Mid-Hudson News Network: Ulster only Hudson Valley county with passing grade for ozone pollution

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April 28, 2010
MID-HUDSON – The American Lung Association in New York's "State of the Air 2010" report released Wednesday finds that ozone levels in Westchester, Putnam, Orange and Dutchess counties all received a grade of F, although there has been some improvement over the previous year. Ulster County, with a C, was the only Hudson Valley county with a passing grade for ozone.

Orange and Westchester counties are the only two in the region that are also measured for particle pollution and both counties scored a C, the same as last year.

According to ALA Vice President Michael Seilback, there have been some improvements.

"National regulations on things like power plant emissions in the Mid-West and otherwise, there have been diesel cleanup efforts, both clean up the fuel that trucks use and things like diesel retrofits, which are cleaning the engines themselves," he said.

Closer to home, the closure of Lovett power plant in Northern Rockland County has reduced air pollution.

The passing grade for ozone is good news to Ulster County Health Director Dr. La Mar Hasbrouck. "I think that is a good indication, I think that's a step in the right direction. I'm very happy to see that we are improving in the ozone layer," he said.

Ozone, or smog, is the most widespread air pollutant.