FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AAPCA Publishes 2020 Edition of State Air Trends & Successes: The StATS Report
Report shows key trends in air quality improvement and essential role of state and local air quality agencies
May 4, 2020
Today, the Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies (AAPCA) released the 2020 edition of State Air Trends & Successes: The StATS Report. Published annually, The StATS Report catalogues the tremendous progress that has been made improving air quality in the United States and details the core role of state and local air agencies under the federal Clean Air Act.
“Last month, we celebrated the 50th Earth Day and a half-century of environmental progress,” stated AAPCA President Karen Hays, Chief of the Georgia Air Protection Branch. “These achievements are, in large part, due to the hard work of state and local agencies. We are proud of the progress The StATS Report highlights.”
Published on the first day of Air Quality Awareness Week 2020 (May 4th to 8th), State Air Trends & Successes presents key trends and metrics regarding air quality efforts at the state, local, and federal levels. Using data from publicly available sources like the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the report includes information on ambient pollution concentrations (for example, particulate matter and ground-level ozone), emissions sources and trendlines, compliance and enforcement work, and visibility in national parks.
A few national trends that are highlighted in the 2020 edition of The StATS Report include:
- From 1970 to 2018, a 74-percent reduction in the aggregate emissions of the six criteria air pollutants under the national ambient air quality standards, or NAAQS, program.
- Comparing 1980 to 2018, at least a 31-percent reduction in the ambient levels of ground-level ozone, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, and lead.
- From 2000 to 2017, an 11-percent decrease in energy-related carbon dioxide emissions, while total energy production in the United States increased by 23 percent.
Commenting on this year’s release of The StATS Report, AAPCA Vice President Bob Hodanbosi, Chief for the Ohio Division of Air Pollution Control, remarked that, “AAPCA’s growing membership is collectively responsible for protecting air quality for more than 150 million Americans. Even during the current COVID-19 pandemic, air agencies continue to work toward improving air quality in their jurisdictions, including regularly engaging federal partners like U.S. EPA.”
Some key statistics from AAPCA’s 23 state members in the 2020 report:
- From 1990 through 2017, a combined decrease in criteria air pollutant emissions of 53-percent while experiencing a 281-percent increase in Gross Domestic Product, a 68-percent rise in vehicle miles traveled, a 45-percent growth in population, and a 32-percent increase in energy production.
- In the electricity sector, an average reduction in nitrogen oxide emissions of 75 percent and sulfur dioxide emissions of nearly 80 percent from 1990 to 2018.
- From 2008 to 2018, more than 60 percent of the 573-million-pound national reduction in air releases of toxic chemicals.
- In 2019, an average of 317 full compliance evaluations per state, compared to the national per-state average of 271.
For 2020, AAPCA is also releasing an interactive webpage that allows the data from select graphs in the report to be explored.
The Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies (AAPCA) is a consensus-driven organization focused on assisting state and local air quality agencies and personnel with implementation and technical issues associated with the federal Clean Air Act. AAPCA members work collaboratively on behalf of states and the communities they protect to act as a conduit for and provide feedback to federal regulators on air quality rules that have significant impacts across the entire nation. AAPCA represents nearly 50 state and local air agencies, and senior officials from 23 state environmental agencies currently sit on AAPCA’s Board of Directors. AAPCA is housed in Lexington, Kentucky as an affiliated association of The Council of State Governments (CSG).
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