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Albuquerque Air Quality Worsening

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A new report by the American Lung Association says the air quality in Albuquerque is getting worse.
The findings are part of the organization’s  “State of the Air”
report released this morning.
The report says Albuquerque ranks 22nd nationwide of the most polluted cities with unhealthy ozone. Last year it ranked 29th.

Compared to the 2021 report, Albuquerque experienced more unhealthy days of high ozone contaminants than the previous year. 

However, the report says New Mexico as a whole is ahead of the game when it comes to protecting the environment.   

JoAnna Strother is senior director of advocacy for the Lung Association in New Mexico. She says climate change continues to be a major factor in endangering air quality, but the state is doing well working to combat the problem.     

“We want to recognize New Mexico as being a great leader recently on putting some stricter rules in place on oil and gas emissions,” she said. “Now we know they are coming into the clean cars rules making process as well which will definitely clean up some of New Mexico’s air pollution burden.”    

The report found that nationwide, nearly 9 million more people were impacted by deadly particle pollution than reported last year. It also shows more days with “very unhealthy” and “hazardous” air quality than ever before in the two-decade history of this report. 

The “State of the Air” report is the Lung Association’s annual air quality “report card” that tracks and grades Americans’ exposure to unhealthy levels of smog, soot, and short-term spikes in particle pollution, over a three-year period. This year’s report covers the years 2018-2020.       

Kevin Meerschaert comes to Santa Fe from Jacksonville, Florida where he spent the past 20 years covering politics, government and pretty much everything else.