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Air Quality Challenges

Pierce County has the worst wood smoke particulate matter problem in the country. Fine particular matter, also known as PM 2.5, is an air pollutant known to cause Asthma attacks, Strokes, Heart Attacks and Cancer. Parts of Tacoma/Pierce County are in non-attainment for PM 2.5 air quality.

Pierce County's goal is to have all of Pierce County in compliance with federal air quality standards.

Click this link to see if you qualify for the wood stove changeout program. Download the latest Wood Smoke Reduction Changeout program flyer.


Idling your vehicle is a waste of gas and it pollutes our air. Most people who idle hold on to old untrue myths.

When you idle you get 0 miles per gallon and you contribute lots of PM2.5 into our air. For every 10 minutes of idling you have wasted enough gas to travel 5 miles. Exhaust fumes are toxic and can be compared to second hand tobacco smoke, and wood smoke.

Save some money and do something good for the environment, stop idling you vehicle.

Stop Burning Wood

Smoke from wood fires is the leading cause of fine particle pollution in this area during winter months when people tend to light more fires at home.

Pierce County residents in the non-attainment area are asked to limit use of fireplaces, woodstoves or pellet stoves to help reduce unhealthy PM 2.5 levels for themselves, their families and their neighbors.

'If we're serious about protecting public health, we must continue our efforts as a region to reduce pollution from wood burning, gasoline consumption and diesel emissions.'

-Craig Kenworthy, Executive Director of the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency.

Reduce Driving

Cars and trucks are major contributors to poor air quality including PM 2.5 and other toxics that are connected to health problems, including cancer. The number one thing you can do to improve the sustainability of Pierce County is use less fuel since it pollutes our air and our water.

Pierce County is buying three all electric Nissan Leaf's that have zero emissions.

Explore Air Quality Resources

AIRNow Intergovernmental Resources
EPA - Tribal Air Quality Resources
WA State Department of Ecology - Air Quality Resources
Washington State University - Air Quest
US Forest Service Pacific Northwest Region NOAA- National Weather Service