The American Lung Association has released its 2012 State of the Air Report Card, which grades states and counties on various air quality measures, such as high ozone and particulate matter. Maryland’s scores were based on data gathered from 15 of its 24 counties. The decision whether to monitor air pollution in a particular county is made at the state and federal level and the Report Card relies on three year’s worth of data when assigning grades.
Maryland scored poorly for ozone. Baltimore City and Garrett County each earned a “C” while Washington and Worcester Counties scored a “D.” The other 11 counties received a grade of “F.”
For particle pollution over a 24-hour period, the data was less complete. Grades were only assigned to 8 of the 15 tracked counties, with two additional counties receiving incompletes. Harford County scored the highest (“A”), followed by Montgomery County (“B”). Anne Arundel, Cecil, Prince George’s, and Washington Counties received a “C.” For annual particle pollution, all 8 counties with complete data sets received a passing grade.
The Report Card also provides a population breakdown by county for those at increased risk from poor air quality.