Better Grades For South Dakota’s Air

(April 24, 2013)

Sioux Falls, SD – (April 24, 2013)—South Dakota improved its grades for particle pollution in the 2013 State of the Air Report released today by the American Lung Association, which also named Rapid City as one of the “four cleanest cities” in the U.S. for ozone,  short-term particle pollution and annual particle pollution.  Sioux Falls was also cited for having no days of unhealthy levels of ozone during the three-year period covered by the report.

Data from nine counties with permanent air quality monitors are used to prepare the annual report, which uses a weighted average of “high ozone days” and “high particle pollution days” from the three year period of 2009-2011.

Brookings, Custer, Jackson, Meade, Minnehaha and Union counties all earned an “A” grade for ozone.  Three other counties either did not collect data on ozone during the three year period or offered incomplete data. 

For short-term particle pollution, Jackson County improved from a “B” to an “A,” Minnehaha moved from a “C” to a “B,” and Pennington County improved from a “B” to an “A.”  Custer County again had the state’s lowest mark this year, a “D.” Other grades for particulate pollution remained unchanged from 2012: a “B” for Brookings; an “A” for Brown; a “B” for Codington; a “B” for Pennington. Union County, which was given an “Incomplete” grade for particle pollution last year, earned a “C” grade in this year’s report.

“We were pleased to see improvements in this year’s report on South Dakota’s air,” said Linda Redder of the American Lung Association in South Dakota. “While we are happy to see Rapid City and Sioux Falls get special recognition for clean air, we need to keep looking at cleaner fuels for our vehicles as well as cleaner energy sources for our homes, schools and businesses.  Our clean air, and the good health it promotes, is a great natural resource in South Dakota. ”

For a link to the complete report, click here.