ORCAA’s Dr. Odelle Hadley honored with Ecology’s Operator of the Year award

The Washington Department of Ecology today named Dr. Odelle Hadley the 2013 Air Quality Monitoring Operator of the Year.

Hadley, the Senior Air Monitoring Specialist for Olympic Region Clean Air Agency (ORCAA), has revamped and modernized ORCAA’s ambient air monitoring program since joining the agency nearly two years ago.

“Odelle is the consummate team-player,” said Ecology’s Sean Lundblad. He said that among other great achievements, she has helped streamline processes, and “led to network improvements and efficiencies in the way we do business.”

The Operator of the Year award acknowledges the achievements of an air monitoring professional within the state of Washington. Ecology’s Cullen Stephenson, Section Manager for Technical Services, said, “We look for the individual operator who repeatedly went above and beyond expectations and who demonstrated consistent dedication to excellence in air monitoring.

“Air monitoring operators identify appropriate monitoring locations, sample the air, ensure quality control, and help measure the success of our collective efforts to safeguard air quality for public health.”

In 2013, no air monitoring professional did that better than ORCAA’s Odelle Hadley, Stephenson said.

During 2013, Hadley launched a new saturation study to help ORCAA identify the ideal long-term locations for its air monitoring stations. She also spearheaded a groundbreaking ultrafine particle study designed to measure the levels of ultrafine particulate matter pollution in the communities along the northern Olympic Peninsula.

In accepting the award, Hadley acknowledged the support she has received from the rest of the ORCAA staff, and especially from ORCAA’s Air Monitoring Specialist and IT Manager Mark Moore.

Stage 1 Burn Ban LIFTED in Thurston County

Due to improved air quality conditions and changing weather, the Stage One Burn Ban has been LIFTED in Thurston County effective at 8:30 a.m. today (Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013).
A substantial reduction in smoke output due at least in part to the great public response to the called ban, has moved Air Quality conditions back into the “Green” on the Washington Air Quality Advisory(WAQA) scale (see real-time air quality conditions HERE).
To stay up-to-date on burn bans throughout Washington, visit waburnbans.net and for all air quality issues, visit ORCAA at www.orcaa.org.

Stage 1 Burn Ban Called for Thurston County

A Stage One Burn Ban is being called for Thurston County effective 5 p.m. today (Dec. 30, 2013) and continuing until conditions warrant a change.
Under a Stage 1 Ban, no burning is allowed in fireplaces or uncertified wood stoves, and all outdoor burning is prohibited, even in areas where outdoor burning is not permanently banned. Additionally, no visible smoke is allowed from any wood stove or fireplace, certified or not, beyond a 20-minute start-up period.
A system of stable weather conditions over Western Washington, coupled with cold overnight temperatures has resulted in air pollution levels climbing enough to raise concerns about the air quality and its impacts on health. A change in weather will be needed to restore cleaner air quality, yet that’s not forecast to occur until late this week at the earliest.
While pollution levels in Thurston County warrants the Stage One Ban, other counties within the jurisdiction of the Olympic Region Clean Air Agency (ORCAA) haven’t reached that level. To avoid bans in their areas, the residents of Mason, Pacific, Grays Harbor, Clallam and Jefferson Counties are asked to voluntarily refrain from all outdoor burning, and to use safe alternatives to wood heat if possible.
Of particular concern are fine particles released by smoke from wood stoves and fireplaces. The Washington State Department of Health recommends that people who are sensitive to air pollution limit time spent outdoors. Air pollution can trigger asthma attacks, cause difficulty breathing, and make lung and heart problems worse. Air pollution is especially harmful to children, people with heart and lung problems, and adults over age 65.
Olympic Region Clean Air Agency staff will continue to monitor the situation to determine when the burn ban can be lifted. In the meantime, here are some other things people can do to help protect the air we breathe:
  • If you have a certified wood stove or fireplace insert, make sure you are using it properly so you don’t produce excess chimney smoke. Excess smoke is always illegal. To learn more about clean burning techniques or upgrading to a certified, pellet, natural gas or propane stove, visithttp://www.epa.gov/burnwise/
  • To determine if your stove is certified, visit www.orcaa.org.
  • Limit your driving as much as possible, since vehicles are a big source of air pollution year round. Check air-quality forecasts and current conditions at www.orcaa.org.
For more information about Burn Ban regulations, you may refer to Chapter 173-433 of the Washington Administrative Code.

Dispose of your Christmas Tree in a clean, safe manner

Wrapping up the holiday season means taking down the tree and decorations. We can’t help you with the lights and ornaments, but when it comes time to dispose of your tree, we’ve got some help for you. Or rather, some good information on how to get rid of the tree cleanly.

City and county governments throughout the region have organized a host of resources to help you dispose of your Christmas tree this year. Please consider using one of the services below before burning your tree.

 

Thurston County

Tree Pickup Locations

LeMay compost collection/yard waste customers

Put trees in or near your compost cart (in sections of 3 feet or less). Call 360-923-0111 for information.

 City of Olympia garbage customers

Customers with Thurs./Fri. service – tree pickup is Sat., Jan. 4.

Customers with Tues./Wed. service – pickup is Sat., Jan. 11.

Place tree in regular pickup spot by 6 a.m. on your collection day. Call 360-753-8368 and choose option 2 for more info.

 City of Lacey residents

The City of Lacey and local Boy Scout troops are partnering to provide tree pickup inside city limits.  For details, please visit the City of Lacey website or call Lacey Public Affairs at 360-491-3214.

 City of Tumwater residents

Place trees at the nearest street corner by 8 a.m. Mon., Jan.  6.  Call 360-754-4150 for information.

