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Air Quality

Columbia Gorge

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Columbia Gorge Air Quality Project

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Columbia Gorge national scenic area

The National Scenic Area Act of 1986 lays out a unique challenge for the Columbia River Gorge. The purpose of the act is to protect and enhance the scenic, natural, cultural and recreational resources of this National Scenic Area while at the same time supporting the local economies. Achieving the goals of the Scenic Area Act will require us to look both locally and regionally at sources influencing air quality in the Gorge, and develop an air quality strategy that closely involves stakeholders and the public.

The Columbia Gorge Air Quality Project is the response to the May 2000 Gorge commission's adoption of an amendment to the Gorge Management Plan calling for the protection and enhancement of Columbia River Gorge Air Quality. The initial plan (2001) was developed jointly with the Southwest Clean Air Agency (SWCAA), the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), the Washington Department of Ecology (WDOE) and with some grant funding from the US EPA. The plan was redesigned in 2003 after subsequent changes in funding and the disinvestment of WDOE from the project. The resulting redesigned work plan outlines a program for a comprehensive technical air quality study and development of an air quality strategy for the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area.

From 2004-2008 SWCAA and DEQ conducted an air quality study to characterize and identify local and regional emission sources contributing to haze pollution in the Gorge. Subsequently, the air agencies have developed an air quality strategy report that summarizes the conclusions of the air quality study and describes a variety of current, new, and possible future emission reduction strategies that will continue to improve visibility in the Gorge. The agencies' final strategy report was presented to the Columbia River Gorge Commission on September 13, 2011.

Background

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For more information about Air Quality call 503-229-5359 or email.

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
Headquarters: 811 SW Sixth Ave., Portland, OR 97204-1390
Phone: 503-229-5696 or toll free in Oregon 1-800-452-4011
Oregon Telecommunications Relay Service: 1-800-735-2900  FAX: 503-229-6124

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality is a regulatory agency authorized to protect Oregon's environment by
the State of Oregon and the Environmental Protection Agency.

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