The Northwest Clean Air Agency has replaced its 11-year-old website with a new one that is loaded with graphics and features to better convey local air quality data and improve access to tools and information.
“We think our website should be our primary communications tool,” said NWCAA Executive Director Mark Asmundson. “The new site is easy to use, full of relevant information, and it reflects the natural beauty of our jurisdiction. This is a special place, and we are working hard to keep it that way.”
The site has a new address, www.nwcleanairwa.gov, replacing the agency’s .org address. Agency email addresses also have switched to the new .gov domain.
“Some people have expressed confusion about whether we’re a nonprofit or a government agency,” Asmundson said. “Since the .gov domain is available only to governmental entities, our new web address makes it clear: We are a government.”
The site was designed over the past 10 months by Podesta Group, a Washington, D.C. company.
NWCAA’s new website uses responsive design, which means the screen resizes to the device you are using.
Instead of pages of long text blocks, the new site provides information visually and intuitively. Users can scroll through all of the agency’s air quality gauges on the home page.
Inside the new air quality center, users can see snapshots of air pollutant data collected at agency monitors, view monthly ambient air quality summaries, customize the site to open to the nearest monitor, and sign up for air quality news and alerts.
NWCAA added a map of local monitors, along with a tool that shows the recommended steps people can take to protect their health if pollution levels are elevated.
The new site has an interactive map of the major businesses in NWCAA’s jurisdiction – the facilities that emit the largest amount of air pollutants and other businesses regulated under Title V of the federal Clean Air Act.
Click on a map pin, and you can link to the facility’s air operating permit and see its annual emissions from the agency’s emissions inventory.
And because NWCAA knows how frustrating it can be for businesses trying to find information, the agency added a series of general and business-specific toolkits, where businesses can find the permitting, registration and compliance assistance information they need in one place.
Navigation throughout the site is clean and simple, and information is organized topically. There are quick-find menus throughout the site, leading users to the tools and information people look for most often.
“We developed this site with the public’s needs in mind,” Asmundson said. “We hope the new site helps people understand more about local air quality, and helps them get to know the Northwest Clean Air Agency.”
The Northwest Clean Air Agency is responsible for enforcing federal, state and local air quality regulations in Island, Skagit, and Whatcom counties. In addition to permitting and regulating industrial sources of air pollution, the agency provides services and information related to asbestos, indoor air quality, outdoor burning, woodstoves and fireplaces. More information about the agency is available at www.nwcleanairwa.gov.