(CNS) Southern California, including the Inland Empire, continues to have the nation's worst air pollution and ranks fourth in short-term particle pollution and annual particle pollution, the American Lung Association said today.
California had seven out of the top 10 American cities with the worst ozone pollution, six of the top 10 cities with the worst short-term particle pollution, and eight of the top 10 cities with the worst annual particle pollution, the association said in a report entitled "State of the Air 2013."
Jane Warner, president and chief executive of the American Lung Association in California, said the study showed a continuing, long-term trend toward cleaner and healthier air.
"This progress in cleaning up air pollution demonstrates that our clean air laws are working. However, our report also shows that air pollution continues to put lives at risk throughout the state," she said.
In the Los Angeles area, levels of ozone and particulate pollution continued to diminish, according to the report.
Ozone levels in the region have fallen by 36 percent since the first "State of the Air" report in 2000, with unhealthy ozone days dropping from 190 to 122 days during that time period.
Annual levels of particle pollution also dropped by 43 percent, and short term levels dropped by two-thirds, despite recent fluctuations. The area is close to meeting the federal standard for annual particle pollution.
The Bay Area also got high marks for reduced ozone and particle pollution.
Bakersfield-Delano ranked No. 1 in short-term particle pollution and tied with Merced for No. 1 in annual particle pollution; Fresno-Madera ranked No. 2 in short-term particle pollution and No. 3 in annual particle pollution.
The state chapter of the American Lung Association is sponsoring Senate Bill 11 and Assembly Bill 8; they would extend two air quality incentive programs for another decade and raise more than $200 million annually.