St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News)- The new State of the Air Report from the American Lung Association shows Olmsted County saw its grades drop this year.

The annual report, which is based on data collected from 2012 to 2014, gave Olmsted County a C grade for ozone pollution and a B grade for particulate pollution. Last year, the county received A grades in both categories.

The report analyzes data collected at air quality monitors operated by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the grades are determined by the number of air-quality alerts for ozone or particle pollution that occurred over the three years.

“This is really a turning point for air quality as Rochester searches for the best path for both its city-owned electric utility and for the Destination Medical Center; and the state continues to move away from coal and toward cleaner sources of energy,” said Robert Moffitt, communications director, American Lung Association in Minnesota. “Both ozone and particle pollution can trigger asthma attacks, and pose health risks to many Minnesotans.

Seven other Minnesota counties earned poorer grades for ozone pollution this year and only Washington County received a higher grade, rising from a B to an A.

The report shows Minnesota scores were mixed for particulate pollution. Two counties received higher grades and Olmsted and Lyon counties earned lower grades.

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