FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 1, 2014
NATIONAL CLEAN AIR MONTH HIGHLIGHTS FLORIDA'S TOP AIR QUALITY
~Florida meets federal
air quality standards for ozone and fine particulate matter~
TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Department
of Environmental Protection recognizes May as Clean Air Month with a proclamation
by Governor Rick Scott and reminds residents and visitors that Florida's air is
among the nation's cleanest.
"Floridians breathe some of the cleanest air in the nation, thanks to the efforts of the department to protect our air quality and the investment of significant financial
resources to upgrade and increase air monitoring statewide," said DEP
Secretary Herschel T. Vinyard Jr. "Florida air emissions are the lowest
on record, thanks to the department's work during Governor Rick Scott's
administration to curb air pollution statewide."
Emissions of key
industrial pollutants contributing to the formation of ozone and fine
particulate matter continue to decline in Florida, a trend that has existed for
years. Over the past decade, power plant emissions of two of these
pollutants, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, decreased 83 percent.
The department's Spatial Air Quality System allows web users to access updated air quality data as reported
by its statewide network of air quality monitors. Additional information about
Florida's air quality is available through the department's Division of Air Resource Management website.
"We all play a role in ensuring Florida's air quality remains among the best in the country and is enjoyable
for both residents and visitors," said Brian Accardo, director of the
Division of Air Resource Management. "Smart personal decisions, hard work
by local and state air program professionals, and increased compliance by
businesses, all contribute to the protection of this valuable resource."
In March, the department
expanded Florida’ air
monitoring network by purchasing 14 new air monitors and upgrading old technology
of 39 more, to improve its coverage. The bolstered network provides department
scientists valuable data to ensure Florida's air quality remains among the
best in the nation.
The network of 214 air monitors
placed strategically throughout the state are designed to measure different
types of air pollutants in order to make regulatory decisions and ensure
compliance with federal air quality standards. Florida's air monitoring network
currently covers roughly 92 percent of the state's population and is top
among Southeastern states. Nationwide, Florida ranks second only to
California in coverage among the most populated states, based on 2012 data.
to the 2014 State of the Air report from the American Lung Association, Florida again experienced zero unhealthy days for
ozone pollution during the three-year study period. In addition, Florida has 10 cities listed among the three clean air categories, which is more than any other
state. The Fort Myers-Cape Coral area was
one of only four cities in the nation to
rank in all three categories.