(Washington, DC. July 5, 2006 – The non-profit Clean Air Watch today warned that at least 34 states plus the District of Columbia have experienced serious smog problems already this year despite a lot of rain in typically smog-plagued areas.
In June alone, unhealthful smog levels were monitored about 10 percent more often than in June 2005, based on an unofficial survey by Clean Air Watch volunteers.
Many of the worst problems were in California, Texas and the Southeast. Rain put a damper on potential problems in the Northeast and much of the Midwest.
“Even though we’ve made great progress over the years in combating smog, this survey is evidence that we have a long way to go before we can breathe easy,” noted Frank O’Donnell, president of Clean Air Watch.
“We need to move aggressively to clean up such big sources of smog as train and boat engines and make a better effort to clean up existing diesel engines,” O’Donnell noted.
“Our survey also underscores the need for the U.S. EPA to permit California to clean up high-polluting lawn mowers and other small engines, and for the EPA to move ahead with similar national emission standards,” O’Donnell said.
O’Donnell added that the Bush administration pollution plan for coal-burning electric power plants was “too little and too late.”
The survey of public web sites found monitored readings of dirty air in states from California to New Hampshire. In June alone, air pollution monitors recorded unhealthful levels of smog an estimated 1037 times, compared to about 950 in June 2005.
Dirty air haunted such popular “nature” areas as the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Woodland Dunes Nature Center in Wisconsin, the Petrified Forest and the Botanical Gardens in the Bronx.
Details of the survey are available http://www.blogforcleanair.blogspot.com/