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Democracy Trailblazers ignite enthusiasm among teen voters; CA monster blizzard batters Tahoe, Mammoth, Sierra amid avalanche warnings; MN transportation sector could be next in line for carbon-free standard; IN teachers 'stunned' by lawmakers' bid to bypass collective bargaining.

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Nikki Haley says she may not endorse the GOP nominee, President Biden says the U-S will continue air-dropping aid into Gaza and more states look at ditching the electoral college for a national popular vote.

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Hard times could be ahead for rural school districts that spent federal pandemic money on teacher salaries, a former Oregon lumber community drafts a climate-action plan and West Virginians may soon buy raw milk from squeaky-clean cows.

Report: NM's ABQ, Eddy County Rank High for Poor Air Quality

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Friday, April 22, 2022   

A new study found high ozone levels have made the air quality in Albuquerque worse than ever reported.

For the past 23 years, the American Lung Association has kept track of air quality, noting air pollution contributes to respiratory diseases, including asthma and lung cancer.

JoAnna Strother, senior director of advocacy for the Lung Association, said Albuquerque and its surrounding area ranked 22nd among cities for the worst air pollution in terms of ozone from 2018 through 2020, up from 26th place in the last report.

"We did see slightly worse particles, ranking 88th for annual particles," Strother reported. "Also, Albuquerque falling off the 'Clean Cities' list for particles, now ranking 99th."

Particle pollution is a combination of airborne solids and liquids, so small they are often invisible and easily inhaled.

New Mexico has adopted stricter rules on oil and gas emissions in the past two years. Strother said those changes, combined with anticipated 'clean car' rules, could help reduce the state's air pollution levels.

Oil and gas production has boomed in New Mexico in recent years, and heavy fossil-fuel operations can contribute to air pollution. Strother pointed out Eddy County, five hours southeast of Albuquerque in the Permian Basin, as an example.

"And it's only one of two rural counties that actually topped the 25 list," Strother noted. "Most of them are these major metro counties. So, it shows that we have a big problem in some of these smaller communities that people might not think that they're breathing in air pollution."

In addition to emissions from oil and gas wells, the Lung Association said particulates from wildfires and higher temperatures due to climate change contribute to air pollution.


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