MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The American Lung Association has released the 25th annual State of the Air report.

Aimee Van Cleave

While on WAJR’s “Talk of the Town,” director of Advocacy for the American Lung Association Aimee Van Cleave said the Clean Air Act is to thank for the level of clean air in our area.

“The Clean Act, which was passed about 25 years ago, has done a whole lot to improve our air quality over time,” Van Cleave said. “Because we have stricter standards on what we’re letting out into the air we’re all breathing in.”

The report gives West Virginia a decent grade in most areas. Van Cleave said the Charleston area ranks as one of the cleanest in the country in terms of air. Kanawha County recorded zero action days for ozone or particle pollution issues.

“We know the Charleston metro area is ranked among the nation’s cleanest cities for ozone pollution, and it received an “A” grade,” Van Cleave said.

In the northern part of the state, Ohio County scored a “B” based on ozone pollution but scored an “A” in the particulate category. In Monongalia County, the grade is an “A” across the board, with zero action days in any category. The city of Wheeling was also scored well.

“The Wheeling area got their best ever level for year-round particle pollution, earning a passing grade with a “B,” Van Cleave said.

The report ranks some of the cleanest places to live as Bangor, Maine; Bristol, Tennessee; and Lincoln, Nebraska. On the other end of the scale, the report said the top five most polluted places are in California.

Van Cleave also described some of the issues causing air quality issues and areas that could be more problematic than others.

“Burning something that ought not to be in the air—that’s something we’re all breathing in, so if my neighbors are burning their trash, that will impact us,” Van Cleave said. “If we live near a warehouse that has a lot of deliveries going out, that’s going to impact us too.”