Maryland’s Air Quality Improving But Smog Still A Major Problem In Some Counties

An April 30 Baltimore Sun B’More Green blog article reported  on the American Lung Association’s latest air quality and smog ratings for Maryland its 2014 State of the Air Report.  The ratings found that while air quality has improved overall both in Maryland and nationwide, smog remains a major problem in parts of the State – particularly in Harford and Prince George’s Counties.  The article also noted that much of Maryland’s smog-producing ozone pollution comes from outside the state.

Maryland earned a passing grade from the health group for limiting residents’ chronic exposure to particle pollution, which can cause respiratory and heart problems, and has been linked both to cancer and premature death.  But improvements notwithstanding, the state got failing marks for the number of days when people outdoors were forced to breathe levels of ozone pollution, also known as smog, that could trigger asthma attacks or heart attacks.  …

Harford had the 13th worst ozone levels of any county in the nation, and Prince George’s ranked 21st.  At the same time, the lung association rated Harford as being among the 25 “cleanest” counties when it comes to particle pollution.  …

While smog remains a problem in Maryland, the bulk of its ozone pollution is beyond the state’s control, said George S. “Tad” Aburn, director of air management for the Maryland Department of the Environment.

“We’re pushing like crazy with every tool we have,” Aburn said, “but on any given day, depending on the weather, 70 to 90 percent of our problem with ozone comes from other states.”

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