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State's cleaner air enjoyed by asthma sufferers

Posted June 8, 2009

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— As the weather heats up, North Carolinians are used to hearing about Code Orange and Code Red ozone action days. But so far, 2009 has seen only one day when ozone exceeded federal standards.

Effort to clean up N.C. air working

Debbie Credle, who has had asthma for 10 years, said she checks the air quality forecast every before leaving for work at WakeMed, where she helps asthma patients.

"It's very important. You need to know what your air quality's going to be before you leave home," Credle said.

Two months into the 2009 ozone season, though, North Carolina has seen only one day when ozone levels violated tough, new federal standards. The cooler, wetter weather has played a role in that, but state officials said it's indicator of a bigger trend:

"Air quality is improving," said Tom Mather, a spokesman for the state Division of Air Quality.

Nitrogen oxide is the main cause of ozone pollution. Since 1999, emissions of nitrogen oxide from North Carolina's power plants are down almost 75 percent.

Reasons for that include the Clean Smokestacks Act, which has reduced pollution from the state's power plants, state officials said.

"Our cars and trucks are much cleaner. They have to meet better standards, and they're burning much cleaner fuel," Mather said.

However it happens, it's important to keep working for cleaner air, Credle said.

"It's nice to know that these things are making a difference, and we need to make a difference," she said.


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  • bigredtruckman Jun 9, 2009

    Has anyone done a study relating the amount of methane in the atmosphere to the number of Mexican restaurants in a given location?

  • swinter Jun 8, 2009

    Z Man, I've had asthma all my life and so have my children. And we have always lived in NC. During years of more regulated emissions, our asthma has improved.

    And just who are YOU to dictate who lives where, you selfish, myopic spoiled brat? You going to pay for relocation? Maybe your kids will develop asthma and some tosser like yourself will tell you to leave.

  • jsanders Jun 8, 2009

    In future stories, I hope that WRAL and other news outlets are as mindful as the reporter here that there are "tough, new federal standards" for air quality such that what will be considered "harmful" air in the future might have been recognized as safe just three years ago.

    The fact that air quality HAS been improving is why the federal standards had to be increased -- it was getting harder and harder to make the case for increasingly dangerous air (and therefore all the federal money going into "fighting" it, which threatens federal power): http://www.carolinajournal.com/articles/display_story.html?id=4775

  • Z Man Jun 8, 2009

    Seems to me if you're sensitive to air quality then you should not struggle with the heat and stagnation of a southern summer. It's mother nature, not man. Raleigh in July has NEVER been as crisp as Anchorage in July. So it you want relief, move to Anchorage.

  • colliedave Jun 8, 2009

    The lack of code red days has more to do with cooler/wetter weather than emissions. Get ready for cap/trade and to be taxed out the yazoo,

  • dogman1973 Jun 8, 2009

    Emission standards have nothing to do with it. The emission testing on cars in NC is nothing more than another way to TAX us!

  • ObamaMustGo aka NCcarguy Jun 8, 2009

    wildervb, I can agree that we've done a lot to clean up or water supply, but the air??? I don't agree. Now if we can find a way to make livestock less flatulant then we'll be onto something!

  • wildervb Jun 8, 2009

    Yes the weather has helped as has driving a bit less. But stronger emissions standards have also helped a great deal. This should be something we all should be happy about, a more healthy environment.

  • Lissa13082 Jun 8, 2009

    That may be true but it's still early in the summer. It's only the beginning of June! Wait until about August before making this a story! That's usually when we have our worst air quality days.

  • ObamaMustGo aka NCcarguy Jun 8, 2009

    It's ALSO because we've had SO MUCH RAIN!!!! "WE" have had nothing to do with it!