The Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency presented their annual Clean Air Award today to Costco’s northside gasoline station, recognizing their efforts to minimize gasoline vapor loss by investing in the best available air pollution control equipment.
The Clean Air Award is presented annually to a company that has consistently demonstrated a commitment to reduce air emissions. The award is to publicly express our appreciation for innovation and to encourage others to follow suit.
"When designing and building their new northside facility, Costco made the decision to go beyond the minimum requirements," said Lori Rodriguez, Compliance Section Manager for Spokane Clean Air. Rodriguez is pictured in the photo on the left, with Costco’s Jeffrey Rumsey (center) and Bill Olmstead (right).
"The 2020 Clean Air Award acknowledges Costco’s investment in the best available air pollution control technology. Additionally, their operations are top-notch, which keeps the air pollution control equipment working as designed. This commitment is making a difference in our air quality – with additional Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) reduced by as much as 80 tons per year," added Rodriguez.
VOCs contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone, a harmful air pollutant. Minimizing the release of VOCs is important to stay in attainment of national, health-based pollution standards for ground-level ozone. One strategy to reduce VOCs is requiring gasoline stations to install and maintain equipment designed to reduce vapor loss when underground storage tanks are being refilled. This is called Stage I Vapor Recovery. Additionally, the amount of gas dispensed by a station and its proximity to residential property may necessitate Stage II Vapor Recovery systems. These systems use specialized nozzles to capture vapors during vehicle refueling.
There are 173 gasoline stations in Spokane County that collectively dispensed approximately 158.5 million gallons of gasoline in 2019. Of these 173 stations, there are nine, including Costco, that use both Stage I and Stage II vapor recovery systems.
In 2019, approximately 868 tons of VOCs were emitted during vehicle refueling and during the refilling of underground storage tanks in Spokane County.
Read more about our recognition program and past Clean Air Award recipients.