Environment New Jersey Says Dirty Air Poses Health Risk

Jul 12, 2018

Environment New Jersey director Doug O'Malley

An environmental group says public health in New Jersey is at risk from air pollution.

Environment New Jersey director Doug O’Malley says air quality in New Jersey’s metropolitan areas ranks in the top ten in the nation for most elevated levels of ozone and particulate matter.

He says they had an average of 91 days of degraded air quality in 2016, and summer heat waves make ozone problems worse.

“These unhealthy air days can trigger asthma attacks. They can trigger visits to the hospital for the elderly. They can trigger cardiac events. We’ve seen a direct link on unhealthy air days and premature deaths. So literally what we breathe is killing us.”

O’Malley says as the Trump administration considers weakening federal air quality and emissions standards, the state needs to do whatever it can to reduce air pollution.

“And that includes a stronger emissions cap for our fossil fuel power plants. That includes electrifying our transportation sector, both our cars and our buses. And it certainly means not building more dirty fossil fuel power plants around the state.”