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Report shows W.Va. air quality has improved

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — West Virginia got mixed reviews on air quality from the American Lung Association in its “State of the Air 2014” Report, released on Wednesday.

Ozone smog worsened in all measured counties, part of a national trend attributed to warmer temperatures, but most particle pollution levels showed improvement in West Virginia, according to the report at

“The air in the West Virginia is markedly cleaner than it was after the first ‘State of the Air’ report 15 years ago,” Deb Brown, president and CEO of the American Lung Association of the Mid-Atlantic, said in a news release. “More needs to be done, however, as we have seen increases in ozone, the worst since 2009-2010. We must set stronger health standards for pollutants and clean up sources of pollution in the area to protect the health of our citizens.”

The 2014 report is based on data for the three-year period of 2010-2012 and showed improvement in year-round particle pollution, with the annual average improving in every county where it was measured. Short-term, or daily, particle pollution improved in Brooke County but otherwise remained unchanged from last year’s results and consisted almost entirely of perfect or near-perfect scores.

Data on air quality were obtained from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Air Quality System.

Since the last report, the federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) merged the Charleston and Huntington-Ashland metro areas to form the 12-county Charleston-Huntington-Ashland area.

According to the report, this large area recorded worse ozone levels. Kanawha County moved from a “D” to an “F,” the only failing grade in the state for this pollutant. Cabell earned a “C”…

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