Spokane's air quality is currently in compliance with federal and state standards. In the 1990s, the City was under attainment plans for carbon monoxide (CO) and for particulates (pm-10). Fine particulates (pm-2.5), ozone, and toxics are regulated pollutants currently of some concern. Spokane air quality is regulated by the Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency. The City has a representative on the agency's regulatory board.
Several City facilities have permits from the Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency.
Northside Landfill: The City's closed landfills generate landfill gas, primarily methane, carbon dioxide, and water. The landfill gases are extracted and the volatile organics burned in flares. The Northside Landfill active cells include a relatively small bottom-lined cell and a modern lined waste containment cell that was constructed as the old landfill was closed. The Northside Landfill primarily serves to take wastes that are not appropriate for the Waste-to-Energy Facility.
Waste to Energy Facility: The Waste to Energy facility began operating in 1992 with state of the art air pollution controls. The facility accepts waste primarily from Spokane County. The waste is converted to water, carbon dioxide, ash, recyclable metals and electricity. Here is a copy of the facility's air operating permit (PDF 522 KB).
Southside Landfill: The City's closed landfill generates landfill gas, primarily methane, carbon dioxide, and water. The landfill gases are extracted and the volatile organics burned in a flare. The City is currently studying appropriate replacements for managing the methane gas produced at the landfill. It's been 25 years since the landfill was closed and methane production has dropped dramatically during that time, making it difficult to maintain consistent use of the flare. The City is studying the use of biofilters to break down the gas.
Riverside Park Water Reclamation Facility: The Riverside Park Water Reclamation Facility treats Spokane's wastewater and other regional wastewater. The water used to move human waste to the treatment facilities helps control volatile organic emissions, never-the-less there are emissions from the wastewater facilities. The anaerobic (without oxygen) digestion process used to treat waste solids generates methane and carbon dioxide.