Poor air quality in North State

Pauline Gross
April 20, 2018

The American Lung Association's 2018 State of the Air report grades ozone and particle pollution levels collected by state EPA offices from 2014-2016.

Nick Huber pulls a wagon with kids Caleb Huber, 16 months, center, and Kendall Huber, 5, all of Perrysburg, Ohio, at Swan Creek Metropark Preserve in February.

Air quality in the city has been continuously improving, according to the report, showing progress toward de Blasio's goal of achieving the "cleanest air of any large US city by 2030". "As we have done since the first report in 2000, we look at three years of data, using data from local, state, tribal and federal monitors across the nation". It was one of just 10 counties in the nation to score F grades in all three categories.

Legal requirements mandated Duke Energy to close 19 coal ash basins at its coal-fired power plants over the past several years. Ozone is a corrosive pollutant that can cause chest pain, coughing, shortness of breath and worsen asthma symptoms.

Surface ozone is produced by a chemical reaction in the air involving hydrocarbon emissions from motor vehicles and other gasoline-burning equipment, various industrial processes, and vapor from organic paints and solvents.

However, the report also said that levels of "dirty" air pollution are decreasing in the United States, as tailpipes and smokestacks produce cleaner exhaust. Both Albany and Saratoga Counties fell back one grade, from an A to a B in Albany and from a B to a C in Saratoga.

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While Wilmington is improving its particle pollution annual averages, Alexander said any level of pollution could be a cause of concern. While the metro area saw more high ozone days this year, it improved for moth short-term and year-round particle pollution. Fresno County also improved for ozone pollution with fewer unhealthy air days, the association said.

Particle pollution measured in the report was lower in many parts of the state as a result of the lessening due to a letdown due to a letdown of the drought, Holmes-Gen said. That year, Toledo had a record-smashing heat wave in March and then, after a cool, wet April, had a dry and unusually hot summer.

The latest sample period, however, replaced 2013 with 2016. She said one of her favorite apps is EPA AIRNow.

Michael Seilback, vice president of public policy and communications for the American Lung Association's Northeast region, said poor air quality is a problem because it puts people's health at risk.

"Healthy air protections are under attack, and must be defended to save lives here and across the country", Mr. Fletcher said. The State of California is also pushing legislation that would require all new cars registered in California after January 1, 2040 to be zero emissions vehicles, which would in turn be a boon to Los Angeles.

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