Benton County, in south central Washington, includes the cities of Kennewick, Richland, West Richland, Benton City and Prosser. The Columbia River makes up the county boundaries to the north, east and south. Benton County includes confluence of the Snake, Yakima and Columbia rivers, along with the Horse Heaven Hills and the lower Yakima Valley.
Nestled in the heart of Washington’s wine country, Benton County is home to five of Washington State’s eight American Viticulture Areas, the region produces 99 percent of the state’s wine and some of the finest wines in the world. An annual $3 billion industry, Washington State is the second largest wine producer in the nation.
The area is also known for its advances in science and technology, which have carried over to excellent educational opportunities in each of our local school districts, as well as opportunities in higher education.
The climate is semi-arid and the shrub-steppe ecology, along with the rivers, parks, and ridgelines, make Benton County a unique environment.
Benton Clean Air Agency works with citizens and industries to maintain and preserve the air quality and its contribution to public health and safety, and the enjoyment by all of our natural resources.
Three unusual thunderstorms created strong winds and dust in eastern Washington, including Benton County in 2013. The storms overwhelmed agriculture erosion controls and caused air pollution from dust to exceed federal standards. The Washington State Department of Ecology is asking the EPA to consider the storms "Exceptional Events" when determining compliance with air quality standards. Preview the Draft Exceptional Event Report and find out how to attend the Exceptional Event Webinar here>>
State of Washington Notice of Hearing and Opportunity to comment on proposed change to the State Air Quality Plan (SIP)
Washington Smoke Information - County, state, and federal agencies provide information for Washington communities affected by smoke from wildland fires
Statewide Air Monitoring Network - Ecology's monitors, the color codes indicate the air quality at each monitor
Washington Air Quality Advisory (WAQA) - Provides guidance based on the air quality advisory level
Understanding Burn Bans - A video that explains the different types of burn bans and why they are important
Emergency Alerts - sign up to receive emergency weater alerts at http://www.emergencyemail.org/Default.asp