2010 April 30: MT Billings: American Lung Association give Billings ‘A’ for clean air

2010 April 30: MT Billings: American Lung Association give Billings ‘A’ for clean air


Gazette Staff | Posted: Friday, April 30, 2010 11:03 am | No Comments Posted


Billings joined 37 other cities as the cleanest in the country for air quality in a study by the American Lung Association.
The report, titled “State of the Air 2010,’’ gives Billings an A for its short-term levels of particulate pollution, which is fine particles of dust or soot. The category looked at particulate levels measured over 24 hours.
The study, released this week, also gave Cheyenne, Wyo., an A for its short-term particulate pollution and ranked it in first place in the top 10 cleanest cities for  long-term particulate levels, which are averaged over a year.  Great Falls was listed as the 5th-cleanest city for long-term particulate pollution.
The 2010 report card analyzed particulate and ozone information collected in 2006, 2007 and 2008.   
 Cleanup measures in the last decade have reduced emissions from coal-fired power plants, the ALA said. The transition to cleaner fuel and engines also has cut levels of deadly particulate and ozone pollution, especially in Eastern and Midwest cities.
Despite progress, the ALA said the study shows that more half of the U.S. population still suffers from pollution levels that are too often dangerous to breathe. Unhealthy air remains a threat for more than 175 million people, or 58 percent of the population, the report said.
“State of the Air 2010 proves with hard data that cleaning up air pollution produces healthier air,’’ said Mary H. Partridge, ALA’s national board chairwoman. But more needs to be done and the ALA is working with the Environmental Protection Agency on measures that will require more clean up of power plants, she said.
The dirtiest cities for short-term particulate pollution included Bakersfield, Calif., and Salt Lake City- Odgen-Clearfield, Utah. The dirtiest city for long-term particulate pollution was Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Ariz.
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