St. Louis Public Radio News
7:54 am
Tue May 1, 2007

St. Louis ranks among ten worst cities for air quality

St. Louis, MO – A report released on Tuesday by the American Lung Association rated St. Louis as having the 10th worst air in the country so far in 2007.

The report also gave St. Louis County and city a grade of "F" for both particle and ground level ozone pollution.

The lung association has monitoring devices throughout the Metro region that continually take air quality readings what those readings are reporting is that St. Louis has dangerously high levels of both ozone and particle pollution.

The primary source of that pollution is automobiles.

"We are consistently are getting F's, our metro area is failing each time," said Susannah Fuchs, Director of Air Quality for the American Lung Association. "But on the other hand, I think its really important to note that we've made huge strides in improving our air pollution levels."

Fuchs said despite tougher air quality standards, overall pollution levels remain constant due to higher numbers of cars on the road.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, it's up to states to insure that progress is made toward reducing air pollution.

John Millet is a spokesman for the EPA.

"Emissions that effect the air quality in a city like St. Louis, the state knows what those sources are and it sets out an air-emission budget for the whole area."

Representatives for the American Lung Association counter that just because the state may have a plan, does not mean that progress is being made.