Duwamish Community Action for Clean Air

What you will find on this page:

Why is this program important?
We took action!
What is going on right now in this project?
Project Partners
Project Goals
What activities will happen during this project?
Free Healthy Home Assessments
Additional Information

New!  2016 Duwamish Community Fact Sheet #2

Learn about current action projects, data gaps, and more.  Available in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese.

Residents in the Duwamish Valley are constantly exposed to pollution sources from industries, automobiles, trucks, and other sources. In the Cumulative Health Impacts Analysis (CHIA) published by DRCC/TAG and Just Health Action, Beacon Hill, Georgetown, and South Park (zip code 98108) had the highest ranking for air pollution compared to other neighborhoods in Seattle. The environmental exposures identified include the highest citywide air concentration of diesel particulates and benzene. In addition, the Duwamish Valley contains the most contaminated waste sites and numerous Toxic Release Inventory sites located within Seattle neighborhoods.

Duwamish Valley air pollution

Photo by Paul Joseph Brown/Ecosystemphoto.com

The CHIA found that the Duwamish neighborhoods are impacted by diesel particulate, which increases the likelihood of residents developing asthma. Data has shown that children in South Park and Georgetown were more frequently hospitalized due to asthma conditions. In fact, the most vulnerable populations, (including children, elderly, and foreign-born residents) among Seattle neighborhoods live in the Duwamish Valley. Data on the South Park and Georgetown neighborhoods also shows that their life expectancy is eight years shorter than the Seattle average, and a full 13 years shorter than the comparatively wealthier neighborhood of Laurelhurst in North Seattle.

DRCC/TAG identified addressing air pollution as the communities’ main priority based on the work that was done through the Duwamish Vision Plan and Map, Health Impact Assessment: Proposed Cleanup Plan for the Lower Duwamish Waterway Superfund Site (HIA), and CHIA. In addition, surveys, community asset and health threat mapping, and other community-based participatory research indicated the same concern.

We listened and acted upon your concerns!

In 2014, DRCC/TAG was granted $120,000 through the EPA Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-solving Cooperative Agreement. This funding is allowing us to:

  • identify and map air pollution sources,
  • provide indoor air cleaning kits and filtering devices, and
  • implement at least one pilot air pollution exposure reduction project in the Duwamish Valley.

What is going on in the project right now?

There is a lot underway in regards to the Duwamish Community Action for Clean Air project!


Project implementation:

  • The first Green Wall is installed! The finishing touches for the Georgetown Green Wall at CDL Recycle were done on October 22, 2016 as part of Make a Difference Day and Duwamish Alive!  DRCC/TAG and Just Health Action welcomed close to 45 volunteers from King 5, Lowe’s Home Improvement, Boeing, the Duwamish Valley Youth Corps, and Duwamish Infrastructure Restoration Training Corps to plant plants and spread mulch, generously donated by Cedar Grove.
    • This 126-foot-long and 13-feet-high green wall will have a positive impact on the air pollution from the East Marginal Way transportation corridor and the industries.
    • Check out an article from Seattle Weekly capturing this great accomplishment as well as this video from the Seattle Channel!
    • Read the Press Release for all of the background details
    • Thank you to everyone who made it possible – EPA EJCPS funding, King County Green Grants, CDL Recycle, Lowe’s Home Improvement, Cedar Grove, and the Georgetown Community!30408064051_b91948152d_o
  • At least one more green wall is in the works in South Park! We are working with the South Park Library to ensure this becomes possible. Greenscreens are freestanding wall-like trellises with plants growing on them, being installed to mitigate air pollution and promote cleaner air.
    • We are currently in the process of getting permits. Community members in Georgetown and South Park identified potential sites at multilingual community workshops held in September, October, and November 2015 and were also encouraged to use the Hey Duwamish! map to vote for locations a greenscreen should be built. 
    • Implementation of these greenscreens is made possible by the work of DRCC/TAG and Just Health Action (JHA). JHA received a King County Green Grant for $45,000 for clean air action! Through this funding, JHA is working with the community and DRCC/TAG to identify and implement pilot projects and actions to reduce exposure to air pollution among local residents in South Park and Georgetown.
    • During 2015, JHA did a literature review to look at what types of actions and strategies were most effective in addressing air pollution. These findings continue to be shared as part of the community prioritization process.
      • During workshops and conversations in Fall 2015, the community identified “greenscreens” as the most exciting option for reducing residents’ exposure to air pollution.
      • The Duwamish Valley Youth Corps and others will be involved in constructing these greenscreens.

