April 29, 2009

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Hudson Valley counties receiving failing grades for ozone from American Lung Association

NEW YORK – All of the Mid-Hudson Valley counties measured for ozone by the American Lung Association in New York received failing grades for the period 2005 through 2007, the Lung Association reported Wednesday.

Westchester County had 36 high ozone days, Orange County had 29, Putnam County had 27, Dutchess County had 15 and Ulster County had 13.

Putnam County was one of only two counties in the state to have a “very unhealthy” day monitored, according to the EPA’s Air quality Index.

Ulster County had the lowest negative impact of ozone days of monitored counties.

As for particle pollution days, only Orange and Westchester collected data and they both passed.

The air pollution problems are caused by a number of factors, said Lung Association in New York Vice President Michael Seilback.

“There is a mixture of locally produced pollution from those old, dirty power plants which we are still relying on for our energy production, but is unfortunately too dirty,” he said. “It is a mixture of the increased amount of vehicle emissions that we are seeing, the amount of pollution made from burning fuel – New York is one of the largest consumers of oil heat in the nation, which is very dirty.”

The Lung Association’s 10th annual “State of the Air” report said that 65 percent of the state’s residents live in counties where air pollution levels endanger lives.


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