According to the StarGazette.com, there are more than 3.2 million New Yorkers living in counties with poor air quality, but overall air quality has improved for New York State. The State of the Air 2012 report released by the American Lung association states that air quality for New York State has improved.
Six of 34 of New York’s counties that have air quality monitoring systems in place got failing grades. This is an improvement from 2011, when 16 counties received a failing grade. While there is improvement, the State of the Air and the American Lung Association stated there are too many in New York state who breathe air that is not of good quality.
The Clean Air Act, a federal act was first approved in 1970 and then amended in 1990. Jeff Seyler, president of the American Lung Association in the Northeast stated that it needs to be enforced and to have stricter standards for New York State.
The counties were graded on several levels, from Ozone, Year-Round Particle Pollution and Short-Term Particle Pollution Levels.
Hudson Valley, Ulster and Duchess counties each improved by one letter grade for their ozone levels. Both Westchester and Putnam counties received and F for their ozone levels. Westchester County was the dirtiest county for ozone and the third most dirty in the state according to the State of the Air. Erie, Monroe and Wayne counties improved by two letter grades.
New York State’s Department of Environment Conservation stated on Wednesday April 25th they would partner with community groups to do regular air-quality monitoring. The Community Air Screen Program is funded by the Environmental Protection Agency for $170,000. Local community groups and individual may take air quality samples in their neighborhoods to check air quality.
While some counties in New York need to improve, it is exciting to see that others have made improvements from last year’s results. The new initiative may encourage other counties and areas to improve their air quality and to reduce air pollution.