Seattle Air Pollution

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SeattleAir Pollution

South Crisis

Thereis aprevalenceof air pollution in South Seattle. In the morning, it is hard to seethe blue sky because of the widespread fog caused by the smokemajorly from industries and vehicle emissions. Residents face anincreased toxic airborne pollutant that according to a recentstudy by Puget is 30 times above the accepted limit. The Southernpart is highly affected bythe study indicating that prevalence of air pollutant is 5% higherthan the national average. It is shocking to note that most of theair pollution does not come from vehicles, butthe industrial facilities in the South Park and Georgetown area.These two neighborhoods have beenrankedas the dirtiest in the city. The increased pollution in the city alsocomes from the fumes from ships in Duwamish and Elliott and also fromthe diesel-powered equipment from Port of Seattle. The fumes fromcars also contribute to the toxicmix as well as wood smoke from fireplaces. The air pollution is asignificant problem because currently,many people live close to roadways,therefore,increasing their likelihood to breathe dirty air. Puget studyrevealed that most people live just 200 yards away from roadways.

Tenets and policies envisioned inthe Settle’s Action Plan

Theincrease in cases of pollution in Seattle area is a major cause ofconcern. There are somepolicies being laid down to curb the menace of pollution. The city isrolling out a five-yearplan to reduce thenumber ofvehicles on the roads. One of the plans is passinglegislationthat imposesheavy parking fees to discourage many people from using personalvehicles and instead rely on public means to travel in and out of thecity. Seattle is also embarking on drawing a long-termplan to move the traffic on the outskirts of the city. There is anongoing plan to construct a link-uprailway line on the outskirts that linksto the mainterminal of the major road. The move is expected to encourage manypeople to commute using rail and connecting to the city center usingbuses. Toreduce the impact of pollutants from factories,the state government is passing strict legislation for industry tomeet waste disposal target. There is a long term plan of connectingunderground pipes to control all the gasesfrom the industries instead of emitting directly intothe air. The city should also aim at creating more parks and plantingtrees and flowers around.

Futuristic and the current view ofSeattle City

Currently,the appearance of Seattle is gloom and pale. It is hard to see clearblue sky in the morning orinthe afternoon because of the heavy clouds that hover above the city.There are many people suffering from airborne diseases and thereforecan hardly walk through the city freely. They are now opting to usepersonal cars to evade the polluted air. If the current action plansto reduce the pollution are ratified, the future of Seattle is boundto change. It will transform into a green city, with high towers andgreen parks surrounding it. People will prefer traveling on theblistering lanes instead of using motor vehicles. The commuter busesaround the city will reduce traffic and give it a solid quietdisplay. The level of noise pollution will also reduce and thereforeimprove the general appearance of the city. A glance into the futureof Seattle will mark a welcoming, serene and bright city with aclear blue sky and green parks surrounding the empty spaces.

Interviewwith a volunteer at Cascadia Climate Action (climate activist group)

Asan activist what are your general view about Climate Action Plan inthe city?

Well,I believe the progress so far is slow because the entire plan is onpaper. There have been a few follow up to actualize the majorpolicies into action. As a climate activist, we are concerned aboutthe future of this city the increasing air pollution will have adevastating effect to the lives of the people in the town if notcontrolled. Despite the gloomy state of the current progress, weremain committed to pushing the state government and the relevantstakeholders to embrace green practices to curb the air pollution.

Interviewwith director, Settle Office of Sustainability and Environment

What specific policies is your department undertaking to control thepollution menace in the city?

Asthe director of Sustainability and Environment, our major focus is tocome up with long term measures that will end the pollution in thecity. As a preliminary measure, we are ratifying legislation such asincreasing the parking fees so as to discourage personal vehicles. Weare also putting more strict measures to companies, especially thenew ones to ensure that they observe green practices and emit therequired standards in the air. Part of our long term measures areconstructing a railway line on the outskirt of the city and linkingit with a bus terminal that will ferry people into it. We are alsoplanning to increase the number of parks in and around the city aswell as planting more trees and flowers.


Thecurrent state of air pollution in Seattle city is devastating.Studies point out the rate of pollution in the Southern part is 5%higher than the nationwide average. There are several action planstaken to curb the air pollution. One, the city is embarking onconstructing a rail line on the outskirt and implementing a commuterbus program to control the traffic. The state government, through thedepartment of Environmental Sustainability, is also improvinglegislation to put more control on the level of emission infactories. Finally, the city is also planning to increase the numberof parks. With effective implementation, these measures are likely toreduce the impact of air pollution in Seattle.

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