The American Lung Association released a report today that ranked Indianapolis the 23rd most polluted city in the nation for short term particle pollution. But despite that ranking, the report says Indiana has been making some progress in reducing pollution levels. Ever since the first State of the Air Report was released 16 years ago, air quality in the state has generally improved. Healthy Air campaign manager Mike Kolleng says the Lung Association’s findings this year were mixed. He believes that new standards should also be unveiled that are capable of getting ahead of climate change.
Kolleng says updating our standards for handling pollution is crucial. Unfortunately, he says Indiana faces trouble making this kind of progress at the state level. He stated that the governor opposes new ozone standards and this does not reflect the information that we now have.
One of the American Lung Associations primary goals is to update ozone standards. Kolleng stresses that current limits should be reduced by about 10%. He also stresses that ozone management really is a national issue and that anytime that ozone levels decrease it is helping the entire population as a whole.
The report from the American Lung Association presents a more complex picture than a statement released just two weeks ago by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. That statement said simply that air quality is improving throughout the state. It stated “nearly all Hoosiers live and work in areas that meet all federal air quality standards.” You can read the full report from the American Lung association at StateOfTheAir.org.