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Trump takes the gloves off versus Kavanaugh accusers. Also on the Wednesday rundown: rural areas reap benefits from Medicaid expansion; a two-generation approach to helping young Louisiana parents; and a new documentary on the impact of climate change in North Carolina.

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“Perfect Timing” for State of the Air Report in NH

PHOTO: A new “State of the Air” report finds three counties in the Granite State, including Hillsborough, have work to do to clean up their act. Proto credit: Wikipedia.
PHOTO: A new “State of the Air” report finds three counties in the Granite State, including Hillsborough, have work to do to clean up their act. Proto credit: Wikipedia.
May 5, 2014

CONCORD, N.H. – A new State of the Air report from the American Lung Association finds three counties in the Granite State have work to do to clean up their acts.

Perfect timing – that's how Catherine Corkery, chapter director of the New Hampshire Sierra Club, sizes up the report, which was issued just as the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Environmental Protection Agency’s right to enforce Clean Air Standards based on health.

She says the report finds that Hillsborough and Rockingham counties had the worst ozone pollution in the state, while Chershire County just squeaked by with a C grade for particulates, including soot.

"Soot and smog pose the most serious threat to public health and contribute to severe asthma attacks, lung damage, heart problems – and even premature death," she explains.

On the bright side, Belknap, Grafton and Hillsborough all got A grades for the least amount of particulate pollution.

Janice Nolen, the Lung Association’s assistant vice president for national policy, says the Clean Air Act, the move to cleaner fuels and better controls to limit pollution are all combining to produce healthier air across the nation.

"And we have good evidence, just even looking at the 15 years of this report, that those steps of cleaning up power plants, cleaning up diesel, cleaning up cars, cleaning up SUVs – things like that – have made a huge difference in reducing pollution across the nation," she maintains.

Hillsborough's good news on particulates was offset by dangerous levels of ozone.

It had the most days with dangerous levels in the state – eight orange level alert days in 2013.

Nolan says the way to lower ozone levels is by addressing climate change.

"We've got to have some reduction in those things that are triggering that heat to grow, and that means we need to have standards that limit and reduce the amount of carbon pollution that's produced by coal-fired power plants," she says.

The American Lung Association recommends continuing the push for cleaner gasoline and diesel vehicles, updating national standards for wood-burning devices, and lowering acceptable ozone levels, which the EPA says would save up to 12,000 lives.


Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NH