Air pollution in some Indiana counties has worsened, and a decades-long improvement in national air quality has slowed since 2015, according to a new federal report.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency report titled “Our Nation’s Air: Status and Trends Through 2018” shows that while overall air pollution is decreasing, the rate of decline in national air pollutant concentration averages has slowed, and some pollution indicators are on the rise.
In Indiana, ozone levels in several of the state’s industrial centers are creeping back up.
A professor at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis says the improvement in air quality can be linked to strict regulations, but cautions that current regulatory rollbacks may eventually result in poorer air quality.
“This is sort of a success story report on many fronts, but it’s only a success story because of pretty strict environmental regulations,” said Gabriel Filippelli, professor and director of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis’ Center for Urban Health. “The risk of rolling some of those back is very apparent from the report.”