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Lakeview Air Quality Committee meets with DEQ, talks proposal

As many now know, Lakeview’s air quality designation is in a perpetual state of limbo. The area designations are non-attainment, sustainment, and attainment. Lakeview has steadily measured at a rate of 2.5 particulate matter (PM) since 2007.

In order to get in compliance with the Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ) standards for getting out of the non-attainment classification, Lakeview created an Air Quality Committee. The group met for the first time at Town Hall on Thursday, July 25.

Those in attendance include Mayor Mike Patrick, Town Mgr. Ray Simms, Rob Thornton, Commissioner Ken Kestner, SCOEDD’s Audrey Henry, Biologist Craig Foster, Executive Director of Lake County Resources Initiative Jim Walls, Katie Kargol, Janine Cannon, Christy Prenevost and Marvin Crocker.

DEQ representatives Mark Bailey, Rachel Sakata, George Davis, Mark Fisher, and Larry Calkins led the group with a presentation and proposal for getting Lakeview out of non-attainment.

The agenda started with committee logistics, emission inventory, brainstorm strategies, sustainment area, and ended with public comment.

Air permit requirements depend on levels of emission, which is categorized as large, intermediate, and small. The goal is to get air quality below National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) so Lakeview can get its permits and be an attainment area. The permit signifies healthy PM levels that are not detrimental to the health of citizens in the area, as well as encourages visitors and potential business owners.

Large emissions are considered 100 tons or more, intermediate emissions are considered 10 to 99 tons, and both are nearly impossible to achieve permits.

Small emissions are considered less than 10 tons, and are an easy permit to earn.

Lakeview’s current data reading has it in limbo and currently unable to qualify for a permit, which is the main reason why the DEQ representatives were in town: to assuage that very issue.

The Environmental Protection Agency will not allow a relaxation of its regulations, they said, and thus permitting remains difficult.

For more information, contact Town Hall at 541-947-2029.

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