Redding and Chico Regions Rank Nationally for Smog Pollution

A new report by the American Lung Association lists Redding and Chico as climbing up that list.

Posted: Apr 18, 2018 8:00 PM
Updated: Apr 19, 2018 9:37 AM

Chico, Calif – The American Lung Association has released its 2018 State of the Air report and it shows that once again California has some of the worst air quality in the nation. The big story in the North State However is that Redding and Red Bluff are now ranked 9th for worst ozone pollution in the nation, ahead of New York City. The city of Chico has also jumped from 25th to 21st worst for ozone pollution.

According to the American Lung Association, some key report findings for Chico and the Redding, Red Bluff area are:

• Significant setbacks in the fight against ozone (also known as smog) in the region.
• Shasta, Tehama and Butte Counties all saw a significant increase in unhealthy air days for ozone in this year’s report and all received an F grade. Tehama County saw an increase of 11 unhealthy ozone days compared to the previous year’s report.
• Positive results for particle pollution (also known as soot) as the region fared well for both short-term and year-round particle pollution.
• Chico saw fewer days for short-term particle pollution and continues to meet the standard for year-round particle pollution.
• Butte County also improved in year-round particle pollution, with an annual average of just 1.5 unhealthy air days in 2014-2016.
• Redding is ranked as one of the cleanest cities in the nation for year-round particle pollution.

This report, however, may not be the whole story. According to Shasta County Air Management, the air quality in the county is right at state standards for ozone pollution. John Waldrop, the Air Quality District Manager for Shasta County said today “we are currently right on the cusp of meeting state standards... we tend to influence that are coming from other areas that are known as transport pollutants.” The hot air in the summer months mixed with vehicle traffic in the area tends to be perfect conditions for producing ozone or smog. Weather is the most crucial factor for the formation of ozone.

According to the report Redding and Red Bluff are not great there are other cities in California that made the list. The following are the cities that are most impacted by ozone and smog pollution.

Most Polluted Cities for Ozone
1. Los Angeles-Long Beach (incl. Inland Empire)
2. Bakersfield
3. Visalia-Porterville-Hanford
4. Fresno-Madera
5. Sacramento-Roseville
6. San Diego-Carlsbad
7. Modesto-Merced
8. Phoenix, AZ
9. Redding-Red Bluff
10. New York, NY-Newark, NJ

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It took a few hours, but the sun broke through the clouds over most of northern California Tuesday afternoon. The low clouds, fog and light rain showers return to the valley Wednesday, with snowy weather in the mountains.
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