Pretty much everywhere in New Jersey has horrible air, report says
A new report from the Environment New Jersey Research and Policy Center counts a cumulative total of 543 days of poor air quality in six Jersey metro areas in 2016.
"One of the most eyebrow-raising portions of the report is that there is no one part of the state that has bad levels of air pollution. It is everywhere," the center's director, Doug O'Malley, said.
That 543 — more days than there are in the year — comes from adding up the poor-quality days in each of the six regions.
The center also says that in 2016, 73 million Americans experienced more than 100 days of degraded air quality with the potential to harm human health.
"Whether you live in North, Central or South Jersey, we have an unacceptable level of unhealthy air days in the state," O'Malley said. "The Trouble in the Air report looked at the impact of air pollution all across the country. And we used EPA data, to be able to figure out the number of unhealthy air days around the nation. Unfortunately, New Jersey hit an unholy trinity of being in the top 10, for major metropolitan areas with unhealthy air days."
O'Malley said New Jerseyans joke about poor air quality — "but we should not, because there is no safe level to smog and pollution. And even low levels of air pollution can trigger asthma attacks and even cardiac arrest and premature death."
He said Jersey environmentalists are taking a stand against the Trump administration's environmental regulation rollbacks and want a stronger commitment from the governor. That would including a stronger commitment to reducing fossil fuel power plant use and increased use of electric cars, he said.
More from New Jersey 101.5: