Due to poor winter weather, Spokane is flunking federal air quality standards for carbon monoxide.
That disappoints local air quality cops, who thought the county might make it through 1995 with a near-perfect record, as it did in 1994.
“This is bad news. We were looking forward to two years with no violations,” Ron Edgar of the Spokane County Air Pollution Control Authority told the agency board on Thursday.
The federal Clean Air Act allows cities to exceed the standard for carbon monoxide only twice a year. Spokane exceeded the 9 parts per million standard only once this year until early December. On Dec. 11, a downtown monitor showed a 13.5 parts per million reading, and on Dec. 12, it registered 11.1.
Cities that can’t meet the standard must do more to improve the air, including tougher automobile inspection programs and more oxygenated gas in winter.
The new violations don’t necessarily mean the feds will move immediately to redesignate Spokane from a “moderate” to a “serious” carbon monoxide violator, Edgar said.