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Published April 24, 2013, 10:50 AM

Dakotas cities among best in nation for clean air, Minnesota gets mixed reviews

The American Lung Association says Bismarck and Rapid City, S.D., are among the four cleanest cities in the country when it comes to air quality.

By: Associated Press, INFORUM

The American Lung Association says Bismarck and Rapid City, S.D., are among the four cleanest cities in the country when it comes to air quality.

The association on Wednesday released its 2013 State of the Air Report. It says Bismarck and Rapid City joined two metro areas in Florida in having the cleanest air.

Sioux Falls, S.D., also was recognized for having no days with unhealthy levels of ozone during the three-year period covered by the report.

In North Dakota, association spokesman Robert Moffitt says the 2009-2011 report might not reflect changes caused by the oil boom in western North Dakota.

The report shows some improvements in air quality in Minnesota's urban areas. But it also gives Ramsey County poor grades for fine particle pollution for the third year in a row.

The “State of the Air” report focuses on ozone and fine particles. Ozone is a leading component of smog and comes from vehicle exhaust and solvents. Fine particle pollution comes from burning things like coal and wood and can cause haze.

Minnesota Public Radio reports (http://bit.ly/15GW4ZH) the Twin Cities were ranked the 42nd most polluted out of 235 metro areas nationwide, an improvement of six places from last year. Ramsey County improved from an F last year to a D for fine particles.

The report also ranks Duluth among the country's cleanest cities.


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