Air stagnation event causing extra concern for areas prone to poor air quality

Days into an air stagnation advisory, special attention is being paid to the Duwamish Valley – an area known to have air quality concerns. 

So far, the worst air quality rates have registered as moderate. Experts have advised that holding off on outdoor burning could help prevent the air quality from getting worse. 

Troy Abel, an environmental policy professor at WWU’s Huxley College of Environment, said he’s paying extra attention to how air quality changes in the Duwamish Valley. The area is known to face major hurdles due to a number of pollution sources – right now, Abel is watching as the Duwamish Valley is seeing worse air quality than typical hot spots.

"The longer we don’t take action to improve it, it turns into environmental racism because these are pre-dominantly non-white communities," explained Abel.

As Abel explains, on a daily basis, air quality is a concern. This week could be especially harmful.

"We often times really focus on wood smoke because regionally, it’s our broadest problem, but when you get into a microscale, that changes," said Abel. "My biggest concern would be childhood asthma hospitalization problems."