Washington Examiner, “Air quality improving despite population, vehicle growth“:
“Air quality is improving in the region — there is no question about that,” said Joan Rohlfs, chief of air quality planning for the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. “It’s very dramatic, actually. In fact, it’s almost an issue for us because people are losing their awareness [of air pollution]. We don’t have that many code-red days anymore.”
Besides Earth Day, the peg for the article is the Environmental Protection Agency’s annual report on air quality trends, released to little attention on March 10. The report found that ozone levels have dropped 14 percent between 1990 and 2008, lead has plummeted 78 percent, and carbon monoxide is down 68 percent.
We missed the news when the EPA highlighted the report in an outpouring of national susurration, catching up a few weeks later. As The Examiner reports: “‘No one ever really looks at the data,’ said Steven Hayward, a resident scholar with the American Enterprise Institute. ‘[Public officials] never stand up and say here is the progress we’ve made.’”