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Southwest Ohio Air Quality Unhealthy, But Improving

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Ohio doesn't fair well in the latest air quality report from the American Lung Association. The annual State of the Air study says ozone and particle levels in the Buckeye State make the air unhealthy to breathe.Assistant Vice President Lyndsay Moseley Alexander says there is some good news though.

"The Cincinnati/Wilmington area is ranked 31st most polluted for ozone, which is improved compared to last year."

The report finds Ohio ranks 14th worst for particle pollution, however, that too is an improvement.

"The good news is this is the best ever Cincinnati has scored in State of the Air and the area now meets the national standard for particle pollution, so that's good news," says Moseley Alexander.

She says Cincinnati also saw an uptick in in the number of short-term unhealthy particle days compared to the 2014 ranking.

The study compares about 220 metropolitan areas.

How To Improve Air Quality

The America Lung Association lists the following steps as ways it is calling for improved air quality:

Continue to clean up carbon pollution from power plants. Each state needs to adopt a strong Clean Power Plan standards to reduce carbon pollution, and protect public health. Strengthen the limits on the ozone and particle pollution that blow across state lines. EPA must adopt strong new limits on pollution that blows across state lines and harms people hundreds of miles away. Reduce emissions from existing and new oil and gas operations. EPA needs to adopt health protective standards to limit methane, volatile organic compounds and other harmful pollution from these facilities. Clean up harmful emissions from dirty diesel vehicles and heavy equipment. Congress needs to continue to fund the EPA’s diesel cleanup program. Protect the Clean Air Act. Congress needs to ensure that the protections under the Clean Air Act remain effective and enforced. Fund the work to provide healthy air. Congress needs to adequately fund the work of the EPA and the states to monitor air quality and protect the nation from air pollution.

Tana Weingartner earned a bachelor's degree in communication from the University of Cincinnati and a master's degree in mass communication from Miami University. Prior to joining Cincinnati Public Radio, she served as news and public affairs producer with WMUB-FM. Ms. Weingartner has earned numerous awards for her reporting, including several Best Reporter awards from the Associated Press and the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and a regional Murrow Award. She enjoys snow skiing, soccer and dogs.