Mixed Results for Western New York and Southern Tier Air
The American Lung Association has released its “State of the Air” report for 2015.
In counties with monitors, levels of ozone and short-term particle pollution and long-term particle pollution were measured.
It shows Western New York and the Southern Tier have some of the best and worst levels of ozone in the state.
Vice President of Public Policy and Communications at the American Lung Association of the Northeast, Michael Sielback, says the rankings indicate Monroe County had less than a day a year, averaged over the past three years, when the air was considered "unhealthy."
"Monroe's grade for ozone remained a B, Monroe's grade for short-term particle pollution improved from a "B" to an "A," there was actually zero unhealthy days for the short-term particle pollution," Sielback said.
The data was "incomplete" for long-term particle pollution.
Elsewhere, Chautauqua County received an "F" for ozone, the third dirtiest in the state, while Steuben County earned an A.
The city of Rochester tied for 151st of 220 cities for high ozone days.
Overall, Lung Association officials say progress in improving the nation's air quality was mixed this year.
Many cities showed strong improvement while others suffered worst episodes of unhealthy air.
The Lung Association is calling for several steps to safeguard our air, including strengthening the outdated ozone standards, protecting the Clean Air Act and adopting a final Clean Power Plan.