Minnesota Air Quality Scores Decline

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — Minnesota’s annual report card on air quality is in, and the grades are not good. The American Lung Association State of the Air report gives A,B, C, D, and F grades for air quality in 18 Minnesota counties.

The report is based on data collected by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency, during the years 2007 and 2009.

Scores for pollution declined in five heavily populated counties with a combined population of 1.3 million residents.

Ramsey County got the state’s worst grade, a “D” for particulate pollution. That’s down from a “C” last year.

Bob Moffitt is communications director for the American Lung Association. He said there are a couple of reasons for the scores.

“Emissions from coal-fired power plants and diesel exhaust are major sources of air pollution,” he said.

Moffitt said there are ways to reduce the pollution: Driving less, using cleaner fuel or driving a hybrid.

The health risks associated with pollution are great, according to Dr Charlene Mc Evoy.

“These noxious particles actually cause air waves inflammation. Our lungs don’t like it,” she said.

The American Lung Association in Minnesota has tips on reducing air pollution on its CleanAirChoice.org web site.

NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Susie Jones Reports

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