ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona’s air quality has worsened the past couple of years, report says

Apr 30, 2022, 5:00 AM

Downtown Phoenix skyline...

View of the downtown Phoenix, Arizona city skyline as seen from South Mountain Park, August 28, 2018. (Photo by Robyn Beck/Getty Images)

(Photo by Robyn Beck/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Arizona’s air quality has worsened over the last couple of years, while it cut fewer unhealthy days for ozone pollution, according to a new report.

The Phoenix metropolitan area came in at fifth in the nation for unhealthy ozone days, relatively unchanged since the 2018-2020 reports, but still recorded 61.9 less high ozone days compared to 1996, according to an American Lung Association press release.

Maricopa, Gila, Pima and Pinal counties received an “F” grade in the State of the Air 2022 report for the number of high level ozone days. Yuma County received a “C,” an improvement from last year.

The capital of Arizona was unchanged at eighth in the nation for particle pollution year-round but still recorded 6.5 more days of unhealthy particle pollution in the year compared to 2000.

Maricopa, Santa Cruz and Pinal counties received “F” grades for the amount of recorded high particle pollution days.

“As a southwestern desert state with the sunniest cities in the country and increasing wildfires in the western U.S., Arizona, like our neighboring states, shares real air quality challenges when it comes to ozone and particle pollution,” Daniel Czecholinksi, ADEQ air quality division director, said in the release.

“While we’ve achieved significant improvements in overall air quality over the last 30 years from a 68 percent reduction in emissions — even as Arizona’s population has grown and our economy thrived — more wildfires in the western U.S. create and transport more ozone particle pollution into the state, which affects our air quality.”

Across the Valley, car emissions are the biggest contributor to man-made ozone.

Officials noted in the report that during the winter holiday season, a mix of fireplaces, burning wood in fire pits and fireworks can aid to the high levels of particulate matter pollution.

California cities Bakersfield, Fresno and Visalia were ranked in the top 3 for particle pollution year-round.

We want to hear from you.

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

109° | 85°
107° and sunny

Arizona News

Yavapai County Sheriff's Office vehicles outside man's residence in Diamond Valley...

KTAR.com

Man with criminal past arrested for allegedly making death threats to neighbor, barricading home

A 73-year-old man was arrested after making death threats and barricading himself inside his home Saturday night, authorities say.

21 minutes ago

Nicholas Silvestri mugshot...

Payne Moses

Arizona husband, wife claim family friend defrauded them of over $1 million in investment scam

A husband and wife submitted a report that a family friend defrauded them of an excess of $1 million, authorities announced Saturday.

57 minutes ago

A man died after he was struck while in a crosswalk Saturday in north Phoenix, police said. (Pexels...

KTAR.com

Pedestrian dead after being struck while crossing road in north Phoenix

A man died after he was struck by a car while in a crosswalk Saturday night in north Phoenix, according to the Phoenix Police Department.

2 hours ago

Kim Komando has tips for what to do if your data is exposed. (Pexels photo)...

Kim Komando

Here’s what Arizonans need to do after a data breach

It’s easy to ignore news of a data breach, there are so many that it all turns into white noise. But what do you do if your data is exposed?

3 hours ago

President Joe Biden gives a speech at the Tempe Arts Center in September 2023. (File photo by Kevin...

Benjamin Adelberg/Cronkite News

Biden’s Arizona firewall starts to crack as oldest Democratic delegate in the state calls for him to quit presidential race

Numerous representatives from Arizona have called for Joe Biden to quit reelection efforts, with some hoping for a Harris-Buttigieg ticket.

9 hours ago

Several juveniles were arrested after an alleged riot broke out at a behavioral center. (Facebook F...

KTAR.com

Several minors arrested after alleged fight breaks out at Phoenix behavior center

A number of minors were arrested Saturday after a large fight allegedly broke out at a behavior center in Phoenix, authorities confirmed.

18 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

Arizona’s air quality has worsened the past couple of years, report says