North Dakota Loses Some Bragging Rights For Air Quality
Media contact from ALA in ND: Robert Moffitt (651) 269-7561
(April 20, 2016) - BISMARCK, ND
For the past few years, North Dakota scored all “A” grades in the annual American Lung Association State of the Air Report, but that’s not the case in 2016. Six of the nine counties in North Dakota that have air quality monitors that supply data to state and federal government reported lower grades for particulate pollution. Burleigh, Cass, Dunn, McKenzie, Mercer, and Oliver counties all earned “B” grades in this year’s report, as each county recorded periods when particulate pollution was high. Billings and Burke counties retained their “A” grades for both ozone and particulates in this year’s report. Williams County was cited in the report as “incomplete,” as its monitors have not yet provided three years of data.
“North Dakota’s slipping grades for air quality are a good reason for the state to consider moving forward with a state plan to meet the emissions target set by the federal Clean Power Plan,” said Robert Moffitt, communications director for the American Lung Association in North Dakota. “As we wait for the courts to make a final decision on the plan, we could take some solid steps to reduce toxic pollutants from coal fired power plants and move the state toward a more diverse mix of reliable and affordable sources of electric power.”
The State of the Air Report covers a three year period from 2012 to 2014, analyzing data collected at air quality monitors operated by the State Department of Health and certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Grades are determined by the number of air quality alerts for ozone or particle pollution that occurred during those three years. The full report can be found online at www.StateOfTheAir.org.
In addition to reducing carbon emissions, the Clean Power Plan would also reduce traditional air pollutants like ozone and particulates. Ozone and particle pollution can trigger asthma attacks, put people at higher risk of respiratory and cardiovascular disease, and are a particular health concern for people with preexisting lung disease, the very young and the elderly.
About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.