Air quality across Arizona has improved despite population increase

Apr 19, 2018, 4:01 AM
(Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Facebook Photo)...
(Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Facebook Photo)
(Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Facebook Photo)

PHOENIX — A report from the American Lung Association showed that the air quality across Arizona continued to improve from 2014 to 2016.

Air quality has improved across the country for the past few decades. Data for Arizona showed that since 1990, the population has increased by 82 percent but air pollution has dropped by 62 percent over that time.

“Despite the fact that the population is increasing, the vehicles miles traveled per year is increasing, even our economy is growing and, with all that, we’re actually seeing improvements in air quality over time,” said Tim Franquist, Arizona Department of Environmental Quality division director.

Despite the progress, the report said there are still some locations in the state that have low grades for air quality. Some counties — Gila, Maricopa, Pinal and Yuma — even received “F” grades in regards to the number of days that had high pollution.

“We are in a big city, we do have a lot of vehicles on the road and, so, we are still having out challenges with ozone primarily due to vehicles,” Franquist said.

Franquist said that the department encouraged people to take advantage of public transportation like the bus or light rail.

“Anything we can do to reduce the amount of miles we’re driving per day really, really helps with our ozone levels,” he said.

KTAR News’ Mark Carlson contributed to this report.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Pexels Photo)...

Stage 2 fire restrictions set to begin this week across Arizona due to wildfire threat

Stage 2 fire restrictions are set to begin across Arizona this week due to heightened wildfire activity and dry conditions, officials said.
1 day ago
(Photo by Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post via Getty Images)...
Associated Press

Arizona appeals court says ban on per-signature initiative is illegal

A 2017 law that makes it a crime to pay people for each signature they collect to qualify voter initiatives for the ballot violates the First Amendment and the first criminal case filed using the law must be dismissed, the Arizona Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
1 day ago
(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...

Suspect in custody after allegedly exchanging gunfire with Phoenix police

A suspect was in custody after allegedly exchanging gunfire with police in north Phoenix on Tuesday, authorities said.
1 day ago
Law enforcement personnel stand outside Robb Elementary School following a shooting, Tuesday, May 2...

Arizona politicians react to mass shooting at elementary school in Texas

Arizona politicians reacted Tuesday to a mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, that left 19 students and two adults dead. 
1 day ago
FILE - Water drips from a faucet near boat docks sitting on dry land at the Browns Ravine Cove area...
Associated Press

EXPLAINER: How cities in the West have water amid drought

Major Western cities like Phoenix have diversified water sources and boosted supplies through infrastructure investments and conservation.
1 day ago
(Photo courtesy of Jonathan Lines)...
Danny Shapiro

Yuma border migrant backlog an ongoing problem despite Title 42 extension, official says

Yuma County Supervisor Jonathan Lines said the border community continues to deal with an influx of migrants that want to come to the U.S.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Day & Night Air

Tips to lower your energy bill in the Arizona heat

Does your summer electric bill make you groan? Are you looking for effective ways to reduce your bill?
Canvas Annuity

The secret to guaranteed retirement income

Annuities aren’t really a secret, but they are so misunderstood that they might as well be. Once you understand what an annuity is and how it can benefit you, you could decide this “secret” is the perfect supplement to your retirement plan.
By Dr. Richard Carmona

Now’s a great time to receive your COVID-19 vaccine

If you haven’t received a COVID-19 vaccine yet, now’s the time to join many other of your fellow Arizonans who are doing so right now. No one will criticize you; there is no shame. In fact, you’ll be welcomed with smiles and open arms!
Air quality across Arizona has improved despite population increase