Rochester Democrat and Chronicle (Letter to the editor): Ensure healthy air for N.Y.

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The recent article titled "Rochester air quality improving" (Feb. 6) was informative and shed light on the important connection between air quality and public health. The American Lung Association's State of the Air Report 2010 found similar positive results for the region's air quality. Monroe County's grade for particle pollution improved from a "D" to a "C" and while the county again received a failing grade for ozone, there were fewer elevated ozone days than in prior years.

While air quality is improving, clean air is something that must be continually fought for. Right now the Clean Air Act itself is being threatened in the halls of Congress. Some members have drafted legislation to roll it back and proposed reduced funding for the Environmental Protection Agency.

Ensuring we have healthy air to breathe demands that New York's Congressional Delegation lead the effort to protect the Clean Air Act. When nearly 155,000 greater Rochester area residents suffer from lung disease, including 25,000 children with asthma, it's clear that our lung health depends on it.

SCOTT T. SANTARELLA
ALBANY
President and CEO, American Lung Association in New York