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Air quality strategies brainstormed

March 19, 2014 by

A second community meeting held Wednesday, March 12, continued discussions of local air quality concerns, delving into a brainstorming session for potential management strategies.

The meeting, led by members of the PM Advance Committee, a group that is currently developing a five-year air quality management strategy with a goal of preventing a formal noncompliance designation by the EPA, drew a number of questions from the audience.

Proposed strategies were ranked by estimations of potential effectiveness.  These strategies included applying the same current rules regarding open burning for the Town of Lakeview to the county jurisdiction of the urban growth boundary, weatherization of homes, an outreach program with local schools, hosting an annual community cleanup event for ridding of yard debris and waste and more.

The proposed strategies were ranked on a scale of one to four, ranging from low effectiveness to a need for closer examination.

Among the strategies ranking highest in believed effectiveness included utilization of the natural gas pipeline, which would necessitate a private investor to come in and develop it for residential use.

Others believed to rank high in effectiveness included establishment of a regional composting facility, promoting the swap from wood stoves to ductless heat pumps through changeout programs.

Programs ranking low in believed effectiveness include chimney sweep maintenance, a follow-up program for those that get their older stoves changed out for newer certified units, matching town and urban growth boundary rules on open burning and the community clean-up event proposal.

An inquiry on annexation of the area of town south of 9th street drew some discussion.  Town Mgr. Ray Simms said that individual property annexation occurs occasionally when water and sewer services are requested.

County Commissioner Ken Kestner noted that annexation of a large-scale area would necessitate a vote of the people.

The next community air quality meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 9, at 6 p.m. at the Lake County Seniors Center, located at 11 N. G St.

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