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.





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.


Dec. 3, 2014 - NWCAA renews Shell refinery air permit


Nov. 26, 2014 - EPA proposes smog standards to safeguard Americans from air pollution (EPA news release)


Sept. 25, 2014


Sept. 24, 2014 - Whatcom County fire safety burn ban lifted as of Sept. 27, 2014; Written permits available Sept. 29


Sept. 16, 2014 - NWCAA draft permit focuses on potential air releases from proposed Shell crude-oil rail terminal; Agency sets public comment period and hearing


Aug. 11, 2014 - DNR bans all outdoor burning on DNR-protected lands


July 14, 2014 - NWCAA launches effort to fight mold before the cold


July 14, 2014 - Counties, DNR issue fire safety burn bans:


May 9, 2014 - Two refineries, two public comment periods, two very different permits


May 1, 2014 - Celebrate breathing: May is Asthma Awareness Month


April 29, 2014 - News from Governor's Office: Gov. Inslee acts to reduce carbon pollution and promote clean energy


April 25, 2014 - Location change for Shell refinery air permit public hearing to accommodate more people


New location:

Skagit County downtown Administration Building

700 S. 2nd St., Mount Vernon, Room C


April 24, 2014 - Shell refinery air permit might not do what you think it does - Public hearing requests highlight concerns outside air operating permit's scope.


April 17, 2014 - DNR announces beginning of wildfire season Wildfire season opened April 15, with 20 wildfires already reported in the state.


March 10, 2014 - NWCAA selects 2014 Partners for Clean Air businesses; Trident Seafoods Anacortes takes top honors

The Northwest Clean Air Agency has presented the Partners for Clean Air awards annually to businesses in Island, Skagit and Whatcom counties since 2010. This year, 38 of the 407 businesses registered with NWCAA received awards.


Feb. 4, 2014 - "The Secret Life of Soot" - Check out this recent video from The Allegheny Front that explains what makes "soot" so unhealthy.


Sept. 19, 2013 - Fire officials lifting fire-safety burn bans:



July 23, 2013 - Community Energy Challenge news release: Community Energy Challenge receives $2 million from Northwest Clean Air Agency - More...


Feb. 14, 2013 - NWCAA awards $3.2 million for local clean air projects: Top scores given for greenhouse gas reductions More...


Jan. 23, 2013 - NWCAA ends no-burning request - Air quality expected to improve today  More...


Jan. 22, 2013 - NWCAA seeks analysis of proposed export terminal’s effects on local air quality More...



Jan. 15, 2013 - NWCAA seeks

voluntary burn ban this week - Air quality expected to be hazardous in Columbia Valley, moderate elsewhere More...



Example of stagnant air mass trapping

smoke close to the ground.


Jan. 03, 2013 - Air is smoky again in Columbia Valley area of northern Whatcom County More...





Dec. 11, 2012 - NWCAA awards local businesses for protecting air quality More...






Luis Gonzales from PeaceHealth accepting the Platinum

Award plaque from Mark Asmundson, NWCAA Director.



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