Northwest Clean Air Agency
NWCAA: Serving Island, Skagit and Whatcom Counties

... yet most of us don't think much about the purity of the air we breathe, at least not until there is something wrong with it.


The Northwest Clean Air Agency is responsible for ensuring compliance with federal, state and local air quality regulations in Island, Skagit and Whatcom counties.  The agency also sponsors voluntary programs to further improve air quality.  Please click here more information.




News releases and announcements


Aug. 26, 2015 -


4:30 p.m.: Air quality has worsened to moderate in the Lynden area and is approaching moderate in Columbia Valley and Bellingham. People who are very sensitive might start having breathing problems. If you are very sensitive, the state guidance says you might want to consider limiting outoor activity.


3:00 p.m.: We watched smoke move across the sky from the east this morning, but local air quality continues to be good. An occasional light, down-slope flow appears to be causing some smoke to spill over the Cascades up high, but it's not dropping low enough to register on our monitors, which means it's not having much effect on the air we breathe.


Conditions could worsen to moderate for a couple of hours this evening in some areas, which could affect very sensitive populations. But we're expecting conditions to improve within a couple of hours with light winds blowing mostly out of the southwest.


Be sure to check our monitors often, and follow the state health guidance. We'll keep posting updates here and on our Facebook page.



July 24, 2015 - Air quality readings good during Shell refinery flare incident


July 7, 2015 - NWCAA air quality update: Light winds helping, but haze likely until Friday


July 6, 2015 - NWCAA issues smoke advisory for Whatcom and Skagit counties


Fire safety burn bans in effect - State and local fire officials in our area have called the following burn bans because of hot, dry conditions. Note that these burn bans were not called because of air quality:




May 13, 2015 - State of the Air 2015 – National report highlights clean air in Whatcom, Skagit counties


March 9, 2015 - NWCAA awards Tony's Coffee top air quality honor


Feb. 20, 2015 - We are investigating the cause of strong chemical odors emitted from the Shell Puget Sound Refinery this afternoon. Our agency received at least 13 reports of offensive odors between 3:45 and 4:30 p.m. Affected areas include the Swinomish Indian Reservation and La Conner.

We are in contact with the refinery and an air quality inspector was on scene to conduct an initial investigation.

The Skagit County Department of Emergency Management has issued an alert saying the odor should dissipate, and advising those who feel their health is affected to call 911 or visit a hospital.


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