Six Air Pollutants Down Sharply Since 1970: EPA

What EPA called "an early look" at air quality and emissions data for 2006 shows U.S. air quality continued to improve, EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson said yesterday. He said emissions of six key pollutants have dropped by 54 percent since 1970, and the national average concentration for each criteria pollutant is below the level of its air quality standard.

"The data is in and the trends are good: Our nation's air continues to improve because of the Bush Administration's innovative clean air policies," Johnson said. "By tackling tailpipes and smokestacks, EPA is clearing the air and all Americans are breathing easier."

Each of the six key pollutants -- nitrogen dioxide, ozone, sulfur dioxide, particulate matter, carbon monoxide, and lead -- fell by at least 20 percent from 1980 to 2006, the agency said. April 30-May 4 is Air Quality Awareness Week.

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