Dangerous air: Duwamish Valley residents highlight concerns over the air they breathe

It’s hard to tell whether people who don’t live, or frequent, the area truly understand the burden shouldered by the people who live in the Duwamish Valley. Encouraging regional headlines have a way of muting local concerns. Troy Abel, a professor of environmental policy at Western Washington, who serves as a technical advisor to the DRCC, noted a 2020 EPA release with a headline reading: “EPA reports overall 12 percent decline in industrial toxic releases for the Pacific Northwest, Idaho and Alaska.”

“This is a common problem in geographic science,” said Abel. “When you change the scale, all the statistics change.”