Dateline Ellensburg, WA…
The local newspaper, The Daily Record, reported Thursday that Kittitas County is ‘working to address air quality’ in the area. The headline may as well have read that ‘the county is reckoning on commencing to beginning to start cleaning up the air here’. A smaller caption read ‘State, Local Officials trying to avoid federal involvement.’ At the bottom of the page, it is noted that Ellensburg has been ranked as one of the most polluted areas in the state since 2012.
Holly Myers, spokeswoman for the County Health Department, noted that if the federales send in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) they will measure pollutants properly, “If it (the EPA) measured for the lower health sensitive level, that would mean industrial permits would go down and it would be costly to business in the area.
A spokesperson for the Washington Department of Ecology, Sue Billings, says that if the EPA came in to fix the air quality ‘it would give Kittitas County a negative image…This kind of thing gets into the AARP and tourist magazines and the community gets a stigma…’
Let us condense the above information into a consumable ‘byte’…Kittitas County and Washington State health officials are ignoring a dangerous health issue for years because they value business over people’s lives.
Considering that all businesses run off the backs of people, taking the side of business on this issue is more than a little irresponsible.
When this writer moved to the county, we first consulted websites which give information to people who are moving or planning vacations, etc. Sperling’s Best Places said (and probably still does) that Ellensburg has air quality that is 98.5% pure!!! The officials are more concerned with glossing over the issue than the risk to community health…
VOTERS, remember names and be sure to vote against those who poison you.
So, what happens next?.…well, this blog gets sent to the AAA, the AARP, Bestplaces.com and all those other sites which trick people into coming here to be poisoned. Then we contact them to see where they got their information (call it lies) as regards the air purity here. We will report our findings.
Up until January 29, 2015, the County did not find it necessary to provide information concerning poor air quality. A particularly nasty day made local headlines on November 20, two days after the center city crematorium filled the two blocks surrounding the public library with noxious fumes. The thermal waves carrying the putrid smell could be seem emanating from the chimney of the funeral parlor – which is located in the center of the most populated area (duh) and in breathing distance of Central Washington University. How many parents are paying to have children come here to absorb carcinogens which may not form cancer cells until years after they graduate?
This kind of hiding from the government is unhealthy. It is as unhealthy as Vantage Highway, where reports of people incapacitated by breathing problems are reported weekly, if not every other day, in the Record. When the writer moved to the Burg, he developed a breathing problem after a month or so. Every morning, he woke feeling fine and, as soon as he opened his windows or stepped outside(into the air), developed a hacking cough that took hours to clear each morning. He stupidly attributed it to ‘hay fever’ and pollen from the world famous Timothy Hay grown here.
Speaking of the hay…it is shipped around the world because it is reckoned to be the best. Do the buyers know that it is steeped in fine particle pollution throughout the entire growing cycle? What does the fine particulate pollution do to the livestock it is fed to, way down the line?
So here in Kittitas, business is more important than people…and they admit it in the newspaper. You have to credit them for that much…but the tourist magazines need to hear about it for any action to occur, it would seem – talk about the Power of the Press!