SAINT PAUL, Minn., April 27, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Minnesota's annual report card on air quality is in, and the grades are not good, says the American Lung Association in Minnesota. The American Lung Association State of the Air Report gives "A," "B," "C," "D" and "F" grades for air quality in the 18 Minnesota counties with enough data to be scored. The report is based on data collected and confirmed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency during the years 2007-2009.
In this year's report, scores for particulate pollution declined in five heavily populated Minnesota counties with a combined population of 1.3 million residents. The bad news was somewhat offset by modest improvements in ozone pollution in two counties, and the city of Duluth was cited on two of three "cleanest cities" lists, recognizing the city's low ozone and year-round particulate pollution levels.
Ramsey County got the state's worst grade, a "D" for particulate pollution, down from a "C" last year. Also seeing declining scores for particulate pollution were Dakota, Olmsted, Scott and Stearns counties, which each earned a "C" this year after "B" grades in 2010. Other grades for particulate pollution were unchanged from last year's report.
Crow Wing and Goodhue counties, which each earned a "C" grade for ozone last year, scored a "B" in this year's report. The other grades for ozone were unchanged from 2010.
"Emissions from coal-fired power plants and diesel exhaust are major sources of particulate air pollution," said Bob Moffitt, communications director for the American Lung Association in Minnesota. "Our declining grades in these key counties underscore the need for Minnesota to keep moving toward cleaner sources of electrical power and cleaner fuels like biodiesel."
SOURCE American Lung Association in Minnesota