The Radioactive Air Emissions Section protects the public from airborne radioactivity by enforcing standards for radioactive air emissions. This includes radioactive control technology standards BARCT and ALARACT. The Radioactive Air Emissions program is supported by fees.
The state's ambient radioactive air emissions standard is 10 mrem per year. This standard is enforced by the Department of Health for any facility that emits, or has the potential to emit, radionuclides into the air. The department also enforces adopted national standards for ambient airborne radionuclides.
The department works to limit radioactive air emissions from various types of sources and activities. The section issues Radioactive Air Emission Licenses (RAEL) which are incorporated as an applicable requirement in the Air Operating Permit issued by the state Department of Ecology or a local clean air agency. Compliance with the incorporated RAEL requirements, in addition to relevant Radioactive Materials License conditions, are determined and enforced by the Radioactive Air Emissions Section.
The department has the authority to take civil and criminal action to:
- Enforce state and adopted federal regulations.
- Issue Radioactive Air Emission Licenses to Operate a New Facility.
- Issue Radioactive Air Emissions Facility Approvals to Construct.
- Inspect and audit emission units and projects to determine compliance.
- Review annual reports submitted by facilities.
- Provide technical assistance.