How Bad Is Our Air Quality 'F'?

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The local web is abuzz over the fact that King County got an F for Ozone levels from the American Lung Association. This on the heels of our Clean Air Act violation last summer. So how bad is it?

As noted, it wasn't so much that the county's air got worse as it was that standards got better (as they should). While most metropolitan areas span more than one county, the primary counties of every metropolitan area larger than Seattle's ranked worse than King County did.

But once again, we got beat by our smaller neighbor to the south. Portland--rather, Multnomah County--managed to score a B in Ozone. And lest we think they pushed their pollution north of the Columbia like they do with their sprawl, Vancouver's Clark County got the same score.

At least we can hang our hat on our 6th-lowest-in-the-country per-capita emissions ranking--though the methodology may be disputed and our dams the only thing keeping us so green. If we had to burn coal, we'd probably be a solid F, rather than a grade-deflated one.

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