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Yakima clean air agency names new executive director | Local

Marc Thornsbury is the new executive director and air pollution control officer of the Yakima Regional Clean Air Agency.

The agency’s board of directors appointed him to the position at a Sept. 8 meeting, according to a Monday news release. His first day was Sept. 12.

The annual salary for the position is $105,252, according to Thornsbury’s employment agreement. 

Thornsbury was previously the executive director for a Washington public port district with a focus on economic and business development and environmental stewardship. He held that position for about 12 years, the release said.

Before that, he was the owner and general manager of a technology consulting firm and a manager for a West Coast regional freight forwarder and customhouse broker, the release said.

“I am pleased to serve the citizens and businesses of Yakima County and dedicated to ensuring the YRCAA is an efficient, effective, transparent, and responsive agency,” Thornsbury said in the release. “I look forward to engaging the community and the board with a focus on improving outcomes for all, balancing enforcement with education, and working to avoid falling into non-compliance with federal air quality standards and the negative impacts the area would suffer as a result.”

The position filled by Thornsbury had been vacant since October 2021 when Keith Hurley resigned after staff members raised allegations of sexual misconduct, which Hurley denied.

Compliance and Engineering Supervisor Hasan Tahat held the position in the interim.

“We are grateful for Dr. Tahat’s willingness to accept the additional responsibility of guiding the agency during this recent transition period,” board chairperson Jon DeVaney said in the release. “Now, after a lengthy search and selection process, we are pleased to have Mr. Thornsbury assume leadership of the agency and help us as we move forward.”

DeVaney said Thornbury’s background in public administration will be a valuable asset for the agency.

The Yakima Regional Clean Air Agency is in charge of enforcing state, local and federal clean air regulations. It monitors air quality, oversees agricultural burning, issues permits and responds to public complaints and inquiries, according to its website.

The clean air agency is independent from the county, but county and city representatives serve on the board. The board includes DeVaney, Yakima County Commissioner Amanda McKinney, county representative Steven Jones, Yakima Mayor Janice Deccio and Granger Mayor Jose Trevino.

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