Again: California dominates list for worst air pollution

SACAMENTO
April 18, 2017 9:01pm
Comment Print Email

•  Pollution spikes in Central Valley

•  “There are too many areas where residents are breathing dirty air”


The cheer “we’re number one!” is unlikely to echo through the streets of Bakersfield or in the cities of Visalia, Porterville and Hanford, but the four Central Valley cities are ranked “number one” on lists of U.S. cities with the worst air pollution.

Bakersfield tops the list for short-term particle pollution, and the neighboring cities of Visalia, Porterville and Hanford hold the top spot on the list of the cities with the nation’s worst year-round particle pollution.

Bakersfield ranks second only to Los Angeles on a third list: worst smog, also known as ozone pollution.

Here are the lists, as compiled by the American Lung Association for its “State of the Air 2017” report released Tuesday night, showing where California metros rank:

Worst Ozone Pollution in the U.S.

1. Los Angeles-Long Beach

2. Bakersfield

3. Fresno-Madera

4. Visalia-Porterville-Hanford

6. Modesto-Merced

7. San Diego-Carlsbad

8. Sacramento

Worst Short-Term Particle Pollution

1. Bakersfield

2. (tie) Fresno-Madera and Visalia-Porterville-Hanford

4. Modesto-Merced

6. Stockton-San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland

9. Los Angeles-Long Beach

Worst Year-Round Particle Pollution

1. Visalia-Porterville-Hanford

2. Bakersfield

3. Fresno-Madera

4. Stockton-San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland

5. Los Angeles-Long Beach

6. Modesto-Merced

7. El Centro

10. San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles

Overall, the annual report says California has the dubious distinction of being home to the majority of the Top 10 cities with ozone and particle pollution in the United States.

“More than 90 percent of Californians live in areas with unhealthy air at some point during the year, a serious public health concern at a time when the federal government is considering rolling back clean air protections,” says the Lung Association.

The report finds that over the past year:

• Continued setbacks in the fight against particle pollution (also known as soot), especially in the San Joaquin Valley.

• Four of the eight San Joaquin Valley counties showed increases in the number of unhealthy days for particle pollution. Visalia and Stockton had their worst years yet.

• Bakersfield, Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Sacramento saw increases in unhealthy days for particle pollution.

• Year-round levels of particle pollution also increased in Bakersfield, the San Francisco Bay Area, Visalia, and San Luis Obispo, which failed to meet the national standard for year-round particle pollution for the first time.

“Our state’s air quality continues to hit unhealthy levels each year, putting Californians at risk for premature death and other serious health effects such as asthma, COPD, and lung cancer,” says Olivia Diaz-Lapham, president and CEO of the American Lung Association in California. “We are seeing continued improvement in parts of the state, but there are too many areas where residents are breathing dirty air and we must work to reduce the sources of air pollution.”

California’s most populous metro area, Los Angeles, continues to improve, posting its lowest number of unhealthy days for ozone pollution and lowest levels of year-round particle pollution. But the region still leads the nation in unhealthy days for ozone pollution, followed by Bakersfield and the Fresno-Madera area.

Bakersfield topped the national list for the number of unhealthy days for short-term particle pollution and came in second for unhealthy days for ozone pollution and year-round particle pollution levels.

There is some good news. The Lung Association says:

• Significant progress in the fight against ozone (also known as smog). Eight cities: Los Angeles, Bakersfield, Visalia, Modesto-Merced, Sacramento, El Centro, San Jose-San Francisco and San Luis Obispo, had the fewest average unhealthy days for ozone pollution in the 18-year history of the report.

• Salinas recognized as one of the cleanest cities. Salinas landed a spot on two lists of the cleanest cities in the U.S. thanks to zero unhealthy ozone days and one of the lowest year-round particle pollution levels.

• In California and nationwide, the number of unhealthy days for ozone has decreased, thanks, says the Lung Association, to the success of the federal Clean Air Act as well as state and local air pollution control programs that clean up major sources of emissions.

The State of the Air 2017 report is based on air quality monitoring data collected in 2013-2015, the most recent years available. The report focuses on ozone and particle pollution, as they are the most widespread forms of air pollution threatening public health.


