Air quality in New England continues to improve over long term

EPA says 11 days had unhealthy levels of ozone compared to 15 last year

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – We may have had a hot and sunny summer this year, but we also ended up with fewer unhealthy air quality days across New England. According to the EPA there was a slight decrease in the number of unhealthy air quality days compared to 2015.

Hot and sunny weather like the kind we experienced this past summer contributes to ozone formation. However, even with warmer temperatures, there continues to be a long term trend towards cleaner air in New England due to a decrease in emissions that form ozone.

Based on data collected from between April to September, there were 32 days when ozone concentrations were above levels considered healthy. In 2015 there were a total of 38 unhealthy ozone days. Here in Massachusetts there were 11 unhealthy ozone days this summer compared to 15 last year.

“I know I’m breathing a lot better than I did,” Springfield resident Steve Spagna told 22News. “I’m not taking as much medication for my allergies, so I think the air quality has improved.” Back in 1983, New England had 118 unhealthy days compared to just 32 this year.