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WNC Air Quality News

Buncombe Taps Interim Director Ashley Featherstone to Continue Heading Air Quality


On March 9, the WNC Regional Air Quality Agency (WNCRAQA) approved the appointment of Ashley Featherstone as Director of Air Quality. She has been serving as interim director since November and has been working with the agency for 18 years. “Featherstone’s experience, existing knowledge of our region’s air quality needs, and passion for the position made her a standout candidate during the interview process,” says says WNC Air Quality Board Chair Britt Lovin. “Transitioning her from interim to permanent director lets us hit the ground running.”

Featherstone is a native of Western North Carolina and says it’s an honor to serve the people of Buncombe County. “I am committed to this area and the continued success of the local air quality program. The air quality team is dedicated to public service, and I am very fortunate to have such a great group of people to work with,” says Featherstone. “We are looking forward to filling our vacant position, reengaging with our citizen’s advisory committee, and modernizing our data management systems,” she says of immediate priorities.

The Western North Carolina Regional Air Quality Agency is one of three county-based air quality programs in the state responsible for monitoring and regulating air quality. The program is certified by the North Carolina Environmental Management Commission and operates under an interlocal agreement between Buncombe County and the City of Asheville.

Ashley Featherstone’s Professional Bio

Ashley has worked for Buncombe County at the WNC Regional Air Quality Agency since 2001 and been the Permitting Program Manager since 2006. She has a BSPH in Environmental Sciences and Engineering from UNC Chapel Hill, and an MSPH in Environmental Health Sciences from University of South Carolina at Columbia. Featherstone worked for an environmental engineering and consulting firm for three years prior to working for the WNCRAQA.