Comment Print Email










  • How to compete against Wal-Mart
  • Stockton mom turns a need into a business
  • The entrepreneur is in
  • Writing her own success story
  • Growing a small business the family way
  • The future pencils positive for this company
  • Niche marketing -- Italian style
  • Sipping success with niche marketing
  • Roasting a business out of his passion
  • Success as an independent consultant takes more than expertise
  • Avoiding the traps of employee law violations
  • Cracking the voice-over market
  • The American Dream realized, one package at a time
  • Female winemaker plunges into business
  • A new take on nurse education
  • Family sees moving business success
  • STEM thrives in pockets of education innovation
  • STEM goes solar in Stockton
  • Quick! There’s a robot in my pool
  • Retiring seniors can mean new business
  • Predawn biotech class trains next generation of science workers
  • Staying ahead of the competition the old fashioned way
  • Central Valley sees mismatch between high-tech jobs and job seekers
  • STEM starts young
  • Get ready – the future is here now
  • STEM Education: Growing the Valley's Future
  • They’re low power in wattage only, not ideas
  • Thinking success spawns Successful Thinkers
  • Small business success can mean finding the right niche
  • This franchise has real muscle behind it
  • Getting the scoop on small business success
  • Reshoring could rebuild America's manufacturing
  • Marketing that’s deliberately anchored to the past
  • Guitar artist plays his way to success
  • Paralysis no handicap for this entrepreneur
  • Boost sales with better communication
  • Making sandwiches sexy with a franchise
  • Going solar without spending a lot of money
  • They’re cute and cuddly. But are they a business?
  • Opportunity sails forth in the Delta
  • How bad etiquette on the job could kill your career
  • Growing their way out of hunger and poverty
  • Finding small business success from floor to ceiling
  • Why he’s public enemy #1 – for gophers
  • Running a home-based business successfully
  • Your boss needs a vacation – really
  • Couple makes transition from big corporations to small business
  • Carving a small business niche with a better idea
  • Calm is the goal of computer service and education franchisor
  • Developer squeezing new life into downtown with juice franchise
  • Signs of a recovering economy
  • How to keep a family business in the family
  • Ford dealership expands despite the Great Recession
  • Utility Telephone connects with customer service
  • Crowdfunding basics
  • The roar from crowdfunding is getting louder
  • California water wars’ bulldog
  • Water wars heat up in California
  • Helping businesses grow with a stronger STEM
  • How to retain your best employees
  • Small business runs success up the pole
  • Winery expands in Lodi
  • Lodi wineries tapping into growing Chinese market
  • Has the jobs picture brightened for the Valley for 2012?
  • The right education will be needed for 21st Century jobs
  • Where new jobs for San Joaquin will come from
  • Developing jobs for San Joaquin – Part 2
  • Developing jobs for San Joaquin
  • Fruits of his labor
  • Helping grow food security in the Valley of plenty
  • Doing a business turnaround despite the recession
  • Keeping customers loyal helps build her business
  • Expo exposes businesses to utility contracting ideas
  • Drink mix maker taps expertise to blend success
  • Entrepreneur finds success in a basket
  • Tips for catching resume fraud
  • There’s no checking out for this small business owner
  • Entrepreneurs take Valley sports play-by-play to the world
  • Starting a winery from scratch
  • Job hunting tips for the long-term unemployed
  • In the Central Valley, opera isn’t always the Grand Ole Opry
  • Branding ideas for small businesses
  • The ump’s not blind, but the players are
  • Finding success by tapping your brain in a new way - Part Two
  • Finding success by tapping your brain in a new way
  • Machines talking to machines is the future
  • Getting involved in the fight against AIDS
  • Franchised divorce says it’s a better way
  • Small business owner is brewing a success story
  • To beat the Great Recession, they’ve expanded
  • Taking a swing at strokes
  • Alert your taste buds – here comes Taste of San Joaquin
  • This franchise has real muscle behind it
  • Passion for his city drives him
  • Vicente Fox speaks out on U.S.-Mexico relations
  • Give your support staff recognition and reap top performance
  • Central Valley baker gets top honors for Royal Wedding pie
  • Asparagus Festival ends on high note
  • Stockton close to annual ‘tipping’ point
  • Framing small business success
  • Small business sees Affordable Care Act helping its bottom line
  • What you eat – and when – helps local restaurants
  • Coping with the aftermath of foreclosure
  • How to raise charming children
  • Central Valley grad school goes all-iPads
  • Solution to Delta water wars voiced
  • Making sure your personal bottom line is covered
  • Small California winemaker is all family
  • Small winery relies on family and innovation to compete
  • Central Valley company says it has a better way to store solar power
  • What’s wrong -- and right -- about local TV news
  • What planning means to small business success
  • Making the leap to small business
  • Out of work at middle age? Experts offer advice
  • Small business marketing, one article at a time
  • Congress on your corner as it’s supposed to be
  • Central Valley city’s heritage rediscovered
  • Central Valley school is building students’ foundations
  • Job tips from the expert
  • Long-term jobless worker re-invents himself
  • Building a new power plant means jobs for Central Valley
  • Sacramento reaches for the stars with new science center
  • Lodi Chamber opens China’s doors to small business
  • Writing books for fun – and sometimes profit
  • Black Friday shopping? How to protect yourself from scams
  • California winemakers can find added rewards overseas
  • Wine makers tap overseas markets from Lodi
  • A new revenue stream for Central Valley small businesses
  • Food bank seeks more business support
  • Tips for finding a job in the Great Recession
  • State may solve some of its prison woes with new Stockton facility
  • A solution to underwater mortgages
  • Should public libraries be managed by private firms?
  • Central Valley moves ahead with critical water project
  • Dee Dee Myers and the increasing impact of women on small business
  • How women are growing their small businesses
  • A market with a mission
  • Retailer 'paints' solutions to cash flow challenge
  • An answer for the unemployed – return to school
  • A ‘golden’ small business success story
  • Central Valley winegrapes blessed
  • Rubbing out the recession with a franchise
  • Surviving the recession as a small business
  • It’s personal, union says of Stockton fire cuts
  • How old it too old to start a new business?
  • They've found the recipe for small business success
  • MBA students help revive Central Valley farmers market
  • Classic wooden yachts anchor in Stockton for weekend
  • Foreclosures, short sales – a bank president comments
  • The strength of family helps this small business compete
  • Festival spears success in Central Valley
  • Social media helps keep family business prospering
  • Central Valley students get training in ‘green’ futures
  • Knives readied as Valley cities slash services
  • Central Valley jobless picture still grim
  • Delta residents told to ready for water war
  • Opportunities outlined for Central Valley small businesses
  • Rewiring your brain for success
  • Central Valley no longer ‘shell shocked’ by recession
  • To fix California’s government, look to London
  • Taking your sales pitch to the next level