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Celebrate Iowa's Air Quality Improvements

DES MOINES — Iowans have much to celebrate as Air Quality Awareness Week, May 2 to 6, wraps up.

Iowa’s air quality has significantly improved since 1990, with sulfur dioxide emissions down by 60 percent and nitrogen oxides decreasing by 43 percent. All this while the number of emission sources, the population and the number of industries have increased.

Looking back to the mid-1970s, 13 Iowa counties contained areas that could not meet national air quality standards. Today, only two counties are in nonattainment status. Industries in those two counties have worked with DNR to control emissions, reduce dust from roads, modify equipment and change operations. As a result of those changes, the DNR is expecting the downward trend in emissions to continue.

Find more on Iowa’s air quality trends at www.iowadnr.gov/airmonitoring.

Good air quality protects people’s health and the environment. Working towards better air is also good for the economy, allowing existing facilities to expand and making room for new industry in Iowa.

Check the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s www3.epa.gov/airtrends/aqtrends.html for national trends.

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