MDE: 2020 Had the Cleanest Air on Record

In a new report the Maryland Department of the Environment says that 2020 had the state’s cleanest air ever recorded.

The report titled “Clean Air in Maryland” details Maryland’s progress toward achieving reductions in greenhouse gas and other pollutant emissions. In the report MDE gives credit for significant progress to federal and state actions over the years such as the The 2006 Maryland Healthy Air Act and 2007 Maryland Clean Cars Act. In fact, Maryland is close to meeting all of the federal health standards for the first time as a result of lowered recorded levels of six criteria air pollutants – fine particles, ozone, lead, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and sulfur dioxides. Despite all the notable progress, challenges still remain, and the report describes issues arising from air pollution that does not originate in the state.

From the report:

For the one remaining problem pollutant – 8-hour ozone – we are very close to attaining the new standard statewide. Ozone has been a particularly difficult problem to solve as our research partnership with the University of Maryland shows that, on bad air quality days, about 70% of Maryland’s ozone problem originates in upwind states. Maryland will continue to take legal action and work with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Ozone Transport Commission (OTC), and other states to address air pollution coming into Maryland.

For more information, view the full report.