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California claims eight of Top 10 worst polluted U.S. cities

21 April 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. Based on data reported to the Environmental Protection Agency, the study found Wilmington "had zero high ozone or high particle pollution days and were among the 25 cities with the lowest year-round particle levels".

"This report documents how warmer temperatures brought by climate change make ozone more likely to form and harder to clean up", the lung association said in a statement.

"If you live in Richmond County, the air you breathe may put your health at risk", the American Lung Association's website states. Fairbanks, AK, moved for the first time into the most polluted slot for year-round particle pollution, while Bakersfield, CA, maintains its rank as the city with the worst short-term particle pollution. "We are making significant strides in reducing air pollution to help protect the health of everyone in our city". Monroe County has no EPA air-quality monitoring sites.

Particle pollution is commonly referred to as soot.

Out of 227 metro areas, the greater NY area (which includes Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren counties) was listed as the 10th worst city for ozone pollution. "But there are a lot of potential risks now-from potential new industrial development as a outcome of the national gas and ethane boom, to what's happening at the national level with the EPA's weakened ability to enforce the Clean Air Act".

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"Even coal fired plants in the Midwest, ozone that's produced there ends up traveling and settling over our region".

"We also have to worry about the air that we're breathing as well".

"All administrations in New Jersey, going back decades, have taken air quality seriously", Hajna said. More than 133.9 million people live in the 215 counties that had unhealthy ozone or particle pollution in 2014-2016. But ground level ozone, often called smog, is risky.

When 2012 dropped out of the sample period for the 2017 report, Toledo's ozone rating improved dramatically.

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources officials are predicting emissions from the planned Foxconn manufacturing plant will increase ozone pollution, with an estimated 4 percent hike in volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides, two of the primary components in ozone formation.

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In 2017, the study ranked Wilmington 23 out of the top 25 cleanest USA cities for year-round particle pollution.

Suffolk, with an estimated population of 1.49 million people, also includes a high number of at-risk residents, including more 29,000 children with pediatric asthma, more than 112,000 adults with asthma, 63,000 adults with COPD and 875 people with lung cancer.

Obviously, we have a ways to go in dealing with ozone pollution. According to Janice Nolen of the American Lung Association, climate change and global warming were big contributing factors.

But areas in DE and CT, also included in those metro areas, were more polluted than New Jersey, Stewart said.

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California claims eight of Top 10 worst polluted U.S. cities