Cali air not so fair

Annual air-quality report finds California cities among dirtiest in nation

A handful of California cities appeared on the American Lung Association’s annual State of the Air report.

Bakersfield was dubbed the sootiest city in the country, followed by Merced and Fresno, while Modesto ranked No. 6, according to The Sacramento Bee. The report found that roughly 42 percent of the nation’s population lives in counties that have unhealthful levels of ozone or particle pollution.

Even so, a long-term trend of higher-quality air continues nationwide, the report noted, a direct result of reducing emissions from coal-fired power plants and transitioning to cleaner diesel fuels.

“Even in parts of the country that experienced increases in unhealthy days of high ozone and short-term particle pollution, they still have better air quality compared to a decade ago,” said Harold Wimmer, president and CEO of the American Lung Association.