Saturday, May 27, 2017

New England sees drop in unhealthy air quality summer days

New England communities experienced fewer days with unhealthy air quality in the summer of 2016 than they did the previous summer, according to preliminary data from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for period April to September 2016.
The data shows that overall, 2015 saw unhealthy concentrations of ozone in New England states on 38 days, while this summer saw those conditions on only 32 days. Ozone formation can be contributed to pollution from cars and trucks and electric power plants, as well as to gas refilling stations, print shops, household products and gas-powered lawn and garden equipment. Summer weather represents prime conditions for the formation of ozone, as well as increase energy usage.
The data showed that Vermont experienced a slight increase in unhealthy air quality days, from none in 2015 to one in 2016, while Maine stayed consistent with four days both years. New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut all experienced reductions of two to four days. Connecticut lead the states in unhealthy days, 31, with the next highest state, Massachusetts, experiencing 11 in healthy days.
"We can all feel proud of the progress we have made in reducing ozone pollution over the past several decades," EPA New England Regional Administrator Curt Spalding said. "Unfortunately New England, especially coastal Connecticut, continues to experience an unacceptable number of days with unhealthful air quality. EPA is taking steps to improve ozone air quality, such as issuing rules to reduce air pollution from passenger cars and trucks and power plants."

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