The American Lung Association released its "State of the Air" report Wednesday and has given Ramsey County an "F" for "short-term particle pollution." That's down from a "B'' in 2009, a "C" in 2010 and a "D'' in 2011. Overall, Minnesota earned better grades for "high ozone days," but lower grades for "high particle pollution days."
"I think we should consider this a wake-up call,'' said Robert Moffitt, spokesman for the American Lung Association in Minnesota. He told the Pioneer Press, "Minnesota is in complete attainment status for all air-quality guidelines. But I'm not sure, if we don't stop our current trends, we will be able to say that in the future.''
The Star Tribune spoke with Paul Aasen, commissioner of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. He said, "We are seeing this pattern all over the metro area." We are getting right to the point where we could not meet those air quality standards in the near future."
There is better news up north because Duluth has some of the nation’s cleanest air. It was one of five municipal areas named in the national report as a “cleanest city” for both ozone and year-round particle pollution.