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San Diego’s Air Quality Getting Better

The American Lung Association says San Diego County has made significant improvements in its air quality.

Aired 5/1/14 on KPBS News.

The American Lung Association’s latest report shows the San Diego County has made significant progress in reducing air pollution.

The 14th annual American Lung Association report reveals that since 2000, unhealthy ozone days in San Diego County have fallen by 81 percent. In addition, annual particulate pollution levels have declined by 25 percent.

The American Lung Association’s Debra Kelley credits California’s strict fuel emission standards.

“If we had not had those standards in place, our air would look much more like, I don’t know, Mexico City or Beijing. So, the return on investment in our pollution control laws has been phenomenal,” Kelley said.

Over the last three years, San Diego County has averaged 11 unhealthy ozone days. That compares with 60 unhealthy ozone days in 2000.

Kelley said in order to make further gains, San Diego needs to create more communities where walking and biking are encouraged. She says more public transportation would help, too.

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