FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- Fairfield County residents experienced 10 fewer unhealthy air quality days this summer compared with last summer, preliminary data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency shows.
Connecticut measured 17 unhealthy ozone days between April and September 2013. In 2012, the Nutmeg State experienced 27 days during the same time period.
The decrease is matching a trend throughout all of New England over the past 30 years. The EPA credits the decrease in bad air quality days to a reduction in emissions that cause ozone.
“We can all feel proud - and breathe easier - thanks to the exceptional progress we have made reducing ozone pollution over the past several decades,” Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office said in a statement. “However, the poor air quality days we experienced this summer remind us that our efforts to protect the public’s health by improving air quality must continue.
"Everybody can save money and protect the environment by taking common-sense steps to conserve energy. By using energy efficient light-bulbs, combining errands with our cars, and/or using public transit, we save energy, save money and cut down on air pollution.”
Nearly every other state in New England experienced fewer unhealthy air quality days in 2013 as well.
Rhode Island recorded seven days in 2013 versus 12 in 2012. Massachusetts fell from 17 in 2012 to six in 2013. New Hampshire saw a slight decrease from four days in 2012 to three this year.
Vermont remained flat with zero unhealthy air quality days. Maine saw a slight increase, going from four days in 2012 to five this year.