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News Releases from Region 10

EPAs $2.48 million grant will support efforts to improve air quality, protect people, in Idahos West Silver Valley

Contact Information: 
Mark MacIntyre EPA Public Affairs (macintyre.mark@epa.gov)

Funding expected to energize local efforts to breathe cleaner air

(Seattle, WA - October 22, 2015) The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality has received a $2.48 million EPA grant to reduce pollution and protect air quality in northern Idaho's West Silver Valley. The grant is part of EPA's 2015 Targeted Air Shed Grant Program.

The West Silver Valley proposal aims to reduce harmful particulate matter emissions from wood stoves and open burning in the valley. Planned projects include:

  • Woodstove change-outs
  • Building wood-drying sheds
  • Providing more efficient and cleaner burning fire logs during colder weather
  • Upgraded home weatherization
  • Promoting residential yard waste and logging debris removal instead of open burning
  • Sustained outreach and education to ensuring program longevity.

Since early 2014, the West Silver Valley Air Quality Citizens Advisory Committee has been working with IDEQ to develop a plan to reduce emissions in the West Silver Valley and bring the area's particulate matter back to healthy levels for community members of all ages. The funding from the Targeted Air Shed grant will further the community's ability to implement its plans to reduce particulate emissions.

Scientific studies have repeatedly linked exposure to particulate matter with serious human health problems including premature death in people with heart and lung disease; nonfatal heart attacks; and increased hospital admissions and doctor and emergency room visits for respiratory and cardiovascular disease. Particulate matter are tiny particles approximately 1/30th the size of a human hair.

For more information, visit our Web page on particulate matter.