Wyoming receives mixed grades for air quality, finds 2019 ‘State of the Air’ report
The American Lung Association’s 2019 “State of the Air” report found that Wyoming received mixed grades for its air quality. While Casper and Cheyenne were rated two of the cleanest air quality areas in the country, Sublette, Campbell, and Sheridan all received “D” grades.
This year’s report covers the most recent quality-assured data available collected by states, cities, counties, tribes and federal agencies in 2015-2017. Notably, those three years were the hottest recorded in global history.
Casper and Cheyenne are both ranked as cleanest cities in the nation for both ozone pollution and year-round particle pollution. Both Natrona and Laramie County counties slipped a letter grade and received a “B” and “C” respectively. Sublette County received a “D” grade for ozone; Campbell and Sheridan received a “D” grade for particle pollution.
“Though Casper and Cheyenne are highlighted in our report as having clean air, there are some counties in Wyoming with air quality concerns,” said Carrie Nyssen, Senior Director of Advocacy for the American Lung Association in Wyoming. “Right now, more than four in 10 Americans are living with unhealthy air, and we’re heading in the wrong direction when it comes to protecting public health and people’s lives.”
Each year the “State of the Air” provides a report card on the two most widespread outdoor air pollutants, ozone pollution, also known as smog, and particle pollution, also called soot. The report analyzes particle pollution in two ways: through average annual particle pollution levels and short-term spikes in particle pollution. Both ozone and particle pollution are dangerous to public health and can increase the risk of premature death and other serious health effects such as lung cancer, asthma attacks, cardiovascular damage, and developmental and reproductive harm.
Cheyenne experienced only one day of high ozone pollution during this data set. This year’s report showed that ozone levels increased in most cities nationwide, in large part due to the record-breaking global heat experienced in the three years tracked in the report.
While the report examined data from 2015-2017, this 20th annual report online provides information on air pollution trends back to the first report. Learn more about Wyoming’s rankings, as well as air quality across the nation, in the 2019 “State of the Air” report at Lung.org/sota. For media interested in speaking with an expert about lung health, healthy air, and threats to air quality, contact Holly Harvey at Holly.Harvey@Lung.org or 206-512-3292.