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More Smoke Means More “F” Grades For State’s Air Quality

(April 24, 2019) - BISMARCK, N.D.

For more information please contact:

Jill Thompson
[email protected]

For the third consecutive year, the American Lung Association’s annual State of the Air Report gives North Dakota poor grades for air quality. Wildfire smoke drifting into the state from western U.S. and Canada again resulted in poor marks for particle pollution. Of the 10 counties in North Dakota with air quality monitors, five earned “F” grades for particulate pollution: Burke, Burleigh, Dunn, Mercer and Williams. Billings, McKenzie and Oliver counties received a “D” grade for particulates; Cass County earned the state’s best grade, a “C.” There was incomplete data for a grade for Ward County.  The state’s grades for ozone pollution, all “A” and “B” grades, were unchanged from last year’s report. The entire report can be found at

“The state should soon finalize its draft plan to reduce air pollution with the $8 million settlement it received from Volkswagen,” said Robert Moffitt, a spokesperson for the American Lung Association in North Dakota. “Our organization offered comments and feedback to the state Department of Health, which has some very solid ideas, including opportunities for cleaner commuter buses, school buses, trucks, and electric vehicle infrastructure.”

The State of the Air Report covers a three year period from 2015 to 2017, 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.  


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 coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit:

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