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N.D. clean air counties announced

The American Lung Association’s annual report on states’ air quality, “State of the Air,” was released last week giving eight North Dakota counties “A” grades for lack of ozone (smog). This year’s report covers 2009-2011, and counties Billings, Burke, Burleigh, Cass, Dunn, McKenzie, Mercer and Oliver were chosen to be analyzed because of their proximity to national parks and grasslands or because they are major population areas. See North Dakota’s “Report Card” on the American Lung Association website. According to the Lignite Energy Council, more than $1 billion in emissions control technologies have helped the state maintain such clean air. Mercer and Oliver counties are home to five of the state’s seven power plants and the Great Plains Synfuels Plant. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has also acknowledged the state as being one of seven states in the nation to meet all of the federal ambient air quality standards. See the news release at the Lignite Energy Council website.

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