunity to repair their items rather than throwing them way and ending up in a landfill. Dozens of area residents brought items in for help from local volunteers to repair. Our staff were able to chat with individuals, parents, and children about our work at the agency and local outdoor air quality impacts, including summertime wildfire smoke, wintertime wood smoke, efficient home heating options, and year-round impacts from transportation and industry.
We look forward to supporting more community events and to see first-hand the inspiring work that is being done to support a healthy and just Puget Sound region.