Monitoring efficiency:

  • Erik Saganić and the PSCAA plan to monitor the effectiveness of the high-quality air filters currently being distributed through this project. The aim is to monitor four (4) houses in this first pilot effort.
    • The pilot project is currently underway. Two (2) houses have been monitored, and two (2) more will be monitored.

Interactive map and community monitoring tool:

Information gaps and unknowns:

  • Project partners are currently working on putting together a strategy to fill in air quality information gaps identified through the project and by community members. We will have more information in the coming week!

Previous efforts:

  • Take Action for Clean Air Workshops took place in Georgetown and South Park on September 26th, October 3th, and November 18th. These workshops were an opportunity for community members to learn about the efforts of project partners, give their input, AND take home a high-quality Air Filter – built by the American Lung Association with the help of the Duwamish Valley Youth Corps!
    • Check out photos from the South Park Workshop
    • Puget Sound Clean Air Agency (PSCAA) shared the information they have gathered about air quality in the Duwamish Valley and discussed with community members information gaps and other information community members might be interested to learn.
    • Western Washington University, Huxley College on the Peninsulas discussed and trained community members on the Duwamish Community Air Watch Map where community members have the opportunity to submit air quality observations and see what their neighbors have submitted.
    • Didn’t make it the workshop? You can still get your air filter! Simply sign-up for a Healthy Home Assessment (HHA). Contact Alberto at alberto – at – duwamishcleanup.org or 206-453-9803. If you already received a HHA, we will be following up with you soon to deliver your air filter and do a short post-assessment interview.

Project Partners

Project Goals

  • Improve the communities’ understanding of the primary sources of air pollution, and these sources relative contribution of diesel particulate matter and other air pollutants in South Park and Georgetown
  • Reduce exposure to diesel particulate pollution and determine if other air pollutants are also a significant threat to residents’ health
  • Reduce the frequency and severity of asthma attacks among local residents, especially children

Activities to be developed

  • (DONE!) Identify primary sources of air pollution and their relative contribution
  • (Ongoing) Provide free healthy home assessments (conducted by the American Lung Association)
  • (Ongoing) Community engagement activities (presentations, community workshops, tours, etc.)
  • (Ongoing) Implement community projects to improve air quality
  • (Ongoing) Create a user-friendly, web-based and mobile device accessible map containing spatial data on air pollution sources and trends for the area (currently being developed by Western Washington University and Hey Duwamish!)

Free Healthy Home Assessments

Asthma is a concern in the Duwamish Valley, where childhood asthma hospitalization rates are twice that of the King County average. In addition, the WA Department of Health has conducted a Health Consultation for the Duwamish Valley and found that cancer risks are elevated in residential areas nearest to the three highways that run the length of the valley, primarily due to diesel emissions from cars and trucks.

Through this project the American Lung Association (ALA) will offer free healthy home assessments to those living in Georgetown and South Park to identify the health hazards in your home. These assessments are available in English, Spanish, Somali, and Vietnamese. A trained Master Home Environmentalist (MHE) will walk with you through your home and talk about the things that may be making your children and family sick. After the assessment, an action plan will be developed to help you create a healthier home environment, and materials such as a green cleaning kit and a doormat will be provided free of charge. While supplies last, residents who have children with asthma will receive an additional kit that includes a dust mite pillowcase, dust mite mattress cover, and a HEPA vacuum cleaner. For more general information about indoor air quality click here.



Additional Information

For more information or to request a healthy home assessment contact:

Hannah Kett | Project Manager | hannah – at – duwamishcleanup.org | 206-359-1774

This project has been funded wholly or in part by the United States Environmental Protection Agency under assistance agreement EC-00J91901 to the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition/TAG. The contents of this document do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Environmental Protection Agency, nor does mention of trade names or commercial products constitute endorsement or recommendation for use.