 

Tree Drop-off Locations

Thurston County residents

Trees can be taken to the Waste and Recovery Center, 2418 Hogum Bay Road NE, in Lacey through Jan. 13. The center will be closed Jan. 1. Hours are 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Rainier: Trees can be dropped at 13010 Rainier Acres Road from 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through Jan. 12.

Rochester: Trees can be taken to 16500 Sargent Road from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays, Saturdays and Sundays through Jan. 13.

Tenino: Trees can be brought to 418 S. Wichman St. anytime through Jan. 15.

Yelm: Trees can be taken to the Yelm City Park anytime through Jan. 10.

 

Mason County

Trees may be dropped off at Bill McTurnal Enterprises, 721 Kamilche Lane, during daylight hours through January 9, 2014. Please leave the trees by the closed gates on weekends. NO FLOCKED TREES! Call (360) 866-4594 for information.

Pacific County

Community Development indicates no County resources are available. However, residents can pay extra for local trash disposal.

 

Clallam County

Port Angeles - Christmas Trees may be collected during the week of January 6, 2014. This service has been provided in the past, but as of Dec. 30, 2013, no official announcement has yet been received from the city. Contact the city at to check availability and details. (360) 417-4876

 Sequim - The city of Sequim in the past has ground and composted Christmas trees for city residents at no charge at the city yard, but this service is not available this year, according to a city Public Works spokeswoman.

 Forks - No city recycling of Christmas trees.

 County residents can take trees to the yard debris area of the Regional Transfer Station at 3501 W. 18th St. in Port Angeles, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday for a fee of $5.

Western Clallam County can take trees to West Waste Transfer Facility, 272 LaPush Road, Forks for a fee of $5. The transfer facility is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

Both transfer stations will be closed New Year’s Day.

 

Jefferson County

Port Townsend - City of Port Townsend curbside-recycling customers can place their trees out for regular yard waste pickup during the weeks of the 26th through the 27th of December 2013 and the 6th to the 10th of January 2014. If your tree is over 4 feet tall, please cut it in half before you place it out for pick-up. Trees with flocking or tinsel will be taken as garbage and you will be charged extra accordingly.

For customers inside or outside the City of Port Townsend, you can self-haul your trees to the City’s Biosolids Composting Facility, located at the Jefferson County Waste Management Facility off of Jacob Miller Road. There is a minimum charge of $5.00 or $48/ton if over 200 lbs. to drop off yard debris at this site.

Trees need to be clean; no flocked trees will be accepted, all tinsel, ornaments, and wood stands must be removed prior to recycling of the tree. Otherwise they need to be disposed of as garbage at the standard tipping fee to dispose of solid waste. The Jefferson County Waste Management  Facility is open during the hours of 9 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. Monday through Saturday.

The trees will be ground up and mixed with biosolids from the wastewater treatment facility and will be composted and will eventually be returned to the earth as a soil amendment. Please call DM Disposal at 385-6612 for more information.

You may also self-haul your trees to the City’s Biosolids Composting Facility, located at the Jefferson County Waste Management Facility off Jacob Miller Road. There is a minimum charge of $5.00 to drop off yard debris at this site. It is open Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

 

Gray Harbor County

Every year Grays Harbor County partners with local Scout troops to collect Christmas Trees. This event usually begins the weekend after Christmas and continues for the next two weekends after that. The Christmas trees can be dropped off at various locations around the County, or you may contact the Scouts to come and pick the tree up. This is a free community service event, but donations are appreciated.

Donations pay for the Boys’ to attend Summer Camp, and participate in other activities. For more information about this event contact Grays Harbor County – Solid Waste at (360) 249-4222.

Montesano, January 5-6 and  11-12, 2014

Time: 9am – 4pm

Location – Napa Auto Parts in Montesano

Contact # -360-249-2209 or 360-470-1651 for pickup

Aberdeen – Hoquiam January 5-6 and11-12, 2014

Time: 9am – 4pm

Location – Washington Grade School in Hoquiam

Contact# – 360-612-1056

General Resources 

Flocked trees normally can’t be recycled and must be cut up and placed in the trash. However, please check with your local disposal resource for specifics. Remove all twine, ornaments, lights, stands, tinsel and nails.

For curbside programs, trees over six feet need to be cut in half.

Multi-family complex residents should check with their property managers for tree placement locations, or use the drop-off locations underlined below.

Bird Habitat

If you can’t get rid of your tree easily, put it to use for you. Anchor it in a corner of your property and place a bird feeder nearby. Song birds will appreciate having a place to rest that provides cover from roaming cats, wind, and rain between meals at the feeder. You can also use the tree as a feeder itself.

Make a DIY Birdfeeder From An Old Christmas Tree

  • Take off all the tree decorations. (If you used home-strung popcorn strings as a tree decoration, you can leave that in place — the birds will love it.)
  • Find a location where you can enjoy all the action. Make sure the birds are safe from flying into windows.
  • Attach tree to a secure location (a fence or to another tree) using rope or bungee cords.
  • Redecorate the tree with safe and healthy bird food. Fat, protein and carbohydrates are what birds need to survive cold winters. Foods like peanuts and birdseed also include vitamins and minerals, which can also produce healthier eggs and chicks.

 

For additional information, visit www.orcaa.org or call (360) 539-7610.

 

 

Stage 1 Burn Ban LIFTED in Thurston County

Due to improved air quality conditions and changing weather, the Stage One Burn Ban has been LIFTED in Thurston County effective at 3 p.m. today (Friday, Nov. 29, 2013).

A substantial reduction in smoke output due at least in part to the great public response to the called ban, has moved Air Quality conditions back into the “Green” on the Washington Air Quality Advisory (WAQA) scale (see real-time air quality conditions HERE).

To stay up-to-date on burn bans throughout Washington, visit waburnbans.net and for all air quality issues, visit ORCAA at www.orcaa.org.